Are Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula getting the necessary transportation help they deserve? Air travel from our airports has dwindled, but travel is vital to our communities, for business and pleasure.
Rural America is dependent on our connectivity to thrive.
In Michigan's First District, rail transport service is nonexistent. Public transportation is limited, especially for our seniors traveling for medical care. Rural broadband isn't functional in many places, especially the 'last mile.'
Our infrastructure needs improving. While trekking across Northern Michigan and the UP, many travelers can't get phone service from their cars for miles. How do you call for help when you can't call?
Despite having an excellent airport, Marquette residents travel to Green Bay or Iron Mountain to fly, and others do the same, including myself and my family.
When services are available, sometimes they really aren't. A recent example comes from a citizen trying to get TSA pre-approval in Northern Michigan. They traveled several hours to an overfilled and crowded waiting room, only to find a sole worker, someone without broadband connectivity or functional equipment to complete the interview and grant their approval.
After hours of waiting, the traveler left, along with many others, dissatisfied and grumpy without their mission accomplished – NO TSA pre-approval. The problem? Lack of connectivity, which was known for weeks.
We need to invest to help rural America so it's not forgotten and flown over.
What is the solution? Investment in infrastructure, and the Rural Electrification Act of 1936, passed with bipartisan support, gives us our roadmap to accomplish them.
Rural America needs help becoming part of the 21st century. Despite taking credit for legislation, Rep. Bergman, time and again has voted against rural broadband in Michigan's 1st District.
We need a representative willing to solve problems and invest in our district, someone who lives here and understands how to advocate for all of us.