Publish Date: 
Friday, June 1, 2018 - 9:30am



Well, this just couldn’t wait.  We had a major victory in our efforts to Stop The Trains! this week with the release of the attached letter to Transportation Secretary Choa.  We could not have asked for a better outcome from our work in Washington and the subcommittee hearing last month.  In case you haven’t seen it, here’s the letter sent to the Secretary from Congressman Meadows and signed by Congressmen Mast, Posey, DeSantis and Gaetz.

Naturally, there are those who, not being impacted as we would be, are behind the project 100% because it will help their districts and their election hopes.  They sent their own letter of support to the Secretary glorifying the project and the use of Private Activity Bonds in this illegal manner.  We will see how this plays out further as Congressman Meadows asked for a response from the Secretary by June 15.

Here is an article about both letters:

While the praise goes to these congressmen, particularly Congressman Mast who initiated the hearing with Congressman Meadows, we also owe a debt of gratitude to CARE FL and their DC team.  Here is their earlier update on the hearing and other efforts:

We also are indebted to our state representatives including Senator Mayfield, Representative Grall and Representative Magar for their continual work keeping the spotlight on this dangerous project and pushing regulatory legislation.  Senator Mayfield recently sent a letter to Governor Scott asking him to stop the Florida Development Finance Corporation (the quasi-governmental agency that serves as a conduit for PAB funds) from accepting Brightline PAB funds.

We also thank them for their push for a rail safety study in the new state budget.  $250,000 was approved to fund the study and review of existing and future passenger rail, rail regulation and safety.  OPPAGA (the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability) will manage the study which is required to be completed by Nov. 1, 2018.

We are working with Senator Mayfield’s staff to follow the work of OPPAGA on the study and will keep you posted on its progress.  We particularly want the FECR freight rail accident statistics included in the review as Brightline passenger trains will share the same tracks with one of the country’s most dangerous railroads.

Lastly, someone sent me the following quote last evening when they read the Meadows letter.  Although, our war in no way compares to the one referenced here, after four years of diligent fighting against a well-funded Goliath, I enjoyed it…

“We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender…”

Susan Mehiel