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Aug 7, 2018

Susan Addresses the Rural Broadband Issue in an article in Vice Magazine

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"Many elections around the US this year are more closely watched and highly contested races than the typical midterm. With so much at stake, you’d think an issue that affects more than 24 million Americans would be easy pickings for campaign platforms.

Yet few candidates, from local mayoral races all the way up to the Senate, provide lip service to the fact that millions of Americans still lack access to broadband, and even fewer flesh out a robust policy to address it. At a time when politics is more divisive than ever, basic issues such as access to the internet are being overshadowed by the massive ideological clashes happening across the country.

“If you were to ask people what issues they’re voting on, first and foremost they would say ‘pro-Trump or anti-Trump,’” said Susan Boser, the Democratic candidate seeking to replace Republican House Member Glenn Thompson in Pennsylvania. “Next would be guns and abortion, then the needs of the area, which are jobs and the opioid epidemic.”

Boser told me a lack of access to broadband is a huge problem in her district, which is a large, predominantly rural swath along the northwestern edge of the state; its largest town, Indiana, has a population of less than 15,000.

Boser was one of only a handful of candidates I found who directly address access to broadband in their platforms.

“Throughout this particular district you will find access to internet confined to larger communities and there aren’t that many, maybe a dozen of them,” Boser said. “I’ve seen the impoverization of the area and a lot of young people leaving. We’re in trouble, quite honestly, and this is a critical piece of that.”

But Boser has found the issue isn’t top of mind for voters unless directly tied to its potential impact on the economy, which is how she tries to frame it: improving access to broadband would allow for more remote work opportunities, for example. Some other candidates around the country—in Congressional, governor, and local races—mention it in debates or media interviews, but haven’t made it core to their platforms, and many others simply haven’t addressed the digital divide at all."

 

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/d3kdmx/is-access-to-broadband-an-election-issue

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  • " Ms. Boser won the primary in the 15th District, in the western part of the state. She said she was teaching a night class on Tuesday as votes were being counted, and then woke up early on Wednesday to finish grading papers. ​ A professor of sociology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Ms. Boser spent years studying public policy, but she said her dismay over the election of President Trump drove her to get more involved in politics. ​ “I’ve not done anything like this before,” she said. “I thought, well, I’ve been telling my students for years about getting involved and always saying to them, ‘If not you, then who?’” ​ And here’s how the Republicans will try to win the seat: The district is solidly Republican, and Ms. Boser will be facing an incumbent, Glenn Thompson, who ran unopposed. Mr. Thompson will have name recognition and the benefit of broad Republican support. ​ So Ms. Boser faces long odds: Even a huge Democratic wave in November may not be enough to beat a Republican incumbent in this district." ​ Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/19/us/politics/pennsylvania-women.html https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/19/us/politics/pennsylvania-women.html
  • "Susan Boser who will be running for Congress on the Democratic ballot challenging Thompson in this November's election, had this to say: “Long answer short, I believe we need comprehensive immigration reform to create humane policies that will keep families together, allow law-abiding immigrants to stay in our country without constant fear of deportation, a pathway to citizenship, a streamlined visa program, all the while protecting and continuing to fund the security of our borders.” ​ She continued, “This does not mean everyone gets an invitation to the U.S.; we will still have rules, conditions, and standards for who gets to stay and who simply must go back home, but there is a way to do this where we model compassion and fairness. ​ “I read today that morality must cross party lines, and that’s exactly what this issue comes down to: morality and our identity as a nation,” Boser said. “When our political system is using the tears of children as a bargaining chip for a border wall, we’re doing something wrong. When our policy decisions have the potential to traumatize an entire generation of Latino children, we’re doing something wrong. From here, we should move as quickly as possible to reunite those children with their parents and families. We can do better. We must do better.” ​ http://www.bradfordera.com/news/legislators-respond-to-immigration-crisis/article_2214afbe-74f7-11e8-a4b9-67febdb47126.html
  • SMETHPORT — Approximately 20 people attended the candlelight vigil Wednesday night at the McKean County Courthouse that was held in support of those immigrants from Mexico and several Central American countries who are now in the United States, especially in Texas. According to the Kinzua Country Indivisible Group, organizers of the event, "This event was primarily a humanitarian response, rather than a political response to the events in Texas, and was open to anyone who has concern for the families involved." Organizer Les Jordan Jr. invited the Rev. Rob Hernan, pastor of the United Methodist Church of Smethport, to offer opening remarks. Speaking about the immigrant families being separated at the border, Hernan referred to a verse in Matthew that tells about a stranger not being welcome and the Apostle James reference to caring for widows and orphans in distress. Talking about the discrimination his Italian ancestors faced as immigrants generations ago, along with the Irish and Polish who were seeking asylum and escaping poverty and political tyranny and religious persecution, Jordan said “these people are humans and we must understand their needs." Jordan also thanked the audience for attending the event and urged them to "step forward and be heard." Susan Boser, a professor of human services and a professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, who has a background in childhood development, was invited to speak about the effects on children after being separated from their families. She said, "Upon arriving here tonight, I saw some friends and felt the warmth, unlike the feeling of the immigrant children who are ripped away from their families." Being separated from their families at such an early age, Boser said, has biological, physical and emotional consequences. "Biologically, the absence of safety and comfort under stress leads to stress, which causes the body to release cortisol, which can lead later to heart disease, diabetes and some forms of cancer. The effects can be far-reaching." http://www.bradfordera.com/news/candlelight-vigil-held-to-support-immigrant-families-in-texas/article_05e04b28-7a83-11e8-87ae-63834c96d9da.html