The Digital New Deal | Sojourners

The Digital New Deal

For the past six months, I’ve been having serious 1932 flash­backs.

Not literally. My own parents were toddlers when Franklin Roosevelt was elected president. But I grew up hearing about the Great Depres­sion. I knew my parents were raised in homes without electricity and far from a paved road. And I knew that President Roosevelt changed all that.

Maybe President Obama won’t change the American scene as profoundly as FDR did. But I have good reason to hope that just as Roosevelt brought electricity to the rural homes of my forebears, President Obama will bring an effective, affordable broadband Internet connection to mine.

Of all the activist groups that gathered under Obama’s big tent, at this writing media reform advocates are among the happiest with the signs emanating from the Obama transition. From the start of his campaign in 2007, Obama took unwavering positions in favor of net neutrality and the allocation of spectrum and financial subsidies to spread broadband access to the underserved. As a senator, he was a powerful voice protesting the Federal Communications Commission’s loosening of rules on concentrated ownership of media outlets.

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Sojourners Magazine February 2009
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