Elizabeth Walters, Chair of the Ohio Democratic Party, spoke at an event early Friday morning in Armory Park about the benefits and improvements her party can bring to rural Ohio.
From the stimulus checks and child tax credit to the American bailout plan, Democratic leaders have worked to get money back into the pockets of rural Americans, according to Walters.
Admitting that the Democrats have not reached rural voters like the Athens District in recent years, she says, “The Democrats haven’t done enough good job to get into communities like Athens, the Appalachians, or Nelsonville or Carbondale. “
One focus of the presentation revolved around the $ 1 trillion infrastructure bill that was passed in the Senate and will pass into the House of Representatives, making it the largest infrastructure investment in the country’s history. Walters said the bill will help fund work on roads, bridges, clean water systems and broadband expansion, thereby helping to create jobs.
The bill was passed with bipartisan approval (69-30), with outgoing Senator Rob Portman (R) – and one of the bill’s lead authors – voting in favor. Leading Republican candidates for his position, including writer JD Vance and former state treasurer Josh Mandel, have differed from their potential predecessor and have spoken out loudly against the law.
Walters says the rejection of the Infrastructure Act and the American rescue plan shows that “these politicians are only taking care of themselves.”
Athens City Councilor Sarah Grace said that by arriving in Athens, Walters was keeping the Democratic Party’s promise not to leave rural America behind, saying, “Thanks to the leadership of the Democrats, there has been significant progress for families here in our community.”
Grace found the stimulus checks and the expansion of child tax credits to be extremely beneficial for a county with one in three children living in poverty.
Ted Linscott, a hat-hatred man in the district that includes the President of Southeastern Ohio AFL-CIO and the Athens Township Trustee, emphasized that everyone benefits from the benefits of improved infrastructure.
“Everyone has one thing in common, whether Republican or Democrat, we drive on the road. We cross the bridges. We’re going on the internet, ”Linscott said.
In order to compete with other countries like China, we have to improve our infrastructure, according to Linscott.
For the rural communities he has worked with, broadband access helps spread their talents to areas they could not previously reach. By providing broadband access, equality of opportunity is shared, a goal that Lindscott compares to the popular comic strip of three men standing at different heights behind a fence. While it’s nice to give a stool to someone shorter, it’s time to lower the fence a bit, he explained.
He has stated that the region has not been given enough for too long to do what needs to be done to compete economically.
“For many, many years we have been doing more with less and doing everything we can. But there comes a time when you do less with less, ”Linscott said. “And here we are. If we can’t get more, we can do less with less. “