“Bigotry is the disease of ignorance, of morbid minds; enthusiasm of the free and buoyant. Education and free discussion are the antidotes of both. We are destined to be a barrier against the returns of ignorance and barbarism… I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.”
— Thomas Jefferson, August 1, 1816
Our success matters
Social stability, economic diversification, and legitimate and responsive public and private institutions are key to our state’s navigating the 21st century successfully. Our state’s influence requires that we mind our place dutifully and take serious the reality that Florida’s successes and failures have both national and global implications.
Political legitimacy and rule of law
The role that government plays in our community life is what we make it out to be from generation to generation – elections do have consequences.
Our system of federalism is always working to balance out the roles that are played by us, as citizens, our local community, our state governments, and our national government. Each layer of community serves as an opportunity to be a laboratory of discovery and experimentation in the interests of building a better, more stable, community and nation.
Our increasingly complex infrastructure, dynamic economy, and the demographic shifts we face are mounting up in front of us and can offer opportunities if we are proactive, or challenges if we are reactive. We now have a curtailment of immigration that has historically enabled a better society. Economic growth stalling due to population curtailment is an approaching demographic pain we can see on the horizon.
The Millennial generation is starting families later and are keeping large student debts that affect our housing markets, job markets, and leadership succession planning.
Our parents and grandparents are increasingly facing medical challenges, such as cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia, or other physical ailments that require advanced medicines that are costly, which affects not only them, but their families and friends who must try to close the gap financially. On top of this we have an opioid epidemic that is on the upward swing and needs to be addressed.
The way ahead
We must shape our public policies to maximize social utility and ensure we maintain a sense of personal responsibility.
We must affirm the values that make our state and nation a beacon of inclusion and freedom.
We must pursue a modern and efficient infrastructure because it is essential for creating an environment where the community has high morale and our commercial industries can manage and minimize operating costs.
We must further develop our renewable and clean energy infrastructure; modernize and shape a more flexible transportation scheme for our region; establish a culture of learning through smart and continual labor force development strategies by establishing partnerships between industry, unions, and educational institutions; baseline our public health through the Affordable Care Act and the expansion of Medicaid; and pursue a housing infrastructure that mitigates sprawl, encourages community redevelopment, and builds upon a vision of the Florida we see in the future.
We have key areas we need to focus on modernizing if we are to compete in the future and create communities where our children and grandchildren can raise their families here in Florida.
If we do not focus on pursuing policies that preserve stability, any progress gained in a passing moment is considered fickle. We need to let our representation serve our public interest and we need to challenge them to balance competing priorities, make some decisions, and move us forward.
Stability matters. We need leaders who understand what the word “We” means again.