Panama City (Florida) Forum about Immigration Draws a Crowd

Blog Category: 

  • Scott Clemons moderates forum
  • Missy Conner
  • Virginia York

On February 6, 2018, Virginia York, Scott Clemons, Missy Connor and Liz Trentenelli moderated a forum using the National Issues Forums Institute (NIFI) issue guide titled Coming to America: Who Should We Welcome, What Should We Do? in Panama City, Florida.

Virginia York reports about attendance at the forum:

We had 60 chairs set up and again had to get out 20 more. Staffers from offices of Senator Rubio, Senator Nelson, and Congressman Dunn were there--as well as our state representative, Jay Trumbull from Panama City. I had them reveal their identity in the closing of the forum. Each said they would report our "What do you want your Senator or Congressman to hear?" today to their bosses. One of the local television stations filmed the entire forum and had clips ready for last night's 10 o'clock news. One of the quotes was from a 14-year-old boy--he wanted his Senators and Congressman to reach across the aisle to work together. He wants them to remember they are there to represent the constituents who elected them--they are not there to represent a political party.

Feedback from he February 6th, 2018 forum and from others being held around the country will become part of the A Public Voice 2018 national project aimed at reporting about public deliberation on the issue of immigration. A preliminary report will be conveyed to elected officials and policymakers in Washington, DC on May 9th, with a more detailed report to follow later in the year. Learn more about the A Public Voice 2018 project at

You can view two television news reports about the forum: