FAMU, FSU join to save energy

On April 18, Florida A&M University and Florida State University are hosting Focus the Nation, a town hall meeting involving local politicians, local activists and community members that will discuss the future of Florida’s energy.

“It gives me great hope for the future to see a new generation so engaged in the debate over energy and our environment,” said Senator Lisa Murkowski, Alaska, Ranking Member, Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources.

The event will begin at 2:30 p.m. at Florida State University’s HCB building in room 102. Guest speakers include local politicians: Akin Akinyemi, County Commissioner; and Allan Katz, City Commissioner and Mayor Pro-term. 

The day’s activities include a short film about the energy challenges that Florida is facing and discussions, panels and workshops on climate change and nuclear power.

“I think climate change is one of the most important issues of our times,” said Keziyah Lewis, 19, a FSU freshman psychology and environmental science student, and Florida Public Interest Research Group member from Kissimmee.

The FSU chapter of FPIRG, the FSU Student Government Association, the FAMU Green Coalition and the FAMU Environment and Sustainability Council are sponsoring Tallahassee’s Focus the Nation.  

“It’s great for our students to have a chance to collaborate with students at FSU on such a meaningful endeavor,” said LaRae Donnellan, faculty adviser for the FAMU Green Coalition.

Focus the Nation is having 103 Town Halls nationwide.

They are mostly being organized by youths.

The Town Halls will focus on international, national and local issues.  

“I hope the public becomes more aware of climate change,” said Jomar Floyd, 22, a fourth-year health care management student and FAMU Green Coalition member from Orlando.

Discussions will focus on several different topics: The new draft climate and energy bill released by Reps.

Waxman and Markey, America’s leadership at the climate treaty negotiations that will take place in December 2009, and different local issues on how Florida can conserve energy.

“What we need . . . , is for students, faculty, staff and community members to show up,” Donnellan said.

Focus the Nation first began in 2008 as the largest teach-in in U.S. history.

It educated nearly one million people on climate change at 1900 institutions.

More than 64 members of Congress and hundreds of state and city officials were involved.  

“This is an important issue, and I want everybody to be involved with it, everybody to be paying attention,” said President Barack Obama about the first Focus the Nation in 2008.

All of the day’s events will take place across from FSU’s Union, next to the Bellamy classroom building.  Signs will direct attendees towards the HCB building. 

The event is free with light refreshments, and will last until 7 p.m.

Parking will be available in the Woodward parking garage, which is located off of Woodward Avenue. 

If coming from FAMU, take a left on Gaines, then a right on Woodward.