Civics and Government Day – Lots of Issues to Tackle

Leon Fooksman
Leadership Palm Beach County
September 11, 2015

The 2016 Engage Class completed its Civic and Government Day on September 9. There were plenty of issues to discuss, debate and tackle. Which ones deserve all of our attention?


Class member Chris Callahan says, below, it all depends on whatever you are passionate about.



What was the most important issue/debate discussed during the Session Day? What is the best way to solve or address the issue?


Palm Beach County is an incredibly diverse area totaling 2,500 sq/mi with a large amount of agricultural lands as well as oceanfront municipalities. This presents a unique set of challenges ranging from environmental (climate change, hurricane, sea level threats) to political (legacy of corrupted culture) to population density (transportation & logistics) and demography (income disparity). The fact that we have such a broad range of complicated challenges is probably the most important issue we face as a group.


One of the most effective ways to address these challenges is to raise awareness of the issues through civic engagement and encourage a collaborative ethical environment with transparency and communication. As citizens of Palm Beach County, it’s essential that we actively participate in the various discussions regarding this diverse set of problems, and interact with our leaders who work strategically to monitor, engage and support society while planning and building infrastructure for future growth.


What was the 2nd most important issue/debate discussed during the Session Day? What is the best way to solve or address the issue?


Because Palm Beach County is so large (3rd largest county east of the Mississippi) and diverse and the numerous problems are nuanced in nature, I think whichever issue you’re most passionate about is the second most important.


Growth management, transportation logistics, infrastructure planning & development and population growth are all very important issues that require strategy, policy and procedure. Issues such as increased traffic and land development / preservation are bound to have an impact on our daily lives in the near future.


It is critical that we take care of our current and incoming residents with affordable housing. Palm Beach County is faced with an affordable housing crisis with a dire lack of existing units or projects in the pipeline. The current situation could be exacerbated or ameliorated by All Aboard Florida.


What can the broader leadership community do to solve/address these issues. Discuss calls for action.


Be aware of the issues and engage the decision makers in discussion. Attend meetings, take pride in civic duty, opine openly and provide your unique insight to peers, partners and officials.