Dear Friends —
Recently I let you know that I was starting the “Nelson Initiative on Ethics and Leadership” at the University of Florida in order for me to give back to the next generation some of the things I have learned over four decades of public service.
We just had our first of several public forums, the first being with my former colleague Senator Marco Rubio, to discuss how did he, a Republican and I, a Democrat, get along in the midst of this toxic political atmosphere. It was moderated by the Dean Emeritus of the Law School, Jon Mills.
“When it came to Florida, we got things done because we worked together,” I said in the discussion.
For almost a decade we worked together trying to help our constituents. We traveled together in bad times after hurricanes, confronted run-down public housing in joint appearances, continued Everglades restoration, collaborated on intelligence to protect our country and coordinated our work to appoint and confirm federal judges and military academy appointments.
Out of this shared bipartisan experience, despite our substantive differences on the issues, we were able to work together. Mutual respect was accorded to each other. As a result, neither one of us took cheap shots at the other.
I wanted the present generation to see that in today’s political gridlock that bipartisanship can and does exist to get things done.
Bill NelsonP.S.: You can read more about the first public forum of the “Nelson Initiative on Ethics and Leadership” in the Gainesville Sun and Florida Politics. Read Full Article