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Archive for the ‘public forum’ Category

Students are invited to join the Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners and the county administrator in a Community Conversation to discuss county services and important topics such as housing, social services and transportation.

blog_CommConvo2016

The public meeting will take place on Tuesday, May 3, from 6 – 7 p.m. at the St. Petersburg College Seminole Campus in the Digitorium, 9200 113th St. N., Seminole, preceded by an open house from 5:30 – 6 p.m.

Held in partnership with SPC and Bay News 9, the Community Conversation offers an interactive venue for citizens to talk about issues, with the convenience of social media, online video streaming and blogging. Residents can also participate in the event via phone and by watching live on PCC-TV or SPC-TV.

Citizen comments are encouraged as part of the conversation with Pinellas County Commissioners Chairman Charlie Justice, Vice Chairman Janet C. Long, Dave Eggers, Pat Gerard, John Morroni, Karen Williams Seel, Kenneth T. Welch and County Administrator Mark S. Woodard. The conversation will be moderated by Al Ruechel of Bay News 9.

There are five ways to participate in the conversation:

  • Be part of the live audience. The live event will be held at St. Petersburg College, Seminole campus, in the University Partnership Center Digitorium, 9200 113th St. N., Seminole.
  • Watch it live and blog on pinellascounty.org/CommunityConversation. The blog opens Tuesday, May 3, at 9 a.m.
  • Watch it and ask questions on Pinellas County’s Facebook or post on Twitter and Instagram accounts using #PinellasCC.
  • Call (888) 409-5380 to listen and ask questions.
  • Watch on PCC-TV (Bright House Channel 637, WOW! Channel 18 or Verizon Channel 44) and SPC-TV (Bright House Channel 636, WOW! Channel 19 or Verizon Channel 47).

For more information about the Community Conversation, including links to resources about the county’s strategic plan and the citizen survey, visit www.pinellascounty.org/CommunityConversation or call (727) 464-3000.

This blog post was provided by Irena Karolak, public information specialist with Pinellas County Communications. 

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The Village Square, an initiative of the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at St. Petersburg College, will host Same-Sex Marriage: Saying ‘I Do’ Does Not End the Debate, a forum that explores the implications of same-sex marriage on Thursday, March 26. The forum will be from 6 to 8:15 p.m. in the SPC Seminole Campus Conference Center, 9200 113th St. N. Advance registration for the dinner event is required.

Although the U.S. District Court ordered county clerks to issue marriage licenses to couples regardless of gender, that neither settles nor ends the debate. The U.S. Supreme Court in January decided to hear appeals from four states where gay-marriage bans have been upheld. That creates the possibility that a majority of justices could vote to uphold same-sex marriage bans in Florida and the 30 other states that have formal bans – or to end such bans and legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states.

A panel of experts will explore these undetermined implications:

  • Ben Diamond, attorney, Williamson, Diamond & Caton, P.A.
  • David Liebert, professor and department chair for Social and Behavioral Sciences, St. Petersburg College
  • Nadine Smith, CEO, Equality Florida
  • John Stemberger, president, Florida Family Policy Council
  • Craig Kopp, station manager, WMNF FM, will serve as moderator

About the Institute: The Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at St. Petersburg College is a resource for academic enrichment, a non-partisan venue for civil, objective debate of topical public issues, a center to promote better government, and a resource for sustainable economic development. Its mission is to support a broad array of research, training, educational and policy analysis and support activities at the local, state, regional and national levels.

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With the primaries over, candidates are gearing up for the fall election season. This means that, until Nov. 4, voters can expect to experience a barrage of negative political advertising almost everywhere they turn.

Do these attack ads work? Is negative campaigning an effective political strategy? A distinguished panel headed by renowned University of South Florida political analyst Dr. Susan MacManus will address these and related questions at an upcoming dinner forum.

