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The best stories being published on the SNO Sites network

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Best of SNO

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Politico Society Hosts Fireside Chat with Mayor Francis Suarez

Mayor of Miami, Frances Suarez, visited the Student Union last Monday for a fireside chat where he discussed a variety of topics: his 2024 presidential campaign, climate change, affordable housing, and infrastructure in Miami-Dade County.

“It’s always important to engage in civics. [A]lso political theory. If we never engage, we will never understand the world around us,”  Politico Society President, senior Mateo Lowe, said.

Lowe moderated the fireside chat. According to Lowe, the goal of the fireside chat was for students to “gain a greater understanding of what it is to be involved in politics and public policy and administration,” along with a broader sense of empathy when discussing political issues.

Throughout the event, Suarez emphasized the importance of fostering constructive political discussions.

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“We have to be able to disagree without demonizing the other side,” Suarez said.

Students like sophomore Nabeel Ishoof enjoyed this style of event and its message, seeing the importance of being politically active as youth.

“If you’re not aware about what’s happening in the world, you’re not going to be able to change anything,” Ishoof said.

A majority of the discussion focused on what the future holds for young adults like Lowe and Ishoof who hold great interest in politics and policy. Like both Lowe and Suarez commented on, the future of America’s democracy is in the hands of the young generation.

“It’s really moments like this where I can hopefully impart some wisdom and answer some of your questions to the next generation of potential leaders,” Suarez said, adding that the new generation’s potential lack of motivation to serve in government is “one of the biggest concerns” he has.

Students in the audience asked Suarez about pressing local issues, particularly climate change. In a shoreline city like Miami, climate change is a prominent issue that is hard to brush off, something Suarez emphasizes throughout his time in public service, even if climate change is not the most prevalent issue to discuss amongst the GOP presidential candidates.

Suarez expressed that the economy and the environment do not exist in a dichotomy like many of his Republican counterparts believe them to be.

“I really thought that the party just needed to semantically talk about the issue differently,” he said, adding that in Miami, “the environment is the economy.”

This story was originally published on The Raider Voice on November 20, 2023.