The severe weather earlier this week has given way to cool but sunny days, so I hope you're out enjoying the nice weather before the oppressive heat begins.
I wanted to pass along a letter to the editor I sent to our local district papers. It focuses on broadband, an issue I've worked on extensively during my first term at the legislature.
Expanding broadband in Greater Minnesota is key for future economic development and jobs in our region, and I will continue to explore ways to bring broadband access to rural areas.
Broadband expansion crucial for Greater Minnesota
Rep. Ron Kresha, District 09B
The Eisenhower Interstate System began on June 29, 1956 and has touched every citizen in the country either directly or indirectly. Many historians regard the interstate system as one of the greatest achievements of the last century. In this century, the National Broadband Initiative is shaping up to be of similar importance. Just as the interstate brought people and businesses to communities, so will the National Broadband Initiative. Mobile entrepreneurs and workers across the country are settling in locations with access to high-speed Internet to start businesses or work in home offices. In order to attract these entrepreneurs and businesses, we must expand our broadband infrastructure in Greater Minnesota.
For the past 15 years, I have been an advocate for high-speed access to our schools and communities. I have pulled wire in schools, raised funds for projects, and sponsored legislation to improve our rural broadband access. I have not only spoken in favor of rural broadband; I have made it happen. It is absolutely critical that Morrison and Todd County continue to improve the broadband infrastructure.
High speed Internet provides the framework for entrepreneurs and workers who can telecommute. It is the gateway to higher paying jobs and improving our area’s economic environment.
According to the American Community Survey data (2012), there is a national trend of workers who are working from home offices:
Telecommuting increased 79.7% for the period of 2005 – 2012.
In 2011-2012 telecommuters increased while total workforce declined.
Telecommuting increase during the recession as people left the stale workforce to pursue other opportunities.
Self-employed incorporated individuals increased 17.6% during the period of 2005 – 2012. These are small start-up companies that will continue to emerge within the next five years.
The mobile workforce brings families, wages, and companies into communities. These workers worship in our churches, fill our schools, and improve our tax base so that communities can thrive.
In the 2012 – 2014 legislative session, I co-sponsored the Connect MN bill to provide accurate data for our State’s broadband infrastructure, and I worked with the newly formed Office of Broadband. Finally, I was a featured panelist at the Minnesota Border To Border Broadband Conference.
Through the combined efforts of CTC and Morrison County Economic Development a strong fiber ring is present in Little Falls. This is a step in the right direction and as the State Representative for District 9B, I will continue to fight for rural broadband access.
I also wanted to pass along my best wishes for a Happy Father's Day. Being a dad to my five children is the most important job I have, and I hope you'll take time this weekend to recognize the fathers and grandfathers who have served as mentors, role models, and helped you succeed in life.
Each Father's Day, I remember my dad, Dennis who taught me how to rely on faith and family.
Have a great weekend,
State Representative, District 09B