Presidential Candidate Moment – 2020 Candidates on Infrastructure

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4 mins read
"Infrastructure" by Kevin Dooley. (CC BY 2.0)

This week’s Presidential Candidate Twitter Moment focuses on the Democratic candidates’ plans for our nation’s infrastructure. While not every candidate has explored how to address our nation’s aging bridges, utilities and power grids, many candidates have opinions about the need to guarantee clean, safe drinking water in every community in the country, and a number of them have quite comprehensive plans published. 

From an article published by Forbes:

Critical infrastructure operates so much in the back of our minds that it often doesn’t seem that critical.

We don’t hold our breath when we flip the light switch, hoping it will work – we don’t even think about it. Of course the light goes on. Just like the heat goes up when we tweak the thermostat, the food is frozen when we take it out of the freezer and the water is pure when it comes out of the faucet.

Yes, we know subconsciously those things aren’t guaranteed – it’s just that disruptions are so rare that it stays there, in the backs of our minds.

But, yet another report on the cyber vulnerabilities of critical infrastructure suggests it ought to be a bit more up front.

This one, from the Russia-based cybersecurity firm Kaspersky, found that 42.7% of the industrial control system (ICS) computers it protected last year were attacked by malware, email phishing or other threats.

While the majority of our nation’s utilities are web-enabled, small communities are often not able to keep up with the security improvements needed to keep our utilities safe from hackers. Keeping our infrastructure sound has entered the territory that was once exclusively the domain of national security. 

Michael Bennet and Beto O’Rourke incorporate their infrastructure plans into more encompassing climate change plans. Joe Biden is focusing on the need for improved school buildings, while Tom Steyer proposes paying for infrastructure improvements through a wealth tax on the 1% of the nation’s earners. Marianne Williamson links improvements to infrastructure with making reparations to black Americans who are descendants of slavery. Elizabeth Warren goes beyond making improvements and proposes expanding fiber networks and broadband service into currently unserved areas, to help create more equitability for the nation’s poorest areas. Many of the candidates have ideas for how to pay for infrastructure improvements, which you will see in summary through the tweets that comprise the Moment, and in more depth by following links to articles and their websites. 

Infrastructure is a broad topic, one that deserves to be thoroughly explored so that “infrastructure week” does not become a joke told about next president, in the ways that it has been made for the guy currently in office. We expect that it is a topic that will be revisited in future editions of the Twitter “Presidential Candidate Moment” published once weekly by members of #GeeksResist

Rosie is an active member in #GeeksResists, and an active resister of decades. Each week Rosie and a group of Geeks explores an issue and the Democratic Presidential Candidates' opinions and policies on that issue, publishing the results as a Moment on Twitter. You can always find the most current Moment pinned to @BKPhilanthropy's Twitter profile page, or search through #PresidentialCandidates2020.

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