What Do You Think?
About the AuthorRich Robinson is the CEO and publisher of Rise News. He is also a journalist and a native of Miami. Robinson graduated from the University of Alabama and can be followed on Twitter @RichRobMiami.
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South Florida is known for many things. Beautiful weather, multiculturalism, hot nightlife and soul crushing public transportation that literally makes you want to die. (You don’t see that last part in the Chamber of Commerce brochures.)
One group of high achieving young people are trying to revolutionize the way South Florida gets around by bringing a radical form of public transportation here.
Two brothers—Darius and Demetrius Villa—and their friend, Aleksandr Khalfin, founded the High Speed Rail America Club (HSRAC) at Florida International University last year and they have found some success in spreading their message.
The club researches and promotes high-speed rail trains, also known as bullet trains, in America. Bullet trains, which average more than 150 mph, don’t exist in our country, and it’s a fuel-efficient and quicker way to travel, Demetrius told RISE NEWS in an interview last year.
They say that they are the leading high-speed advocacy group for millennials.
The group believes that Miami should build up an ambitious system of Maglev transportation that would eventually connect the Magic City to Miami Beach and FIU.
With a healthy amount of grassroots support now at their back, the HSRAC wants to get some political muscle on their side.
They plan to do this by presenting a Miami Maglev Forum on April 7th from 10 AM-12 PM on the FIU campus. And they hope that local political leaders will show up to learn about the proposed idea and to interact with young transportation activists.
They tried and failed at this once before.
“Last September, the group partnered with American Maglev Technology, the FIU Honors College, and All Aboard Florida to host the first Miami Maglev forum,” a press release from the HSRAC read. “While the forum itself had students and FIU community leaders in attendance, a grand total of zero representatives came from the leadership of Miami, Miami-Dade, and Miami Beach. Students were highly upset of the lack of leadership from their elected officials, and grew further disenchanted with the infrastructural direction of the community.”
The release goes on to say that transportation directors, commissioners, and mayors of all three municipalities (Miami-Dade County, City of Miami, Miami Beach) were emailed, and no responses were received from them.
“To make amends to both the citizens and their elected officials, we are hosting a 2nd Maglev Forum to be able to discuss ideas, the direction of the community, and towards finding a solution that the populace agrees with,” the release reads.
If you want to learn more about the group or the event, you can follow them on Facebook.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. Anyone can write for us as long as you are fiercely interested in making the world a better place.
Cover Photo Credit: Thomas Lok/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)Post Views: 450
What Do You Think?
I have never been one to follow the crowd.
But as a writer, I feel I should discuss how I feel about this election for the sake of my personal journalistic ethics.
Politics have never been something I have cared for.
We rarely discussed them in my house, because we agreed on everything.
I was taught to never ask someone who they voted for, as it was none of my business. I still live by that rule.
Previously, I have voted in two local elections, but those did not compare to the tremendous amount of pride I felt when I walked into my polling place in rural Providence, Alabama.
The right to vote is something we are truly privileged to have as Americans.
As a woman walking into the polling place, I felt extremely privileged and humbled as my right to vote is something still relatively new in our country’s history.
At first, this election felt like one big joke, where we all waited for someone to jump out and yell “GOTCHA.” But as time went by, it became evident we were not being fooled.
The two major political parties nominated Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton to compete for the highest job in the country – President.
My home state of Alabama has always been and will always be a red state. But my particular area, The Black Belt, has always been blue.
The term is said to have a double meaning; the most popular coming from the type of soil found in the area.
Additionally, the area was heavily populated with African-American slaves and sharecroppers.
Some of the most important moments from the Civil Rights Movement happened in the area such as the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Bloody Sunday, and The Voting Rights Act of 1965.
I do not conform to the idea of a two party system because there are elements of both that I can get on board with.
I am also extremely neutral in almost every opinion I form because I can always see both perspectives.
I do not like Donald Trump.
That being said, I do not like Donald Trump. Of all the qualified candidates the GOP could muster up, they chose him?
A reality TV star, an actor, and a sketchy businessman? Trump successfully mastered the art of a bad deal.
From unreleased tax returns to failed business ventures (i.e. Trump University, Trump Steaks, Trump Airlines etc.) he has proved he cannot be trusted with responsibility. How can a man who is offended by a Saturday Night Live skit, have the strength it takes to defeat one of the world’s biggest and dangerous terrorist organizations?
He also finds joy in making fun of those who are not affluent white men.
From disabled reporters, to immigrants, and women who do not conform to his standards, he is insensitive and just plain rude.
I also do not care much for Hillary Clinton.
While I adore the fact she is a woman who ran for office with all the odds against her, I am uncomfortable with her role in foreign affairs.
I do not doubt her knowledge (as she knows more than I), but it is what she does with that knowledge that scares me.
Foreign policy is not why the Black Belt is blue, though.
Simply put, the area depends on the democratic view of Clinton’s social policy, which helps the majority of the area’s population.
Democratic views on public housing, education, healthcare, and other social aspects are the main reason why Alabama’s poorest counties are blue.
The presidential election of 2016 will be something that we one day will look back on and laugh.
But for now, we need to keep a close eye on our country and our friends.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.
Cover Photo Credit: Kinsey HaynesPost Views: 284
What Do You Think?