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Policy Pub

Each day, policy decisions that directly impact our lives are made at the local, state, national, and global levels. At the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy, our faculty is in the business of researching, teaching, and furthering understanding these decisions, the people and institutions who make them, and how they affect us all.

Policy Pub is an opportunity to tap into that knowledge and experience and to connect with experts and fellow citizens in an informal atmosphere.

Policy Pub attendees listen to brief, plain-language talks about such topics as politics, economics, the environment, and more. Then they ask questions and engage in friendly dialogue. It’s fun, social, interactive, and highly informative.

After each Pub session, we post audio from the evening and the faculty presenter’s Power Point so you can follow along with their presentation. You can access these on the individual Pub pages below.


Perceptions or Reality? Body Cameras, Police Officers and Citizens

Tuesday, March 10, 2020
Backwoods Bistro
401 E. Tennessee St.
(corner of Gadsden)

Increasingly, citizens, policymakers and activists are cognizant of the everyday behavior of police officers, because of increased negative confrontations between police officers and citizens. Consequently, the autonomous nature of police organizations is fading as police are adopting a myriad of policies to alleviate negative community policing relations.

One such policy innovation has been the introduction of body worn cameras (BWC) to hold citizens and police officers more accountable for their actions. As BWC use increases, little is known about what effect it is having on police officers and citizens.

The Blue Revolution: Marine Aquaculture and the Future of Sustainable Food Systems

Tuesday, February 11, 2020
Backwoods Bistro
401 E. Tennessee St.
(corner of Gadsden)

It is estimated that by the year 2050, Earth's population will reach more than 9 billion people, creating serious challenges for meeting global food demand while also addressing environmental sustainability concerns.

Seafood consumption has increased steadily over the past four decades, with more than 3 billion people worldwide depending on fish as a major source of protein. Some studies claim that by the end of the century, a quarter of the sustainable fish catch could be gone. The world's already overtaxed fisheries are being stressed to their limits by climate change.

Generosity in Hurricane Michael's Wake

Tuesday, January 14, 2020
Backwoods Bistro
401 E. Tennessee St.
(corner of Gadsden)

In October 2018, Hurricane Michael came ashore on the Florida Panhandle, causing widespread and devastating destruction to the area and to parts of Georgia. People were left without homes, livelihoods and resources, and some communities, such as the coastal town of Mexico Beach, were almost completely wiped out.

Following the storm, a wide range of actors mobilized to respond. Traditional organizations with specific disaster response mandates such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the State of Florida, county and city governments and the Red Cross took on critical roles, but so too did a number of nonprofits, religious congregations, schools and universities, businesses and community groups.

Beyond Redevelopment: Urban Planning for Racial Equity

Tuesday, November 19, 2019
5:30-6:30 pm
Backwoods Bistro
401 E. Tennessee St.
(corner of Gadsden)

On any given day, you can drive around Tallahassee and see new construction everywhere. Development is often an indication of a city's success and growth. But who gets left behind in this progress, and how can urban planners work toward social and economic justice for every citizen?

Continuing Policy Pub’s focus on how national, even global, issues affect each of us right here at home, the final session for fall 2019 features Assistant Professor of Urban and Regional Planning April Jackson, who will examine the limitations to mixed-income housing plans in Chicago and Seattle and explores how local actors can word towards incorporating racial equity into planning for diverse communities. She will then discuss how some of these strategies can be adapted to mixed-income housing redevelopment efforts in Tallahassee.

Ripple Effect: How sea level rise will reshape the US population landscape

Tuesday, October 15, 2019
5:30-6:30 pm
Backwoods Bistro
401 E. Tennessee St.
(corner of Gadsden)

Keeping in the weather vein (pun intended!) of our kick-off session, the Policy Pub fall series continues with Assistant Professor of Sociology Mathew Hauer's presentation on climate change – not the physical science involved but its potential impacts on society, particularly how migration induced by sea level rise could reshape the U.S. population distribution.

