Smartly Embrace Technology
I. Affordable and Reliable Internet: Get the Job Done
Where was the internet invented? Virginia, of course. To this day 70% of the world’s internet traffic runs through Northern Virginia. And yet, significant parts of our district lack reliable internet access. With broadband deserts across Fauquier, Warren, Culpeper, and
Rappahannock, we’re losing opportunities for people to run their businesses, telecommute, apply for jobs, further their education, and access healthcare and other vital online services.
I’ve spent a decade in cybersecurity and technology, and I know that when you have a long running problem like this, it pays to take a fresh look and evaluate how we’re tackling it. Great effort has already gone into getting reliable internet access to our schools, libraries, and county resources. Now we need to extend broadband to that proverbial last mile (or five.)
I will be your dedicated advocate in Richmond for finishing the job. This will take a combination of navigating the state bureaucracy, concerted work with the telecoms and electric co-ops, exploring new technologies like road adhering fiber, and persistence.
II. Lead on Energy Efficiency and Renewable Jobs
Renewable energy isn’t about tree hugging; it’s about jobs and our country’s future energy needs. By 2020, China--currently the world’s worst polluter--will produce 30% of its energy from renewable sources like solar and wind. Now’s the time for Virginia to seize the opportunity to lead in what is becoming a economic driver and energy sector game-changer.
The renewable energy sector employs 800,000 Americans, roughly the same size as the U.S. telecom industry. Whether it’s engineering more efficient wind turbines and solar panels, or installing them, renewable energy is the sector for good rural Virginia jobs. It’s also where we are seeing a high demand for technicians, HVAC specialists, electricians and other tradespeople.
To make this happen in the 18th District [link to map], we need leadership that will advocate for Virginians and is not afraid to push our state energy company towards an innovative business model. We need to use the Commonwealth’s buying power through state colleges, universities, and other state facility contracts to insist on energy efficient operations and renewable targets. We can use Virginia’s buying power to expand the market for solar and other renewable technologies while driving down prices for consumers and spurring new business.