What We Are Reading

Philanthropy + Venture Capital = A Much Needed Investment Model


In his article, “Saving the World, Start-up Style,” Adam Davidson, co-founder of NPR’s “Planet Money,” proposes that a combination of philanthropy and the venture-capital philosophy of embracing risk, could have significant impact on the poor. This new method of investing could be a welcomed relief for the more than 950,000 or 24% of Florida children living in poverty. Read More

Imbalance in the Federal expenditure between elderly and children


Government spending on the elderly continues to grow at the federal level, what impact might this have on state policy decisions. Read More

Your Kids + My Kids = Our Kids.


Author, public policy professional and educator, Robert Putnam states that the US is experiencing a violation of the core idea of American society where “how you do in life should depend upon your needy skills, talent and your hard work but it shouldn’t depend on what your parents did or did not.” Learn Why

We’re Making Life Too Hard for Millennials


Steven Rattner, a Wall Street executive and opinion writer, notes that Millennials finances are strapped. The most educated generation in history is on track to becoming less prosperous than their parents and grandparents.
Read the Article

How America is Failing its Youth

florida times

A new report by Opportunity Nation, Zeroing In on Place and Race, states that the economic toll of disconnected youth reveals an astonishingly high cost to America’s taxpayers of $26.8 billion in 2013 alone. Approximately one fifth of youth in Florida are neither working nor in school.
Read the Article

No Way Up

florida times

The idea that growing inequality will hurt upward mobility might seem self-evident. Likening the problem to “climate change” Putnam says we can’t wait for perfect clarity but must act now to save the American Dream. Photo credit © Simon & Schuster
Read the Article


…Some Fed Watchers are not sure sure that adds up. Read the Article

Tampa Bay Times Op-Ed Florida Adds Jobs, but Below the Surface Worker Data Bleak

It seems that economic “good news” abounds in Florida these days. Unemployment fell to 5.6 percent in December, the state’s lowest rate since 2008. According to ADP’s latest monthly report, Florida remains the third-best job creator in the nation. The governor’s office reports more than 728,000 private-sector jobs have been created since 2010.

Things do appear to be looking up, but are we seeing the entire economic picture? Read the Article

Florida Job Growth Skewed Towards Lower End of Wage Scale

A recent study from the Economic Policy Institute shows the State of Florida ranking fourth worst in income equality. The top 1 percent of Florida wage earners made an average of $1.49 million in 2012, while the bottom 99 percent earned an average family income of $34,387. Read the Article




Research and Reports

DBWC-October 2015

Learn research-based findings of what girls in Florida’s Juvenile Justice system say about their pathways in the system. Read the Report

kids share

Based on the Kids Share report 2014 federal spending on children increased slightly in aggregate real dollars between 2012 and 2013, that spending lagged behind the expanding economy, leaving children with a smaller share. Without changes to current law, federal spending on children is expected to continue declining. Children’s programs will receive a very small portion of the growth— just 2 cents of every dollar of the projected increase. Learn more. Read the Report

florida times

Support for the mission and work of the Dolores Barr Weaver Policy Center was made even more important by the release of the Gender Injustice Report. Research from the report indicates that even as systems are initiating reforms and changing their approach, they are routinely failing to modify those reforms for girls or even to collect data on how girls are affected by the problems they are seeking to remedy. Read the Report

Children Living in Poverty: Decreases in Brain Development Increases the Achievement GAP

florida times

New research reflects influence of poverty on structural brain development in children—what can be done and why. Read the Report

Zeroing In on Place and Race

florida times

There are 5,527,000 disconnected youth in America today or one in seven young adults—about as many people as live in Minnesota. The national disconnected youth population is larger than the populations of thirty US states. Read the Report

Property Taxes: A true indicator of economic growth


In a newly released paper, The Relationship Between Taxes & Growth at the State Level: New Evidence, William G. Gale, Aaron Krupkin & Kim Reuben make the case that property tax revenues are more highly correlated with economic growth than traditional state-level taxes… Read the Paper

Education: When it Counts the Most, Florida Does the Least

florida times

For the past decade, education experts have been warning Floridians of the shortcomings of its early learning policies and its effects on Florida’s brightest young minds. In fact, a recent study from the University of Florida commissioned by the Office of Early Learning, proclaims that Florida’s early learning education does not prepare children for success in school. Read the Report



At Voices for Florida, we believe that every person really can make a difference, and that every difference made really does matter. It all starts with what you know. Voices for Florida empowers our members with knowledge – well-researched, evidence-based best practices and data on quality-of-life issues that are critical to us and our children’s future.



Sharing is the universal language of human interaction, which brain scientists call the essential ingredient for strengthening social ties and enhancing quality of life. At Voices for Florida, our members gain a sense of unity and common purpose by connecting and sharing high-impact knowledge.



Collaboration is not a spectator sport. Activities that bring people together to engage in collective problem-solving or raise awareness create powerful connections that can last a lifetime and literally change the world. Voices for Florida offers members diverse ways to get engaged and contribute to help build a better future for us all.



Rooted in the Old English word for “bold,” the act of building is inspired and driven by the courage and confidence that the effort will have impact. Simply put, when Voices for Florida members know, share and engage, they collectively drive better outcomes to build strong communities and successful families, creating a better future for our children.

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