Florida TaxWatch hosted the Governmental Research Association’s 106th Conference and Annual Meeting in St. Petersburg, FL, from July 21 – 24, 2019. Sessions took place in downtown St. Petersburg, FL at the beautiful Museum of Fine Arts. 

Robert Kinlaw/EducationNC

New to the conference this year were two separate tracks: policy sessions and skills sessions. Organizations brought their entire team from policy researchers to communications officers to executive directors. As we closed the conference, attendees requested online continued training in the following sessions: social media boosting and surveying , framing grants for policy research, and hacking maps for people on a budget or a deadline.

Robert Kinlaw/EducationNC

Thomas Ross, president of The Volcker Alliance, was the keynote speaker hitting on the hot topic of state government budgets. GRA President Mebane Rash moderated a Q&A with Ross that touched on the necessity of preserving our democracy. 

Robert Kinlaw/EducationNC

Attendees heard from special guests Jeff Chapman of Pew Charitable TrustsJen Zuckerman of the World Food Policy CenterBill Nichols of Freedman Consulting, Bert Brandenburg of Ward Circle Solutions, Dr. Ellen Prager of Earth2Ocean, Lisa R. Margulies of the Crime and Justice Institute, Catherine Stempien of Duke Energy Florida, John J. Reed of the Board for Concentric Energy Advisors, David Casey of MAXIMUS, and Marsha Simon of MJ Simon & Company.

There was more than just policy and skills trainings, there was also a whole lot of wonky fun at Tropicana Field and the Dali Museum. For more, read the below wrap up article on the entire conference as well as an analysis on this year’s keynote. If we missed you, we can’t wait to see you next year. Get ready for 2020!

Policy spotlights, skills trainings, and more: GRA and Florida TaxWatch host 106th annual conference

2019 GRA Gruenberg and other award winners

Presentations from the 2019 GRA conference:

Electric restructuring and what we have learned in the past 20 years

Framing grants for policy research

How policy organizations can leverage the new media landscape

The national landscape of criminal justice reform

The politics and economics of local & state minimum wage increases

Hacking maps for people on a budget or a deadline

Medicaid expansion and the laboratories of democracy

People centered policy

Social media boosting and surveying 

GASB Update

This year’s award presentations:

BGR’s contributions to improving a school property tax proposition

Charting a course to cooperation for greater Birmingham

Democratizing policy research through voter education

Refining Tennessee’s criminal statutes of limitations

The lost penny

Quality of life in Utah