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Great video: Social Media Revolution 2011

Hat tip to Knight Foundation Media Learning Seminar. Tomorrow’s session viewable by livestream online HERE.

Residents quiz officials at Village Square

If you missed Thursday’s “Our Town” meeting, you can watch it online HERE. From Friday’s Tallahassee Democrat, by Desiree Stennett (who also filmed the program):

“Men and women from all over Tallahassee and Leon County met at St. John’s Episcopal Church on Thursday evening with many questions but one goal — to talk to local elected officials about the day-to-day problems that affect them and their families. The Village Square held the event to give residents a chance to speak with city and county commissioners in an informal setting over pizza and soft drinks…”

Read the whole article at Tallahassee.com HERE.

Tomorrow: Alistair Cole at FSU on “Sarkozy’s Hyper-Presidency”

The Winthrop-King Institute for Contemporary French & Francophone Studies
& the College of Social Sciences & Public Policy at
Florida State University
announce a public lecture by:

Alistair Cole

Professor of Politics, Cardiff University

Sarkozy’s Hyper-Presidency: France 2007-2012

Tuesday, February 21st
5:00 – 6:00 pm

The Pepper Center’s Broad Auditorium
636 West Call St. on FSU’s Campus view

Sponsored by the
Ruth K. and Shepard Broad International Lecture Series

Download a flyer for the program HERE.

Liz Joyner: Reviving the town hall meeting

Published in the Tallahassee Democrat, February 15, 2012 - There’s nothing more quintessentially American than a town hall meeting. It’s how the business of American community has gotten done from just about the moment the first disaffected European foot hit ground in the New World.

Even if you’ve never attended one, the town meeting is buried so deep in our country’s psyche that you can probably immediately call up its intimate details – rows of folding chairs, town council up front with only a school lunch table to define their status, a charmless but functional meeting room. Someone probably saw to it that there would be coffee and cookies. Overachievers might organize a potluck. (more…)

Miss “Media Wars?” WFSU airs program tonight, and the photos are in!

Did you have to miss Media Wars Dinner at the Square? The program will air tonight on WFSU 88.9 FM at 7pm. And our thanks to Bob Howard for these great photographs of the event!

Elena Novak: The Vice President’s Visit to FSU and Other Musings


Credit to fsunews.com

Monday was a momentous day in FSU history. The university was visited by Vice President Joe Biden, who gave an impassioned speech on education and its rising costs.

He attacked the issue without a party slant, choosing instead to reach the audience through personal anecdotes and appeals to parenthood. He did, however, make light reference to “the other team,” without malice but with slight complaint.

He discussed the “domestic priority” that education holds for the Administration, despite receiving criticism for a misplaced focus. He defended making education a priority by stressing the pivotal role that good education plays in maintaining America’s security and freedom. He proudly quoted his wife, who once said, “Any nation that out-educates us will out-compete us.” (more…)

Bob Gabordi: Free pizza and get your questions answered about Our Town

Today in Bob Gabordi’s blog:

“Got questions?

“Of course you do. These days, everyone has questions or comments for their city and county commissioners. There is a lot to talk about. That’s really all this forum from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at St. John’s Episcopal Church is all about.

“No big long speeches. No campaign rhetoric. No frills. Just conversation, questions and answers. I’m the moderator; I run a tight ship. Oh, and there is free pizza. Order yours by when you RSVP at www.tothevillagesquare.org or by calling 264-8785.”

Read Bob’s whole blog post online at Tallahassee.com.

News Release: The Village Square Launches ‘Our Town’ forum series

For Immediate Release
February 13, 2012

Leadership Tallahassee and Tallahassee Democrat partner in local leadership forum

(TALLAHASSEE, FL) – February 13, 2012 – If you want to participate in civic life in Tallahassee but aren’t interested in preparing a three-minute speech for a commission meeting, what options do you have? This Thursday night, February 16, citizens will have a rare opportunity to talk over pizza with both Tallahassee City Commissioners and Leon County Commissioners.

