The project, led by student fellows at the institute, features one-on-one interviews with 10 members of the Florida Senate and 21 members of the Florida House of Representatives. The series aims to give young leaders a chance to hear from lawmakers in both political parties about their experiences, the value of civic engagement and the need for civil discourse.
Florida State University President Richard McCullough hailed project workers and state legislators for the education and inspiration they’re providing.
“On behalf of Florida State University, I thank these esteemed legislators for participating in the Institute of Politics’ Why We Serve initiative,” McCullough said. “As experienced elected officials, they have a deep understanding of policymaking in Florida. We hope these interviews inspire our students and educate them about the power of careers in public service.”
Most of the interviews were filmed in person during the 2022 Legislative Session, with others recorded on Zoom last year. All state legislators were invited to participate. Those who participated were:
- Sen. Loranne Ausley (D-Tallahassee)
- Sen. Dennis Baxley (R-Lady Lake)
- Sen. Lori Berman (D-Boynton Beach)
- Sen. Jim Boyd (R-Bradenton)
- Sen. Jason Brodeur (R-Lake Mary)
- Sen. Ed Hooper (R-Palm Harbor)
- Sen. Shevrin Jones (D-Miami Gardens)
- Sen. Tina Polsky (D-Boca Raton)
- Sen. Bobby Powell (D-West Palm Beach)
- Sen. Victor Torres (D-Kissimmee)
Florida House of Representatives
- Speaker Chris Sprowls (R-Palm Harbor)
- Rep. Robin Bartleman (D-Weston)
- Rep. Mike Caruso (R-Delray Beach)
- Rep. Dan Daley (D-Sunrise)
- Rep. Anna Eskamani (D-Orlando)
- Rep. Juan Alfonso Fernandez-Barquin (R-Miami)
- Rep. Randy Fine (R-Palm Bay)
- Rep. Sam Garrison (R-Fleming Island)
- Rep. Fred Hawkins (R-St. Cloud)
- Rep. Christine Hunschofsky (D-Parkland)
- Rep. Chris Latvala (R-Tampa)
- Rep. Amber Mariano (R-Hudson)
- Rep. Travaris L. “Tray” McCurdy (D-Orlando)
- Rep. Scott Plakon (R-Longwood)
- Rep. Michelle Salzman (R-Pensacola)
- Rep. Tyler Sirois (R-Merritt Island)
- Rep. Emily Slosberg (D-Delray Beach)
- Rep. David Smith (R-Winter Springs)
- Rep. John Snyder (R-Hobe Sound)
- Rep. Keith Truenow (R-Tavares)
- Rep. Clay Yarborough (R-Jacksonville)
College of Social Sciences and Public Policy Dean Tim Chapin said he appreciated the bipartisan nature of the legislators’ messages.
“We are honored that these lawmakers have shared their perspectives and advice with the Institute of Politics Fellows,” Chapin said. “Through this video series, Floridians can learn how lawmakers are working together to grow the state’s economy, protect the natural environment, and support the livelihoods of all residents.”
IOP@FSU Director Hans Hassell expressed his gratitude for the lawmakers’ time.
“Public service provides important opportunities to inspire others to work for a better future,” Hassell said. “The Institute of Politics at Florida State University is grateful that the legislators took the time out of their busy schedules to share their experiences and invaluable insights with our IOP Fellows, many of whom may one day follow in their footsteps.”
To access all the interviews in the IOP@FSU’s Why We Serve video series, please click here.
About The Institute of Politics at Florida State University
The Institute of Politics at Florida State University (IOP@FSU) is a world-class, nonpartisan, and nationally renowned institute that promotes engagement in politics by students and citizens. Housed within the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy, the IOP@FSU supports applied political research by a cadre of world-class scholars and will mobilize the talents of our alumni, students, faculty, and friends while taking advantage of our location in Florida’s Capital City. The IOP@FSU offers wide-ranging opportunities for FSU students to become civically engaged; promotes research in politics, citizen involvement, and public service; and promotes the awareness of politics, citizen involvement and public service in the general public. For additional information, please go to www.IOPFSU.com.