Our country is an old car: built a long time ago and kept running by the constant replacing of parts. Adding one more highway lane, another rideshare app, or slightly faster suburban internet isn’t going to solve the physical and economic mobility problems that come from running our country’s infrastructure well beyond its replacement date. Eventually, constant maintenance becomes too costly. We need to invest in a whole new vehicle.
- Increase mobility equity, especially for low income, disabled, and elderly individuals.
- Ensure broadband access for the communities that companies currently fail to serve.
- Upgrade our infrastructure’s archaic cyber protections for modern day readiness.
- Provide a new, climate-conscious energy infrastructure via the Green New Deal.
We can’t move upwards if we can’t move at all. Transportation costs in this country have ballooned so much that low-income families often spend up to 30% of their household income on transportation1–which, when added to already disproportionate rent costs2, creates a beyond precarious living situation. Even though almost a third of our district’s workers and families rely on public transit, its inefficiencies force many to take more expensive alternatives they can ill afford.
When internet service companies choose not to provide access to rural communities, they’re choosing who gets to live in today’s world, and who doesn’t. Up to 162 million Americans may still lack broadband access. Internet access is a necessity in the modern world, so much so that the United Nations has declared it a human right. Without internet, upward mobility will not happen. Government must incentivize the push towards full national coverage and internet as a public utility.
Yet all the improvements in the world will mean nothing if our nation’s spine remains exposed. Far too much of our infrastructure remains vulnerable to cyber attack, still relying on outdated hardware from the late 20th century. High-level government experts believe a cyber infrastructure attack could be our next Pearl Harbor3. We must begin repairing our infrastructure now, before one rogue keystroke causes irreparable damage.
How We Plan to Do It
Increased Mobility Equity:
- Pass the Freedom to Move Act (H.R. 7389), subsidizing transportation costs for low income communities and making transit free for all.
- Research mobility as a service (MaaS), which would provide a single platform for access to a variety of mobility services, like rideshare, bikes, and buses.
Bring Broadband to Everyone:
- Pass the Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act (H.R. 7302), which would widen and enhance public broadband infrastructure.
- Eliminate barriers to deployment that restrict broadband construction by anyone but telecom companies.
- Codify a federal definition for broadband so we can guide our nation towards widespread connectivity standards and goals.
- Push for the FCC to declare internet a Title II public utility.
Prioritize Cyber-safe Infrastructure:
- Mandate periodic security upgrades on publicly vital utilities, so service providers do not put off upgrades for fear of lost profit from downtime.
- Push for internationally recognized cyber conflict standards that ensure innocent civilians and their livelihoods will not be put at risk by nation-state conflict.