Respond to at least two other student’s posting. Your response should be at least 50 words in length, meaningful, and substantive. Non- substantive comment might be, “yeah, that’s happened to me to!” with no elaboration.

 

Respond to at least two other student’s posting. Your
response should be at least 50 words in length, meaningful, and substantive. Non-
substantive comment might be, “yeah, that’s happened to me to!” with no elaboration.

Post 1

Dear Congressperson,

I am writing to share my concerns over the standard practices of our public education system in regards the mental health of our youth. What worries me is our school systems tendency towards reaction rather than prevention. This crisis in mental health is clear when behavioral manifestations of it creep into schools, and even more obvious when these behaviors escalate towards violence. These instances of violent escalation draw national news coverage with little to know change in our processes to prevent our children from making choices that, not only impact themselves, but other students and their families for the rest of their lives.

I propose additional funding towards counseling and special needs departments in schools across the state. This would allow for additional staffing and would benefit students with counselor availability. It is my opinion that every student on campus should have regular check-ins with a counselor across a reasonable span of time. This could be once every 4-6 weeks or less. The benefits of counseling should be obvious but what is more beneficial would be the predicted shift in culture in our schools. This shift would be summarized by combatting stigmatization of counseling by requiring it for every student on campus. Many times, students are not required to see a counselor until a negative behavior has been observed. This creates an obvious societal association between negative behaviors and counseling and puts a spotlight on individuals seeking help as it appears to others there may be, “something wrong with them.” Mandatory counseling for everyone creates an environment where it is safe for students to reach out to a qualified professional without that spotlight and hopefully prevent some of these violent behaviors from ever manifesting.

I cannot come up with a better use of funds that helps an entire student body and the families of students. The job of our public school system is to educate and prepare our students to be positive, contributing members of society. For a long time, our institutions have viewed that as a call only to prep the academic prowess of our youth. I suggest that we expand this level of thinking towards emotional preparation as well.

Regards,

Paul Foster

Post 2

Dear Florida Congressperson ,

I write to you in relation to Florida’s current conflict surrounding unaffordable housing. More specifically, I would like to address the huge increase in rent costs for tenants in recent years. For example, studies from January of this year show Orlando saw a 20% increase in rent over the last year, while Tampa saw a 44% rent increase since 2020 and Miami rent has increased by as high as 34% yearly. As of August of 2023, the median rent across the U.S sat around a record-high of $2,052 per month, according to Rent.com. As of 2023, Florida was said to have experienced the highest inflation rate in the U.S. The national average inflation rate was 4%, but in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach metro area, inflation rates reached 9%, according to figures released by the Consumer Price Index.

With nearly half a million people moving to Florida from 2021 to 2022, rental spaces have become significantly more difficult to come by, especially as new apartments and condos continue to build at unaffordable rates. In fact, Florida’s Council On Homelessness Annual Report from 2023 shows that from March of 2020, through October of 2022, rent for a one-bedroom increased by 36.1%! Florida also has the highest percentage of cost-burdened renters in the country and according to an analysis conducted by the Government Accountability Office, for every $100 monthly median rent increase there is a 9% increase in homelessness. Consequently, Florida’s unprecedented increases in rent will have a significant impact on the rate of homelessness in addition to those young adults who are looking to move out of their parental home.

While the issue of affordable housing in Florida may be remedied in several manners (i.e increased funding towards affordable homes, or placing a cap on rent like some other States do), I find there is one matter that could be easily rectified to alleviate some of the burdens placed on struggling renters. Currently, most rentals in Florida require tenants earn at least two, if not three, times the rent to even be considered as tenants. This applies to roommates as well. So if there are 3 roommates applying to live in a $1500/month apartment, each roommate would need to make $4,500/month to qualify. That is $13,500 between all 3 roommates. So to afford a rental that costs $18,000/year, 3 roommates would need to collectively be making about $162,000 per year! This is clearly an unreasonable burden to renters. One can not reasonably expect someone who is in need of affordable housing to be able to earn 3x rent just to apply for an apartment. Additionally, most rentals require application fees often ranging anywhere from $50-$150! This is often non-refundable and many times is simply an application fee to be considered and does not guarantee you will be accepted as a tenant. It is my belief that such practices are predatory and must be stopped. I urge you to implement new laws that will prevent rental companies from requiring tenants earn 2-3 the cost of rent (per tenant), along with banning the requirement to pay for rental applications with no refund if denied. By eliminating such outright predatory real estate practices, Florida can at least partially ease some of the housing stressors felt by so much of its population, and hopefully help lessen some the growing homeless population.

Respond to at least two other student’s posting. Your response should be at least 50 words in length, meaningful, and substantive. Non- substantive comment might be, “yeah, that’s happened to me to!” with no elaboration.

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