Unlikely Allies

Florida's aging population starts to fight for kids' rights

At a Unitarian church in Miami, a crowd of Gray Panthers, a senior-citizens organization, is gearing up to lobby at Florida's next legislative session. Some are knitting, but they're all as ready as ever to "kick butt and take names," as one says. Yet the issues they're tackling this morning--universal preschool and youth-delinquency prevention--are hardly AARP mainstays. A woman lays down her knitting needles when a guest speaker from the Early Childhood Initiative Foundation laments that last year more than 500 kids under age 12 were arrested in Miami-Dade County. "Kids and elderly--we're both vulnerable," says Harvey Sootin, 78, a Panther...