The GOOD 100: Ray Lahood
The Hottest Thing on Wheels (or Rails)
As the new transportation secretary, Ray LaHood has been tasked with remaking our transportation infrastructure into one that focuses more on sustainability than widening highways. It's a tall order but, so far, we're impressed with his approach.
1. For supporting high-speed rail.
When Obama squeezed $8 billion for high-speed rail into the recent stimulus package, LaHood got on board fast. His grant program for rail projects already has nearly 300 applications. They're being prioritized according to where they'll serve the most people. You'll find out whether your area gets quick, clean transport by the end of the year.
2. For looking for good models.
It's no secret that Amtrak is struggling. But high-speed rail is working in Europe and Asia. Last May, Ray LaHood took a fact-finding trip through France, Spain, Germany, and Japan to find out what they're doing right.
3. For joining up with the EPA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Where we live, how we get around, and whether we destroy the planet with greenhouse gases are related issues. So it only makes sense for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Transportation, and the Environmental Protection Agency to work together. That's just what they're doing with the Interagency Partnership for Sustainable Communities, which will coordinate their various programs.
4. For confronting George Will.
In Newsweek, the columnist George Will attacked LaHood's efforts to create "livable communities" as excessive government intervention. LaHood was unrepentant, responding, "We have to create opportunities for people that do want to use a bicycle or want to walk or want to get on a streetcar or want to ride a light rail. … Everything we do around here is government intrusion in people's lives."
5. For his commitment to bipartisanship.
LaHood-elected to office as a Republican in Illinois seven times-has conservative bona fides. And he's been using that clout with the Right to try to ensure that both sides of the aisle are working together.
The Rise of Drone Pizza Delivery Why the skies will soon be filled with flying, snack-bearing robots
How Helsinki Became a Public Transporation Paradise One European city plans to make car ownership obsolete within a decade.
Follow the Crowd NanoCrafter and the rise of group intelligence Why online gaming may just be the future of science
The Empathy Mirror Neurofeedback enables us to better see ourselves in the other. Recent discoveries in neurofeedback can teach you to be less of a dick.
Robots On Ice Probe the Arctic Why a team of research robots is investigating disappearing sea ice, and why you should care
Don’t Turn Away Colin Finlay photographs the consequences of climate change. You will never see more beautiful photos of the deteriorating state of our planet than the ones in this photo feature.
Puppy Love How dogecoin spawned an improbable community of giving What a canine-emblazoned cryptocurrency can teach about philanthropy
Positive In, Positive Out: How a USC Alumna is Coping with Lymphoma Coast Guard Reserves member Cassie Sulfridge, 28, had just graduated from MSW@USC, the Southern California university’s web-based Master of Social Work program, and was working two jobs when her life was turned upside down.
Politics by Yummier Means An Israeli-Palestinian popup restaurant and the precarious art of gastric diplomacy Two chefs win over hearts, minds, and stomachs in Jerusalem.
Rag Time Seven seriously f’d up t-shirts that somehow made their way onto shelves Brazil’s “lookin’ to score” tee is, unfortunately, part of a recent tradition of aberrant apparel.
LeBron James Complicates Cleveland's Comeback Story Returning to Cleveland, LeBron James contends with a city’s past and conflicting views of its future
The Equalizers For these Brazilian footballing legends, competitive play wasn’t a diversion from societal ills, but a means to redress them. A secret history of the fight for social justice among Brazil’s greatest soccer stars of the past century