The University of Florida’s Bob Graham Center for Public Service hosted its second annual Robert A. Bryan Public Policy Summit Feb. 20-22 at Pugh Hall on the UF campus. The student-run conference brought togtether the brightest and most politically engaged students from across Florida to address the issue of online voter registration.
Students explored the mechanisms of online voter registration and developed an action plan for its promotion and implementation. Specifically, conversations focused on advocacy tools, coalition building, lobbying and messaging.
Keynote speakers for the weekend program included elected officials, lobbyists and educators from across the state including:
- Diedre Macnab, President of the League of Women Voters of Florida
- Kamal Latham, Vice President for Public Policy, Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce
- Mike Burns, National Director for Fair Elections Legal Network’s Campus Vote Project
- Vinny Foster, the Florida State Director of Generation Opportunity
- Victoria Kirby, National Regional Hub Director for Organizing for Action (OFA) Florida
- Wes Jones, vice president and national canvass director, Grassroots Campaigns;
- Pegeen Hanrahan, former mayor of Gainesville and Deputy Director of the “Yes on 1” campaign for the Florida Land and Water Amendment; and
- Ray Seaman, online director, Progress Florida and organizer of “Yes for Marion Schools” initiative.
The goals of the program were: to establish a tradition of statewide intercollegiate political activism; to educate students about the pressing issues facing the state; to develop the competencies necessary for effective citizenship, to inspire students to seek solutions to complex challenges; and to promote the free exchange of ideas across the ideological spectrum.