Politicians look to Floridians for ‘100’ good ideas

Members of the Florida House of Representatives are seeking input from college students for a book titled “100 Innovative Ideas For Florida’s Future.” The goal is to gather 100 innovative ideas by Floridians throughout the state.

According to http://www.100ideas.org the initiatives of the book are to listen to the people’s concerns and their ideas for addressing them, outline a plan, put it in writing and hold the leaders that are responsible for the result accountable.

“The hope of this effort is to make our political agenda relevant to the day to day concerns of real people,” said Rep. Marco Rubio, R-Miami Dade speaker designate of Florida’s House of Representatives.

Rubio may become the next House speaker after elections in November. “Collectively this is going to be our vision for Florida,” said Rubio. The three driving forces behind the book Rubio, Rep. Ray Sansom, R-Okaloosa and Santa Rosa and Rep. Dean Cannon, R-Orange.

“If you study history, young people have always been involved in revolutionary ideas,” said Faron Boggs, deputy political program director.

The House is reaching out to students for their ideas to empower and improve the state. The dark blue signs, reading “Got Ideas? www.100ideas.org,” posted around campus are an attempt to reach out to students for pioneering ideas. “So far we’ve hit 60-70 percent of college campuses in the state,” Boggs said.

“I’ve seen the posters hanging everywhere,” said Melvin Harris, 18, a freshman civil engineering student from Orlando.

Harris said he logged on to the Web site to submit a concern about the rising costs of tuition. “It seems like a good idea, but I believe there’s more to it because the bottom of the poster states ‘paid for and sponsored by the republican party of Florida,'” Harris said.

“The hope of these posters is to get students involved,” said David Stevens, chairman of the FSU Republican Party.

Stevens was recruited by the Florida Republican Party to post flyers around campus.

The goal of the ‘idea-raiser’ is to bring Republicans and Democrats together and to challenge them to come up with innovative ideas for the future of Florida.

“The challenge we put for them is if they were in our position and they were in charge of Florida’s future, what would their priorities be?” said Rubio.

According to the Herald Tribune, one drawback to the Web site is the Republican Party controls the input and output and whether the Web site will become an unscientific poll to help elect Republicans. But Rubio said the Web site is genuine and not a political ploy.

“We certainly don’t approach ideas from a goal perspective right now. There isn’t a plan,” Rubio said. He said the book will map out the future for Florida.

Rubio wants to change the way issues are brought to the house. He is seeking fresh ideas that address the hopes and anxieties of Floridians.

“We’re going out there connecting with people anywhere and everywhere in two primary ways,” Rubio said.

The first is through a series called idea-raisers, and the second is the http://www.100ideas.org. Rubio said the key is Samson and Cannon.

“We see it more as a six-year project because things don’t move as fast in politics as they do in the world,” Rubio said.

He views the ideas of the book as “a roadmap for the future.”

The 100 ideas Web site said an idea-raiser is similar to a fundraiser, but it is a way for the people to discuss and come up with ideas.

Idea-raisers are either held online or a representative meets at a location to discuss ideas.

So far Rubio , along with other representatives, has hosted 50 idea-raisers.

“Our goal is to do about 50 or 60 more,” Rubio said.

Idea-raisers are posted online and individuals may comment on the ideas and also rate ideas.

As indicated by http://100ideas.org, anyone can schedule an idea-raiser online by simply registering for a date, time and location.

Contact Melissa L. Louis at melissal32@hotmail.com