For story #4, I will be using the video titled ‘Virginia Governor Makes Election Day A Holiday, Ends Voter ID Law’ which was posted on April 13, 2020 by Bailey Vogt, just a day after the press conference where he announced the new bills. I will be writing a service journalism story diving a little bit deeper into the events leading up to this new legislation.
Virginia Governor signs bills making voting easier and more accessible.
Gov. Ralph Northam has passed legislations in the state… Part of which were smart political moves, part was purely a response to a growing epidemic. These bills made voting easier, deemed Election Day as a state holiday, removed an official holiday celebrating confederate slave owners General Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, and also became the 27th state to decriminalize marijuana. Newsy.com has published a video covering the main talking point of these bills. I want to explain a little bit more about what happened and the events leading up to these new legislations. There is much that goes on behind closed doors in politics as we all know… and information is not always as public as we think it is… But the move Gov. Ralph Northam has taken with Virginia… will be one for the history books. So, let’s dig a little deeper into the timeline of events.
A lot of people have a hard time finding one site where everything from politics to animal news is posted daily. Newsy.com is a website that is user friendly, up to date, and has many different viewpoint for all readers. The first thing that I noticed once I entered the website was how user friendly it was. I mean, the trends are on the front page. As of right now, COVID-19 (coronavirus) is dominating the main page. Literally the entire main page is all the coronavirus and the effects on the world. And I think this is a good media tactic. The news that America is wanting right now is answers to what is going to happen next. Newsy’s postings answered a lot of questions I had about moving forward with all of the restrictions. But, if COVID-19 isn’t on your mind, the top heading holds links to all types of news. They have documentaries, movies, short clips, and best of all- investigations! That’s right, I’m a sucker for the bad guy being caught! All in all, Newsy is an amazing user friendly, trendy platform that gives out a ton of information, you just have to look.
For my photo story, I would like to capture a day in the life of a medium business owner. David Schonacher Jr. (yes, my father) started his engineering firm in 2005 with nothing but a computer, a printer and a load of knowledge ready to be put into the world. I hope to capture his daily routine-although it changes a lot- in which he gets up, gets ready, heads to work and has about 100 things to do that day. It is not easy being the president of a medium engineering firm, especially with a reputation as large as his. There is meetings, client contact, drafting, getting his staff on track, stock research, real-estate investments, dinner dates, and much more that goes into running a business. While I know I will not be able to capture his busiest day, I hope to shed some light on exactly what owners of a medium business go through day to day.
My service-learning story will be focused on Florida’s medical marijuana laws and the news on what is to come regarding recreational marijuana. I will focus my story on the timeline medical marijuana has gone through in the state and the elections and voting’s citizens and council members have taken place in. Toward the end, I hope to give an insight on what is to come on Florida’s recreational laws. I found an article on the Tampa Bay Times website published on January 1st of this year (see link below) in which I will use as a guideline for my research. It briefly goes over how medical marijuana has come into place and what laws have backed it. Following 2019, which a list of elections and laws were passed that made it legal for medical marijuana to be obtained under specific circumstances, 2020 shall be a record year for a potential list of bills that will reform the medical and recreational marijuana industry. Alongside this article, outside research is necessary and will be thorough in order to give a detailed and insightful piece that will shed knowledge on those looking for answers. I plan to use other articles I find online to piece together this timeline, what is to come for regarding recreational marijuana, and the laws on how to obtain a medical card.
For the second story assignment I will be doing an informational story on Florida’s medical marijuana regulations/laws. Medical marijuana is growing- and not just in the medical field. It is projected that this industry will raise over a million dollars in revenue for companies and the government. It is important that citizens become educated on this subject so that we can make an informed vote when the federal election happens again. We must look at the facts- how it will benefit the economy, how it will help patients, what will this turn into if it becomes legalized… To make an informed vote, we need to look at both sides- the good and the bad. In this paper, I will try and look at both benefits and ways it could go wrong.
Florida has not yet given solid information on how medical marijuana can be grown, dispensed, and used. In this story, I plan to dig out the facts on what Florida is already allowing the industry in our state and to show the timelines of what has already been passed. In relevance to students here at HCC, I cannot be sure of who is in possession of such license. But what I can make an assumption on is that everybody suffers from circumstantial depression or anxiety. But what about those who suffer from these constantly? It is not only for mental issues. Cancer patients, war veterans, people with serious pain management issues, and many others are applicable for the use of medical marijuana. In order to get all the facts from a human source, I plan on getting in contact with a doctor and dispensary owner in Florida to talk about the process they have to go through to obtain licenses and how they have seen patients benefit from this. I would also like to talk to someone who could be in need of a license. My grandmother suffers from all kinds of pain related illnesses. For her, I believe if she was able to possess a license, her pain from day to day would be decreased tremendously.