After the brief presentation, he will facilitate a community conversation about how this could affect Florida and Tallahassee.

In addition to potential impacts on our way of life, the human migration that results from higher water levels along our coasts will certainly have an effect on local and state government policies, so expect another engaging dialogue on that issue.

The Hots Are Getting Hotter: More Extreme Heat in Tallahassee

Tuesday, September 17, 2019
5:30-6:30 pm
Backwoods Bistro
401 E. Tennessee St.
(corner of Gadsden)

Hot enough for you? Get ready for more sweaty!

As Policy Pub returns for three new sessions in fall 2019, we kick off with an examination into rising temperatures and what Tallahassee residents can expect from future weather forecasts.

James Elsner, chair of the FSU Department of Geography and a nationally cited expert on climate change, storms, and their impact on communities, gets the fall series rolling with “The Hots Are Getting Hotter: More Extreme Heat in Tallahassee.”

Elsner will present evidence that extremely hot days and hot nights are becoming more common in Tallahassee. After his brief talk, the floor will open to all attendees for a lively conversation about the issue – in the air-conditioned comfort of one of the city’s most popular eateries!

Common Sense Economics

In the final Policy Pub for spring semester, Joe Calhoun, director of the Stavros Center for Economic Education, talks about the center's educators course and companion book, "Common Sense Economics: What Everyone Should Know About Wealth and Prosperity."

As co-author of the book, Calhoun will highlight such concepts and key points as gains from trade, innovation, competitive markets, and sound institutions. While simple on the surface, the nuances of these ideas run deep into the decisions of everyday life.

He will also address some of the controversial topics in public policy and dispel several myths about economics: Are trade wars good for the economy? Do corporations pay taxes? Does minimum wage help poor people?

Longer Lives, New Paths Forward

Tuesday, February 12, 2019
5:30-6:30 pm
Backwoods Bistro
401 E. Tennessee St.
(corner of Gadsden)

The overall rise in life expectancy has increased the proportion of our lives we spend as “older adults.” Despite the fact that a growing proportion of the population can expect to live about three decades beyond the traditional retirement age of 65, we still think about later life as a uniform period of our lives. In fact, greater longevity means later life can be as varied and changeable as our younger years, opening up new paths for our journey forward.

In this session, Assistant Professor of Sociology Dawn Carr discusses the importance of cultivating meaningful scripts for the later stages of life and how we can redesign our life course to bolster the quality of our later years. An affiliate of the Pepper Institute on Aging and Public Policy, Carr will also examine the the policy implications of this new reality.

Is Bigger Better? Benefits and Pitfalls of Regionalizing Public Services

Tuesday, January 8, 2019
5:30-6:30 p.m.
Backwoods Bistro
401 E. Tennessee St., Tallahassee
(corner of Gadsden St.)

Consolidating public services seems like a no brainer: reduce duplication of services and labor, cut costs, increase efficiency, and get better public services. But does it work in practice?

Sam Staley, Director of the DeVoe Moore Center, will look at local government services and explore when consolidation makes sense, when it doesn't, and what path local communities can take to improve services and avoid busting local budgets.

Dr. Staley teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in urban planning, regulation, and urban economics. Prior to joining Florida State, Staley was director of urban growth and land-use policy for Reason Foundation where he helped establish its urban policy program in 1997.

Unpacking the 2018 Midterm Elections: What Happened and What’s Next?

Tuesday, November 13, 2018
5:30-6:30 p.m.
Backwoods Bistro
401 E. Tennessee St., Tallahassee
(corner of Gadsden St.)

Every four years, more than 60% of the eligible voting public turns out to cast a vote for president. But control of Congress often hinges on midterm elections, in which only roughly 40% of eligible Americans vote. How can we best understand the outcomes of the November 6, 2018 midterm House and Senate races? What factors generally shape national- and race-level outcomes, and which were especially important this year? Ultimately, how does low turnout affect these elections?

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