A sold out crowd of nearly 800 attended our fourth annual Voices of Vision luncheon with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. After giving audience members a quick update on the Bush family, he jumped right into his views on making a better country for future generations. Bush spoke in-depth about education and the need for higher standards in the education system to better prepare high school graduates for college and careers. “Teaching should be a profession, not part of some collective bargaining unit,” said Bush.
To emphasize his point, Bush shared some significant statistics, including the fact that only 25 percent of students pass all four sections of the ACT, a standardized college admittance test. “If you challenge the system, you can move the needle,” said Bush. He proved it was possible during his time as the governor of Florida where literacy rates jumped and Florida went from one of the worst states for education to one of the best.
Bush also advocated for smarter immigration. “Immigrants are not a drain, they are a source of energy,” said Bush. He talked about the importance of stopping illegal immigration to create better opportunities for legal immigration. “Enforce our laws but realize immigration is a good thing for our country,” said Bush.
“As a former governor, Jeb Bush has remained an active and eloquent voice on the great issues facing our country. He has written a well-received book on immigration policy, serves on numerous charitable boards and travels the nation urging reforms to make America’s public schools the best in the world,” said Chamber President/CEO Craig Whitney.
After Bush finished his keynote, he opened the floor for questions where he fielded a tough one, “What advice would you give someone interested in running for office?” His answer was eloquent and honest, “Learn something before you run, have something to share,” said Bush. “Don’t make it a career, make it about service.”
The event marked the fourth time we have held Voices of Vision. The inaugural Voices of Vision event was held in November 2010 and featured Lt. Col. Oliver North. The 2012 event featured renowned journalist Bob Woodward. Last year’s event was headlined by former Washington Redskins quarterback and world-class entrepreneur Joe Theismann.