Friends and neighbors of the Treasure Coast and North Palm Beach communities — I want to remind you that as we cast our ballots over the next several days to elect (or re-elect) candidates to public office, we have an opportunity, a responsibility, to select the right people. Those who will represent us, our communities and our ideals well. Those who will work hard to bring positive change to our region.
For more than two and a half years now, Citizens Against Rail Expansion in Florida (better known as CARE FL) has served as a strong, consistent voice against rail expansion for like-minded citizens in the Treasure Coast and North Palm Beach County regions who oppose the proposed All Aboard Florida project.
What we have learned during that time, through strong community support, is that many of you share our same concerns. The negative impact AAF will have on our region is vast — on public safety, the environment, maritime traffic and commerce, decreased property values and more. This project threatens to destroy our quality of life.
We need county commissioners, state representatives and senators, congressmen and U.S. senators who will stand strong with us in the fight against AAF. Several have already proven their commitment. Others who will take public office for the first time after this election will have the opportunity, through hard work and persistence, to take action and fulfill their campaign promises.
To those who win on Election Day — seize this opportunity. Continue to stand by your principles and those of the people who entrusted you with the future of their families and communities, even when the fight gets hard. Though we have applauded many of you for your positions, we will continue to watch your actions.
It is my hope that as newly elected officials take office, we will have more names to add to the list of CARE FL champions — those who through their actions in public office demonstrate a commitment to fighting the ill-conceived AAF project to protect the safety and way of life for families living in the affected regions.
I want to take this opportunity to remind everyone that CARE FL will be hosting two public town hall meetings after the election — Tuesday, Nov. 15, at the Lyric Theatre in Stuart and Wednesday, Nov. 16, at the Jupiter Community Center, both 7-9 p.m.
We hope our friends, neighbors and business leaders, as well as our freshly elected officials, will join us to receive an update on our efforts to stop the misguided AAF project, hear others concerns and share theirs as well. We will also be receiving an important briefing on the recent legal victory against AAF in federal court and an update on the status of the case from attorney Steve Ryan.
CARE FL, thanks to our many supporters, is the strongest we have ever been. Our voices are being heard and we are making significant progress in the fight to stop AAF.
We must stay the course to protect our families and way of life. Let’s make our voices heard on Election Day by voting for the candidates who have taken a stand with us against this boondoggle. Together, we will accomplish great things for our communities.
Brent Hanlon is chairman of CARE FL, a coalition of concerned citizens in the Treasure Coast and North Palm Beach regions dedicated to protecting the safety, welfare and way of life of those living in the region.