Political Campaign Ads: Why Did You Approve This Message?
Tuesday, Sept. 16
6 to 8:15 p.m.
Conference Center, SPC’s Seminole Campus
9200 113th Street N, Seminole

The event is sponsored by the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at St. Petersburg College as part of the Institute’s Village Square Series. Media co-sponsors are the Tampa Bay Times and WEDU. Advance registration is required.

Negative advertising, once employed only rarely by campaigns desperate to gain traction, has become standard practice in today’s political arena. It is in part fueled by recent court rulings that permit Political Action Committees to collect and spend virtually unlimited amounts of money to inform voters about election issues.

What are the effects of these mud-slinging campaigns on the American political system? Do they actually move people to vote a certain way or discourage people from voting at all, as a silent protest of the negativity? Dr. MacManus, a nationally recognized political analyst, will be joined by two Pinellas County political consultants to provide insights from personal experience and answer questions from the audience. The program also will feature a reel of classic commercials from presidential campaigns going back to television’s early days in 1952.

The other panel members are:

  • Jack Hebert, founder and president, the Mallard Group, a Clearwater political consulting and direct mail firm
  • Gregory Wilson, president and creative officer, Parsons Wilson, a St. Petersburg political consulting firm
  • Al Ruechel, senior anchor of Bay News 9, who will serve as moderator

Negative political advertising is not new. It existed in the early days of America’s founding, when political parties emerged from the Revolution against Britain and vied for power. The second and third presidents of the new nation, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, were the targets of vicious cartoons and illustrations. But in the Electronic Age of the 21st Century it has taken on new forms with new power to reach wider audiences, and it has a virtually unlimited reservoir of special-interest money to finance its dissemination.

The forum will provide insights on this political strategy and offer audience members a chance to weigh in with their views via the Institute’s instant-polling technology.

Admission to the dinner and program is:
$25 for Village Square members and educators
$30 for guests
$20 for students.

Advance registration is required at solutions.spcollege.edu.

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The Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions will host a forum entitled “Our Families’ Four Generations: Ready or Not, Here We Are!” from 7 to 9 p.m., Tuesday, June 17, 2014, at the SPC Seminole Campus Digitorium. The forum is jointly hosted by the 4Generations Institute of Tallahassee and the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at SPC. The Tampa Bay Times is Presenting Sponsor.

4 Gen Flyer Graphic LgThe public is invited and advance registration is required at http://solutions.spcollege.edu.

Advances in medicine, workplace safety, risk management and healthy nutrition practices in the last 50 years have vastly increased life expectancy in the United States. As a result, Americans are experiencing an unprecedented demographic shift: four full generations in relatively good health living side by side.

Florida is a model of the demographic reality the nation will face in 40 years. There are currently 3.3 million Floridians, age 65-plus, living in the Sunshine State – 18 percent of the population. More than 500,000 of them are over 85. Pinellas County’s age demographics are even more tilted toward an older population: 21.5 percent of its population are 65 or older, and 4 percent are 85-plus.

How our four generations – children, parents, grandparents and super-elders – can live in harmony and mutual support is the subject of this community conversation.

A panel of experts representing programs serving each stage of life will explore how, by creative action and effective advocacy, the four generations can leverage the assets of each age group for the betterment of all.

“The needs for health care, education, family services, employment, public safety and environmental protection are best addressed through the lens of our four major age groups,” said Jack Levine, founder of 4Generations Institute. “How we address the needs of the four generations is among the most critical economic and public policy challenges for the next decade.”

