I spent 18 years working in the housing industry, building infrastructure and delivering master planned communities for hard working families in California. I understand the need for safe, reliable and modern infrastructure. Infrastructure projects are not only a smart investment for our future, they also create much-needed, good-paying jobs now. That’s why I support Senate Bill 1 and Proposition 69 to invest in rebuilding California’s highways, bridges, and other transportation infrastructure. It is time to seriously address California’s crumbling infrastructure by significantly increasing our investments in our roads, canals, reservoirs, dams, and bridges.
HIGH SPEED RAIL
When Californians voted on the high-speed rail project, the reported cost was $40 billion. Now, costs have soared to $77 billion and could rise to over $100 billion. Billions have been spent, and billions more are committed to complete it. The first phase of the project is already under construction, and it’s too far along to turn back. Notably, it will connect San Francisco to the Central Valley, which will have many positive benefits for economic development and the environment. But before moving forward with future phases, Californians must have accurate information to answer the question – at what cost?
During last year’s Summer Road trip, I started my journey to visit all 58 counties across the state. Throughout my travels, there’s one issue that has been raised almost everywhere I’ve been: the demand for high-speed internet access!
According to the 2017 California Broadband Adoption survey, 1 in 3 Californians lack broadband at home, and in rural areas that number is much higher. According to Jessica, a U.S. Census Bureau partnership specialist I met in Humboldt County, broadband access is so important that it is a demographic data point the Census is tracking.
Broadband is also essential for economic success. Increasing Californians’ access to broadband is one of the easiest and best policy measures that can be undertaken to boost the economy. Recent studies show that greater broadband access increases employment and job stability, speeds job searches, improves the economy of local communities, and increases the state’s GDP. It’s also essential for delivering tele-medicine, and ensuring that all our students have the chance to succeed in the rapidly changing economy of the 21st century.
As Lt. Governor, I will work hand-in-hand with the state’s leading broadband experts, the California Broadband Council, the California Emerging Technology Fund, and the UC Riverside Center for Broadband Policy to make sure every person in every corner of California is connected to the internet and has the skills necessary to be able to fully participate in the 21st century economy.