Playing With Politics

A Blog on Law, Politics, Planning, Development, and Other Vices

Archive for April, 2013

Trolley Buses Won’t Solve LA’s Transit Woes

Posted by Roobs on April 22, 2013


SF Muni Trolley Bus

When I was at UCLA for my urban planning master’s, one of my professors told us that whenever you are provided with a potential solution, you have to ask if that solution solves the problem you set out to solve.  A post by Alexander Friedman on Streetsblog LA makes a decent argument to bring back trolley buses – electric buses powered by overhead wires – to Los Angeles as a way to provide a temporary fix to LA’s transit woes.  While I have no problem with trolley buses given their great environmental benefits and long-term savings, I believe Mr. Freidman overestimates the effect trolley buses have on transit ridership and their benefits to overall transit service.

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A Case Against Using ‘Queer’ in Organizations

Posted by Roobs on April 18, 2013


For the past two years, I served as the Chair of the California Young Democrats (CYD) LGBTQ Caucus.  When I began my tenure leading the board back in 2011, the caucus was named the CYD Queer Caucus.  One of my first acts as Chair back in 2011 was to rename the caucus.  Originally, I intended the name to be changed to simply the CYD LGBT Caucus.  But surprisingly, there was a backlash among caucus members.  Not necessarily at the renaming as a goal, but the complete drop of the “Q” or Queer.  Ultimately, I compromised to include the Q in the acronym.  But I still think this is the wrong way for a political caucus or an activist group to go.  Here is why I don’t like to include the word “Queer”.

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Should PhD Students Have to Pay Tuition?

Posted by Roobs on April 9, 2013


A couple weeks ago, my roommate had a friend over for dinner.  My roommate is getting his PhD in Public Health at UCLA and so is his friend.  The evening was fine until his friend made, what I believe, was a rather bold statement.  She believes that PhD students, once they reach “candidacy”, should not be charged tuition.  She also stated that this is normal to not charge tuition.  I was taken aback by the statement and began to probe why she felt that way.  And the probe soon turned into argument.  She eventually left with no real resolution to the topic.  I then began to research the topic on my own.  Should PhD students have to pay tuition like Master’s students and undergraduates?  Is it normal practice for the PhD students to not pay tuition?  The quick answer is no.  It is neither right nor normal.  Here is why.

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Posted in Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »