Florida Priorities Summit to facilitate discussions on issues impacting community

The annual Florida Priorities Summit will take place Monday, Nov. 18 and Tuesday, Nov. 19 at the University of Miami. Students and professionals will be able to participate in an inclusive conversation among leaders, decision makers and voters.

The summit aims to help build a better Florida by spreading awareness on policy issues that lawmakers will face in the next legislature. There will also be a discussion on possible solutions to recommend to Florida’s elected officials.

Now in its second year, the Miami Herald, el Nuevo Herald and Bradenton Herald are launching a discussion about the important issues facing the state of Florida

“I feel that the Florida Priorities Summit will allow professionals and the public to partake in discussions on critical topics that are impacting our local community and beyond,” said Rick Hirsch, managing editor of the Miami Herald. “It’s important to encourage an open dialogue on these subjects and craft solutions.”

The summit will highlight six main topics of discussion: economy, environment, education, housing, health care and transportation.

Over the course of the past several months, 50 influencers have been giving their insights on key issues affecting Florida. These influencers aim to foster discussions at the Florida Priorities Summit that challenge political assumptions and create a shared vision for Florida.

“As a team we searched for influential people in Florida that can speak to these topics at hand,” said Hirsch. “Many of these influencers come from different backgrounds and experiences that can resonate with the public through their stories on these subjects.”

The influencers range from Julio Frenk, the president of UM, to Karen Arnold, the chief operating officer of the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce.

Day one of the Florida Priorities Summit is only open to the media and professionals. The influencers will meet in small groups to draft recommendations on specific topics.

Day two of the event is open to the public, with panels of experts on key topics.

The event will occur in the Donna Shalala Student Center. Monday’s event runs from noon to 5 p.m. and Tuesday’s activities are from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Student journalists from the University of Miami, the University of Florida, the University of Central Florida, the University of South Florida and Florida International University will be writing stories and creating videos for their campus publications and posting to social media during the summit. In addition to this, these students will also post coverage on a blog through the Miami Herald.

Hurricane editor-in-chief Rebecca Goddard, a junior majoring in motion pictures attended the summit last year to cover it for The Miami Hurricane and the Miami Herald. She said that it was very inspiring to hear from so many people who are making an impact in South Florida.

“It’s especially important for student journalists to attend events like these because it helps them break out of the campus bubble,” said Goddard. “It’s easy to get caught up with university news, but we need to remember that there’s a whole world of off campus issues to think about.”