The path forward is together
It’s Been a Good Week
I am so excited to share with you some more good news this week! Some of it will be specific to my community while most of what I share will apply more broadly. Thank you as always for being here. I appreciate your willingness to listen and openness to share your thoughts back with me. I couldn’t be doing this without you, and I’m really excited about the future posts I’ve got planned.
I posted a poll at the end of the last post here (still open for a couple hours). Thank you to everyone who voted; it looks like the consensus is overwhelmingly yes and to just combine them both in one post. I will get working on that. 😁
I mentioned in my economy post the data seemed to show the economy would continue all the encouraging trends we’ve seen recently. The most recent Consumer Price Index report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows inflation has stayed low (July saw price changes of only 0.2%). Again, that’s while unemployment remains under 4% for the longest peacetime stretch since the 1940s following WWII (Unemployment Rate | FRED | St. Louis Fed).
I ran across this video from More Perfect Union after we talked last week about most Americans agreeing on most topics. In it, the Democratically leaning host interviews supporters of our former president to see where they can agree. Spoiler: they agree a lot.
This is also why I’m so excited for the progress we’ve made in the U.S.: inflation has come way down, more Americans are working than any other time (link), unemployment remains low, hourly wages continue to grow, wages have grown faster than inflation 3 months in a row…Again, with all this good I’m hoping we can all start to breath a little easier. 😁
Opinionated, kind, and open-minded…these have been our commitment to each other on this journey. I hope you feel I’ve lived up to my word; I know I’ve been hugely appreciative of how you all have approached me that way. So thank you again. As always, if you disagree with me, I’m glad you’re here. 😊 If you agree with my thoughts, I also appreciate you reading today. 😊
I feel elected officials should solve problems, not breed conflicts.
I support the initiatives of Roosevelt’s electrification and Eisenhower’s interstate connectedness. They helped Americans be the most connected, most empowered, and most impactful people and businesses in the world.
I favor investing in clean air and water while preserving the beauty of nature. If God gave humans dominion over the Earth, we are responsible for her health.
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Build each other up
The past few years we have seen pretty incredible progress in building America up in a way that benefits all Americans, not just the well-connected few. We’ve seen historic investment in our nation’s roads and bridges to repair them to their former strength with the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill (link). Like in the What We Make post, I appreciate how spread out these investments are throughout the country: $3.6 billion in Tennessee and Kentucky, $2.9 billion in Alabama, $3.7 billion in Washington state, and $4.0 billion in Louisiana to name a few. Those are just the numbers from 2022, so we will continue seeing our roads and bridges being strengthened in the next few years. I also appreciate that while these dollars are federal funding, state and local officials will retain most of the power of how to utilize the funds. Each state and local community is different, so I’m glad communities get such a huge say in how the funds are spent in their communities.
With that said, all the more reason for us to be vocal with our state and local officials about where and how we think they should be spending that money to best help our communities.
Connect each other together
There has also been a recent push to connect more people with high speed broadband, so no matter where you live you have the best access to jobs and education. Tennessee and Kentucky got $800,000 and over $1 million, respectively, to support private expansion of high speed internet and increase competition (link). Calloway County, KY recently expanded internet access for 4,274 homes and businesses (link). Part of Tennessee’s rollout expands internet access to over 17,000 Tennesseeans across 15 counties including Weakley, Roane, and Grainger (link). A more complete list can be found here.
These initiatives give support to a variety of smaller internet providers which I suspect will spur competition, lowering internet costs for average Americans.
Empower each other renewably
Recently in my home of Henry County Tennessee, we were able to start powering homes in our area with a solar farm built in Puryear, TN (link). That means a town with a population around 700 is helping to power about 1,000 of the homes in our area.
While as far as I could tell our project is not funded by the Inflation Reduction Act, one of the main goals of the legislation is to make our grid more resiliant by supporting state and local governments in diversifying their energy sources with cheaper, renewable options (link). If you are interested in helping your community do that, I would encourage you to read this post. Silicon Ranch (the company who built the solar farm) seems to be excited to support our local school system by paying taxes and providing educational outreach about how the solar farm works.
On the same team
Thank you again for taking the time to read my thoughts. There have been times over the years when I have felt isolated or alone. Times when I believed my voice did not matter or people would rather I not share my thoughts. I felt that way the most when I’ve had voices around me intent on focusing on the bad, on the negative, or on the hateful. It felt like their voices were stronger and louder than mine.
Part of my goal here with Sowing Hope is to counter those negative and hateful voices, but maybe more importantly, I want to empower you to counter them. There’s a lot of good going on in the world, and those negative voices could use a little hope, too. 🌱
One of my favorite poems is The New Colossus by Emma Lazarus, the poem at the base of the Statue of Liberty 🗽. I love how it enshrines our American commitment to freedom for all 🇺🇸.
The New Colossus
BY EMMA LAZARUS
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
The One Moment by Okay Go
“I would unite with anybody to do right and with nobody to do wrong.” -Fredrick Douglas