"Why Invest in Arkansas" Panel Discussion

"Why Invest in Arkansas" Panel Discussion

"Why Invest in Arkansas" Panel Discussion

2.15.2012

"Why Invest in Arkansas" Panel Discussion

The panel discussion features Rex Nelson, former communications director for Governor Mike Huckabee; State Senator Joyce Elliott; State Representative Darrin Williams and Dr. Jay Barth, the M.E. and Ima Grace Peace Professor of Politics and Director of Civic Engagement at Hendrix College. The discussion is moderated by Dr. Sherece West, president of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation.

The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation and the Arkansas Public Policy Panel have released a new report, "Ripe for Reform: Arkansas as a Model for Social Change," which makes the case that national foundations with a mission to create social change should target the state for future investment. Dr. Jay Barth, the M.E. and Ima Grace Peace Professor of Politics and Director of Civic Engagement at Hendrix College, presents the report, which examines how the state has advanced community- and family- friendly policies in recent years through Republican and Democrat administrations including major improvements in education, expansion of children’s health care, maintaining a balanced budget and key social services thru two severe recessions, and making the state tax system more fair to low-income families. Barth argues that Arkansas’s ability to take on big policy problems is a tremendous opportunity for the state to advance and serve as a model for other states, but warns that this trend is in jeopardy now as Arkansas’s political discourse becomes more polarized. A panel discussion on the report follows Barth’s presentations.