“OUR TOWN: Local Leadership Forum” is the first in an ongoing series of unique local issues forums being launched by The Village Square, a nonprofit formed by local leaders – from both sides of the political divide – to improve the civility and factual accuracy of civic dialogue. The series is part of a grant funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Fund at the Community Foundation of North Florida to foster an informed, engaged community. (more…)

Maira Kalman: So Moved

This unique New York Times blog by Maira Kalman makes me tear up a bit every time I re-read it. America is such a Big Idea. And our country’s greatness really is fundamentally located in our communities, with our humble town hall or wherever it is we manage to make civic connections to our neighbors. We’re launching OUR TOWN this Thursday night because we believe it’s time to live up to that legacy of greatness. We hope you’ll join us for our first event on February 16th. We want you there so badly, we’re buying the pizza.

‘Next up at Village Square: Talk about “Our Town” with officials’

By Jordan Culver, Tallahassee Democrat

The Village Square is giving Tallahassee citizens a chance to interact with local officials in a less-formal setting than a commission meeting.

Next week — Feb. 16 at 5:30 p.m. — anyone with anything to say is invited to the “Our Town” forum discussion at St. John’s Episcopal Church, where they can ask questions of their city and county commissioners over pizza and drinks.

Leon County Commissioner Bryan Desloge, who will speak at the forum, said this sort of setting is rare for the politicians involved. He encouraged anyone with a question about what’s going on in the city and its surrounding areas to come out. View the article online at Tallahassee.com HERE. Get more details and RSVP for the forum HERE.

March 20 forum on health care invites participants


This spring, the Claude Pepper Library at Florida State University in conjunction with the Kettering foundation would like to extend invitations to those interested in participating in a public forum discussion on National Health Care. The forum date has been set for Tuesday, March 20th from 5pm-8pm with the room location to be announced (the forum will be held within the Pepper Center Building on Call Street). The topic for this forum will focus on National Health Care and is titled: “Coping With the Cost of Health Care: How Do We Pay for What We Need?”

Click here to download the application to participate.

Included below is a brief summary of the forum as well as the three “approaches” that will be discussed by the participants:

Nearly three out of four Americans today worry that their income will not keep up with rising prices…These worries outstrip anxieties about losing a job, terrorist attacks, crime, and losing savings in the stock market.

The questions we must address are: How can we get the health care we require, in the face of rising costs? How can we pay for what we need?

There will be three approaches to be discussed:

  • Approach #1: Reduce the Threat of Financial Ruin
    Proponents of this approach say we need to make health insurance that covers major medical expenses available to everyone.
  • Approach #2: Restrain Out-of-Control Costs
    Health-care costs are too high for too many people. This approach holds that they should be reduced directly through price controls and other means.
  • Approach #3: Provide Coverage as a Right
    Proponents of this approach say that health care coverage is something every citizen is entitled to

If you are interested in participating, please contact:

Robert Rubero (rlr02e@fsu.edu)

Burt Altman (baltman@fsu.edu)

Click here to download the application to participate.

Alexis de Tocqueville on why it’s very American to come to OUR TOWN next Thursday night

“Americans of all ages, all conditions, and all dispositions constantly form associations. They have not only commercial and manufacturing companies, in which all take part, but associations of a thousand other kinds, religious, moral, serious, futile, general or restricted, enormous or diminutive. The Americans make associations to give entertainments, to found seminaries, to build inns, to construct churches, to diffuse books, to send missionaries to the antipodes; in this manner they found hospitals, prisons, and schools. If it is proposed to inculcate some truth or to foster some feeling by the encouragement of a great example, they form a society.”

The graphic is from Maira Kalman’s superb New York Times blog “So Moved.” Whatever you do, read it now. And whatever you do, come to our first OUR TOWN forum. You bring your manners, we’ll bring the pizza! (Rarely do you get direct instruction for revolutionary France…)

Tallahassee Democrat: Media experts take questions about the state of the media

By Jordan Culver

There was some role reversal Tuesday night at The Village Square’s latest panel discussion. Media experts were put on the receiving end of some tough questions, with members of The Village Square conducting the interviews.

A panel — consisting of a newspaper editor, the man who runs who runs a Florida news aggregate website, two longtime reporters and a professor — tackled inquiries about the state of the news media, where the industry is going and how The St. Petersburg Times picked up a new name.

“Media Wars,” a dinner discussion hosted by The Village Square, concentrated on how the news industry can thrive in a more online-oriented era. CNBC Washington correspondent John Harwood served as the keynote speaker for the event. Read the whole article online at Tallahassee.com HERE.