Dane Smith says Equity Bluepirnt recommends investment in infrastructure, including broadband

Winona Daily news recently ran a editorial from Dane Smith on the Growth & Justice Thriving by Design Minnesota Equity Blueprint, which was unveiled last week. It is a collaborative document highlighting policy recommendations designed to lift all of Minnesota – rural, urban and suburban. Dane calls out broadband specifically, as does the report…

Across rural and Greater Minnesota, headlines during the last year point to growing consensus that all our regions need and deserve more public investment in the vital stuff that local economies and communities need to truly thrive.

This stuff includes: affordable health-care, housing and child-care; high-speed broadband connectivity; roads and bridges and transportation mobility; infrastructure and especially water and wastewater treatment; and more sustainable agriculture and land use as climate change disproportionately threatens our precious rural places, from farms to forests to wilderness.

He highlights comments from Beth Ford…

In a widely publicized recent address to the Economic Club of Minnesota, Land O’ Lakes CEO Beth Ford called for more investment in rural broadband, education and health care. Her company, one of the nation’s largest co-ops, is planning a half-dozen rural “service centers” to aggregate high-speed internet, telemedicine and other amenities, while also launching its own effort to bolster more environmentally sound farming practices.

And outlines some of the related recommendations…

Among the many recommendations that emerged with special impact on rural Minnesota: relieve farm and business regulatory burdens that often do not account for rural realities; increase funding for the Border-to-Border Broadband development program; encourage rural “placemaking’’ efforts that bring arts and cultural amenities to small towns; expand welcoming initiatives for immigrants like those in Winona and Austin and Willmar; increase support for rural small business incubation and access to capital; help rural landowners and communities shift to sustainable agriculture, renewable energy and restoration of lakes and rivers quality; and provide more funding in bonding bills and other programs for rural water and wastewater treatment.

This entry was posted in MN, Policy by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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