Politics

College Republicans hear from conservative local entrepreneur, discuss falling attendance

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Written by Dylanni Smith

Founder and owner of Athens-based taxi service Green Cab, John Rinaldi, spoke to members of the Ohio University College Republicans Wednesday night about the importance of economic freedom.

Rinaldi, a former member of OUCR, founded Green Cab in October 2012. The taxi company was established in order to provide cheap and safe transportation for students in college towns. Rides are $3 each, and, according to Rinaldi, excellent customer service is one of the company’s prime qualities.

“We have a great group of drivers. They have their own personalities,” Rinaldi said. “We created our own demand by providing reliable customer service.”

After experiencing success in Athens, Green Cab wanted to expand its services to other college towns. When it attempted to receive a license in Bowling Green, Ohio, it was denied. There were already 16 licensed cab companies in Bowling Green, and the city would not allow any more based on what Rinaldi termed outdated taxi regulations.

“I’ve been in a lot of businesses, but never one where the government just said ‘Nope, we have enough of those.’ It’s not right, and economic freedom requires equal opportunity,” Rinaldi said.

After Rinaldi’s speech, OUCR President David Parkhill addressed decreasing member attendance at events such as phone banking and parades for candidates like State Senate Republican candidate Frank Hoagland.

“We executives got together and tried to figure out the problem. We understand that the app makes it hard to sign up for activities, so we will be going back to passing out sign-up sheets instead,” Parkhill said.

The group recently released a new app that would allow members to do various tasks such as sign up for events and write suggestions for improvement within the group, as well as brainstorm discussion topics for future meetings.

Parkhill expressed his concern about the declining number of volunteers, then explained how important volunteering and networking with candidates is, as it will not only help the party gain votes, but it can also help organization members gain valuable experience and potential sites for jobs and internships.

“We are probably the best College Republicans chapter in Ohio. We can give you so much experience and really connect you with our future leaders,” Parkhill said. “We can keep Hillary and her ideas out of the White House. We can help make Athens a really strong place to live by getting Jay Edwards elected as representative, and we can help our members become successful.”

OUCR meets Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. in Copeland Hall room 104.

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Dylanni Smith

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