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James Madison Institute celebrates inaugural policy retreat

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

One of the state’s largest liberty movements gathered this weekend to discuss a broad range of policy ideas at the first annual James Madison Institute Retreat.

More than 150 JMI members from Florida and throughout the nation joined panels of experts at Disney’s BoardWalk Inn on Thursday, Friday and Saturday to network, share ideas and hear from top policy experts.

Headlining the event was Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, who shared stories and – as well as calls to action — from his latest book, “The Conservative Heart: How to Build a Fairer, Happier, and More Prosperous America.”

A series of session dialogues, breakout gatherings and Ted-type talks followed special guests such as former Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford; U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, who is a candidate for U.S. Senate; Democratic state Rep. Katie Edwards of Plantation; David Lawrence, president of The Children’s Movement; Network of Enlightened Women Founder Karin Agness; Julio Fuentes, president of Hispanic CREO; Philanthropy Roundtable President Adam Meyerson; and Jesse Panuccio, executive director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

Also on the agenda were meetings with several of JMI’s board of directors, regional boards of advisers and research advisory council members.

Promoted as one of the largest liberty movement events in the state, the JMI Annual Retreat joined concerned citizens with experienced leaders to address challenges and share solutions for some of the most pressing issues facing Florida: health care, education choice, adult and juvenile justice, innovation vs. regulation and property rights – each with the goal of providing economic opportunities for all Floridians.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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