Opinion

EDITORIAL: Does Miami Deserve the FTAA?

Even after all that has happened, we will have to wait to find out where the FTAA headquarters will be. Miami wants the FTAA secretariat, the headquarters site for the 34-nation trade agreement. Big business and power for Miami? Sure, for America too, to have a potential seat of power in a state that in 2000 already showed itself to be influential.

Governor Jeb Bush, Miami-Dade mayor Alex Penelas, The Miami Herald, and most U.S. trade officials are struggling to win the prize for Miami. Apparently, Atlanta, Trinidad and Tobago and Panama City, among others, are vying for the chance. “We have one foot firmly embedded in the Latin America and Caribbean and one foot firmly embedded in our great country,” Jeb Bush said about Miami. What if that’s the same reason Miami shouldn’t house the FTAA headquarters?

Advocates for locating the secretariat in Panama City are playing up the poor country role. There’s a low cost of living there, at least much lower than Miami, meaning it would be affordable to representatives from all 34 FTAA nations. Most other countries in the hemisphere have populations and cultures more representative of a greater number of people and countries in the region than Miami does. Anglo-Miamians invariably complain about the Spanish-speaking population, about culture, language, even race sometimes. Would a multinational organization be treated better in Miami than it would in Panama City, in the center of America?

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There’s been a pit in the bottom of my stomach that has been getting bigger ever since I got to college three months ago. The pit is not a reaction to an ever-growing tolerance for alcohol in my quest for the freshman fifteen, nor because I’m homesick, nor because I’m pining over long-lost high school puppy love. The pit comes from none other than bona fide Newspaper Withdrawal. As a news reporter for the Hurricane, the one-article-every-two-weeks business has been such a dramatic drop-off from my past involvement in high school that I just haven’t been feeling like myself. I’ve worked for several different publications of varying content and quality, but all have exposed me to the field of journalism to the point where I’m quite nearly co-dependent upon it for survival. The lack of late night deadlines, layout nightmares, and screaming editors has dramatically disrupted the sense of balance in my life, which is why I came begging for a job on the Hurricane’s editorial staff. The thought of overseeing the opinion section just tickles me pink.

I began working on my high school paper, The Fanfare, at Berkeley Preparatory School in ninth grade, and was made assistant opinion editor by the end of the year. I transferred to East Lake High school in tenth grade and worked as a staff writer at the school newspaper, The Talon, and became news editor my junior year. While news editor, I was also the school correspondent for a local community paper, the East Lake Eagle, and worked as a production assistant at that paper the following summer. At the same time I was attending the Poynter Institute’s Program for High School Journalists, a yearlong course that is affiliated with the St. Petersburg Times, Florida’s largest daily newspaper. My senior year in high school I worked as a correspondent for a local bureau of the Times. It is my first year at the University of Miami, and one of the first things I did when I got here was to start writing for the Hurricane. I am double majoring in International Studies and Judaic Studies, and I am a member of UM’s traveling mock trial team, and participate in Tricanes, the triathlon club here at school. I am from Oldsmar, Florida, which is just outside of Tampa.

-Jillian Bandes

November 25, 2003

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The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.