This week we're going through the many levels of civic engagement that you can find in Florida. Carson Cooper introduces us to the up-and-coming political &new-wave," and describes how the use of high-tech social networking is becoming the norm. Irene Mayer talks with members of a Pasco County group, Protectors of Florida’s Legacy, that succeeded in turning down a Class 1 Landfill proposal in Dade City. The group argued that the project would have potentially damaged the natural resources in the area, and created an eyesore for the community. Irene also sits down with a community organizer from the NAACP, and a local activist from Florida Voices for Animals, to see how they use different approaches to achieve their goals. Larry Elliston introduces us to Stefani Busansky. Inspired by her daughter's 2001 diagnosis of cerebral palsy, Busansky turned her dream of a playground where kids of all abilities could play together into a reality. Also: At every level, our democracy is built on the input of citizens in the governing process. Civic Engagement can mean being part of that process, like speaking out about issues that affect you. This week, we'll look at how people become engaged citizens and the role the media plays in encouraging or informing that involvement.
This week on Florida Stories, meet a former Peace Corps volunteer who's committed to eliminating barriers for children with disabilities. Producer Larry Elliston talked with Tampa resident Stefani Busansky about how she and other volunteers started a project more than seven years ago that allows children with disabilities to use area playgrounds. Through private donations, grants, and personal contributions, the group has already transformed two Tampa play areas and has more projects in the works.