To be able to make a detailed an informative article on this subject I need to ask myself a lot of questions and do the research on the computer and with my human sources to find out the answers. My goal is to answer questions on how it can be dispensed in Florida (legally), how it can be grown, what process an individual must take to obtain a license and how it has/will benefit the economy and people within it. To do this, I will ask the human sources at least three questions- How do you feel medical marijuana has benefited patients and the economy? How much do you know about Florida’s medical marijuana law? – explain. What do you see medical marijuana being in the future? A medical marvel? A hinder of rights? An economic boom?
My goal is to try and inform my audience on two subjects: what are the regulations/laws about medical marijuana in Florida and how to it will benefit or harm the economy and patients within the industry.
Preparing for this interview was not a difficult task. In high school, I was on the yearbook staff for all four years. So conducting an interview is second nature to me. Working at the same company enabled me to simply walk down the stairs and ask Joel if it would be okay if I used him for this interview. I told him that I had always admired his story- his determination, loyalty, and drive to create a better life for him and his family. He was pleased to be able to be part of my education as he enjoyed his own so much. The only challenges I ran into while interviewing Joel was the language barrier. He is fluent in Spanish and English but does struggle with the complications of English “fluff” words. He can sometimes be too straight to the point and not elaborate on one answer. This was not too much of a problem for me because I have gotten to know Joel pretty well over the past year of my employment. I was able to go back and add the fluff. If I had any further questions, I just went back downstairs and asked a follow up question or sent him a message on our company chat.
I enjoyed interviewing Joel and getting to know him a little better than I already did. His story is inspiring. I did not go detail of Joel’s home life, but as any human, he does struggle with issues from day to day. His entire family is still in Puerto Rico. There have been many earthquakes over the past few weeks. The stress of knowing his family could be in danger is a lot- as it would be for anyone! But he continues to show up for work every day and works hard to be the best architect he can possibly be.
The story I am about to share is one that nobody would hear unless they knew this person. It is a shame that only the people with millions of dollars get recognized in todays society. But Joel Gonzalez, architect and project at The Avanti Group, Inc. in Tampa, Florida, has a story that everyone needs to hear.
Where were you born?
How was life growing up?
What jobs did you have as a teenager / young adult?
What / who inspired you to become an architect?
How was the schooling in P.R.? Any difficulties or easy parts?
When and why did you come to the U.S.?
How was the schooling you went through in PR beneficial or non-beneficial to how you made your life here in the U.S.?
Was your education respected here in the U.S.? (considering the legal and moral relationship between P.R. and the U.S.)
What was the hard and easy parts about coming here?
Joel Gonzalez- Architect and project manager at The Avanti Group, Inc (engineering firm).
I work with Joel everyday and I feel it is a shame that I have not gotten to know him better. The questions I would like to ask Joel are about his childhood growing up, what made his the man he is today, what inspired him to become an architect. I want to ask him about his schooling- where he went, what was the hard/easy parts about it, was his degree respected coming to the U.S.? I also would like to know about Joel’s aspirations- why he came to the U.S., what was his drive or motivation for coming? I am always thoroughly impressed with Joel’s work in the office- his attention to detail, timeliness, and respect for other workers or clients. Joel is a good man with a hard work ethic and I think the world would be just as impressed as myself and The Avanti Group is with him.
I am made up of many things. Some of which I am not too proud of, others I would put on a billboard if I could. I come from a pretty traditional background. My parents got married at a very young age (18) and had my older brother within the same year. I was soon to follow a day short of four years later. My life was pretty vanilla- school, cheerleading, church and family time. But that all changed when my parents divorced 15 years into their marriage. Divorce affects every family differently. Luckily for me, it was the best thing that could have happened to me, but also the worst. As a child, it felt amazing! Two birthdays, two Christmas’s, two of every holiday. What could be better? But as I grew up the realization of what divorce actually does to a family- mostly the children involved- started to set in. The grief of my entire family not being under one roof for those holidays became harder every year. As the years went on, my mentality grew, it developed into something I am proud to call me. I became family orientated, loyal, and most importantly- sensitive to every walk of life. Throughout this blog, I hope to learn and share the content I gather about people, discuss travel experiences, life changing moments and much more relating to the walk we call life.