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Why we need Warren’s plan to reinvest in rural America

To the editor:

My name is Jennifer Zhang. I’m a college student and recent graduate of Potsdam High School, running to represent our congressional district at the 2020 Democratic National Convention as a delegate pledged to Elizabeth Warren.

Warren has released a comprehensive plan to reinvest in rural America and revitalize areas like the North Country, which has been steadily losing population, youth and economic opportunities. She will create jobs by committing $2 trillion to green research, manufacturing and exporting industries, focusing on building facilities in rural areas. Her administration will review and reverse mergers between large agri-businesses that have made food markets less competitive by putting small family farms out of business. She will include direct representatives from rural America in all future global trade negotiations. She will establish a $7 billion fund to support minority-owned and small businesses, which is anticipated to create over a million jobs and boost rural economic growth.

Warren also plans to create a universal child care program, invest over $500 million in building affordable rental homes in rural areas, and invest $85 billion in expanding rural broadband access. She will also cancel up to $50,000 in student debt for all Americans and make technical, two-year and four-year public college free.

Every year, students graduate from schools and colleges in the North Country and move away. Many go to cities, where the cost of living is exponentially higher. Why do they do that? Because there’s limited economic opportunity in rural communities, and they have to pay back their student loans quickly to avoid being crushed by accumulating interest.

Warren understands and plans to dismantle this incentive system. Her initiatives will ease the financial burden of a college education and make rural communities like ours a more attractive, economically viable place to live. Critically, the funding for these programs will come from raising taxes on corporations and the wealthiest Americans — NOT the middle class. Taxes will not increase for people with less than $50 million in wealth, which comprises practically all of the North Country.

Elizabeth Warren is running on a platform to bring big, structural change to our government and economy, reforming them to be more representative of the interests of rural and working Americans. This is one of many reasons why North Country residents should support her campaign, and why I am proud to support her as a DNC delegate candidate.

Jennifer Zhang

Potsdam