As the former president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, ex-mayor of Miami Manny Diaz was able to squeeze himself into national issues in a way few of his predecessors did. Now that he's out of office, he's taken on the role of vice chairman of the Alliance for Digital Equality, which calls for technological opportunities for underserved areas.
In a joint editorial in Roll Call with former mayor of Atlanta Shirley Franklin, Diaz puts a gold star on some of President Obama and the Democratic Congress's recent initiatives (health care included), while highlighting the National Broadband Plan.
Ironically, the fact that the National Broadband Plan announcement preceded the historic vote on health care was masterful. Broadband is the cornerstone to providing more affordable access to health care for the unserved and underserved and is really the bridge to the future for our children. As Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) laid out in her floor speech on Sunday night, health care plus education equals opportunity. We believe that the infrastructure that undergirds the future of our health care and education is access to affordable broadband.
The plan hopes to connect the 100 million Americans who don't have broadband Internet services by 2020, while offering more competition to areas that already do. America ranks 15th in terms of broadband access, and the FCC's goal is to put America in the top ten.
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Yes, this is all basically policy wonk, but hey, your former mayor is out there still doing stuff.