The Community Conversation, moderated by Levine, will include six Pinellas County leaders whose organizations serve one or more of the four life stages:

  • Dr. Marcie Biddleman, Executive Director, Juvenile Welfare Board of Pinellas County
  • Eileen Boyle, Executive Director, Allegany Franciscan Ministries
  • Hon. Rene Flowers, Member of the Pinellas County School Board
  • Judge Raymond Gross of the Sixth Judicial Circuit Family Court
  • Jeff Johnson, Director, AARP of Florida
  • Shannon Reid, Vice President of Education and Practice Management, Raymond James Financial

The 4Generations Institute is a non-profit organization based in Tallahassee that promotes community volunteerism for the mutual benefit of the four generations: children/youth, parents, grandparents and elders. Its goal is to identify model intergenerational programs and projects, to expand the impact of quality mentoring and volunteer initiatives and to cultivate an environment to nurture communications across the generations.

The Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions at St. Petersburg College is a resource for academic enrichment, a non-partisan venue for civil, objective debate of topical public issues, a center to promote better government and a resource for sustainable economic development. Its mission is to support a broad array of research, training, educational and policy analysis and support activities at the local, state, regional and national levels.

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The Westcare Foundation and the St. Petersburg College Center for Public Safety Innovation present nationally renowned experts, speakers and authors Edward Tick, Ph.D, and Kate Dahlstedt, MA, LMHC, for a workshop titled “Effective Approaches for Skilled Helpers Working with Veterans.”

The day-long session will explore the emotional, moral and spiritual wounds of veterans, their families and community. Trainers will also focus on understanding and healing from post-traumatic stress disorder and military sexual trauma.

The workshop is from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, January 28, at the Allstate Center, 3200 34th St. S, St. Petersburg.

Attendance is free, but registration is required by Wednesday, Jan. 22. To register, email Mary.Coburn@westcare.com.

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PEACE group image

St. Petersburg College students have a choice of in-person or virtual attendance at the Nov. 14 forum on world peace sponsored by the Institute for Strategic Policy Solutions.

The program will be from 12:30 to 2 p.m. in the Digitorium on the Seminole Campus, 9200 113th St. N. Students unable to attend in person may view live streaming of the event at mms://media.spcollege.edu/worldpeace and participate in the question-and-answer segment by email.

Titled World Peace: Let It Begin with Me, the forum is co-sponsored by Rotary International, Seeds of Peace and Tri-Sense Medical, LLC. A panel moderated by SPC Associate Professor Roy Slater will offer insights on war and peace and suggest ways that young people can become involved in advocating for peace and against war.

On the panel:

  • Earl Fratus, SPC Associate Professor of Political Science and History.
  • Sane Haidara, an SPC student who fled war in his homeland of Mali in 2012, who will provide a student’s perspective on war and peace
  • Dustin Lemke, a professor at Hillsborough Community College who is active in the Quakers’ Peace and Social Concerns Committee.

Faculty on SPC campuses with technology-enabled classrooms are encouraged to participate in the forum virtually with their students. They may submit questions for the panel by emailing policysolutionsinstitute@spcollege.edu.

Admission is free, but advance registration is requested at http://www.spcollege.edu/survey/14399.

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DirectLinkLogoA new blog, launched this month at St. Petersburg College, aims to open a direct line of communication between the college’s leadership and students, college employees and the public.

Direct Link focuses on higher education issues and new initiatives at SPC. It features weekly blog and/or vlog (video blog) posts from members of the college’s leadership team, including SPC President Bill Law, Dr. Anne Cooper, Dr. Doug Duncan and Dr. Tonjua Williams.

The start of the blog also signals the return of the Listening Post, although in a new format.

The Listening Post initially involved college leadership traveling to various campuses to hear students’ suggestions, comments and concerns. That idea has expanded with this blog, which will promote and feature a monthly, virtual Listening Post. Each will be hosted by various members of college leadership. Students, employees and community members will have the opportunity to submit questions and RSVP for an upcoming Listening Post through the Direct Link blog. The first Listening Post with the college president is scheduled for the week of Nov. 11. More details about this upcoming event will be available later this month.

“With the creation of this site, SPC faculty, staff and students will be able to have access to the data, discussion and thought processes that go into the decision-making at the college,” Law said. “This site is one way to bring you into the conversation.”

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