As I travel across the fifth district, I talk with many people who live in small towns and rural communities. They are looking for ways to strengthen their economies, develop infrastructure, and enhance local assets.
With regard to infrastructure, resources urban residents take for granted, like affordable access to internet and availability of health care providers, are simply nonexistent for rural residents. It’s unfair that rural residents must spend excessive amounts for satellite internet. If they cannot afford it, they cannot choose to work from home and their children cannot access homework assignments. It’s unfair that small town hospitals and health care providers have closed, leaving sick and injured people to seek help long distances from home. It’s unfair that rural and small town residents have to spend excessive amounts on transportation and drive across poorly maintained roads to access basic shopping and services in cities because local establishments have closed. We can reverse these trends with appropriate policies.
I will work with local communities to revitalize their economies by developing incentives to attract major companies as well as expand small businesses. Residents of small towns and rural areas need to know they have stable, well-paying jobs for the long term. I will support incentive programs to assure schools have teachers who are committed long-term members of the community. Rural and small town communities have disproportionate numbers of older residents, so I will support policies that stimulate the elder care services sector while making affordable resources available to family caregivers.