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President Obama’s Jobs Bill, recently voted down by the U.S. Senate, contained $4 billion in funding for increased U.S. high speed rail capacity.
In response, Salem State University students are reaching out to U.S. Senator Scott Brown by tweeting their photos with "I Love Fast Trains" signs in support of High Speed Rail funding in future jobs legislation.
At the request of the White House, the iniatitive is part of a national campaign led by Students PIRG (Public Interest Research Group), engaging support from passing students in between classes to pose for cell phone pictures with signs in support of high speed rail funding. The photos were then immediately attached to a flood of tweets directed at Scott Brown's Twitter account.
"Today was more of an awareness activity than anything else — an opportunity to build support around high-speed rail," said MASSPIRG community organizer Sean McGrath on Thursday. "We understand this is a long-term process, so we want to continue to build support through petitions and awareness."
Student leader and junior political science major Caitlin McGaw made a public statement in support of the iniatitive.
"Building high speed rails is crucial to fighting our oil addiction and reducing gridlock on our roads, laying a foundation for a 21st century economy while creating jobs. Here in Massachusetts, we have over $30 million in federal grants to upgrade and expand Boston South Station to accomodate a 50 percent increase in high-speed rail travel. Over $7 million has already been invested to improve train service in Amtrak's North East corridor, which hosts the fastest trains in America and starts right here in Massachusetts," she said.
To date, 43 tweets have been sent featuring over 60 different students, staff and faculty. The entire stream can be seen by following @seanmcgrt on Twitter.
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