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October 20, 2020 · OPINION

Qasim Rashid offers real solutions for broadband

Qasim Rashid
By Andrea Martens

With Election Day two weeks away, the COVID-induced reliance on virtual meetings and education has pushed broadband access to the forefront of our local races. Voters in Virginia’s 1st District have a decision to make. Do we re-elect incumbent Rob Wittman or vote for his challenger, human rights attorney Qasim Rashid?

Mr. Wittman complains, “My opponent likes to besmirch my record, but broadband always has, and always will be, one of my top priorities.”

My question for him, “What record?” While his office’s press releases sound impressive, prior to 2020 he had neither introduced nor co-sponsored any broadband related legislation in Congress. He touts his position as co-chair of the Rural Broadband Caucus, yet in this post, his actions are limited to convening meetings.

In April of this year, he co-sponsored his first legislation addressing the long-standing need for expanded broadband coverage, H.R. 6456 Serving Rural America Act. Though currently in committee, if enacted, the bill would establish a grant program to expand broadband service.

Rep. Wittman has been in Congress for 13 years, yet a legislative search of his record on internet issues shows only the Electronic Duck Stamp Act of 2013. This leads me to conclude that either broadband hasn’t actually been a top priority during his 12 years in office or he’s an incredibly ineffective legislator.

Mr. Rashid, on the other hand, recognizes that old solutions of grants and loans have proven expensive and ineffective. If elected, he would immediately propose legislation to establish a Rural Broadband Expansion Authority. According to his website, “This new Authority would bring together telecommunications, information technology, construction, education, and agricultural experts to assist local communities with the formation of effective and efficient broadband utilities.”

Mr. Rashid believes funding to solve the digital divide should be provided to local municipalities and counties, not big corporations.

Congressman Rashid would provide the leadership and innovative ideas our district has lacked for more than a decade. I hope you will join me in voting for Qasim Rashid on Nov. 3rd.
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Silii · November 1, 2020 at 4:45 pm
Why should citizens have to drive past statues that remind them that their ancestors were enslaved, owned by whites, children ripped from their arms and sold, families split up and sold one by one on an auction block, weren't citizens, couldn't vote, and even in 2020 continue to be subjected to voter suppression? And, be reminded that in 2020 there remain plenty of racists who have anyone of color or of a religions other than their own, generally Christian and evangelical. Although, I doubt if most racists are religious because the 2 stands just don't jive.
FalconDad · October 31, 2020 at 10:57 am
History huh.... then stop tearing down statues and trying to erase American history.
farmbum · October 30, 2020 at 1:27 pm
I did not realize France was part of the United States.

America is a country of immigrants.

You should study up on history, it might get you some knowledge on assimilation and shed your bigotry towards others.
FalconDad · October 30, 2020 at 11:25 am
farmbum, people in France once thought the way you do and see where that’s got them now.
farmbum · October 30, 2020 at 7:37 am
Sorry FalconDad, it is racism, backwards or just plain lack of education on your part. Please show us examples of Shariah Law being practiced to its full extent in this country. Anywhere.

And if your all about face and head coverings, ask yourself what other cultures cover themselves with garments, scarves and head wrappings. Maybe visit a fashion show some time. And don't forget to bring your mask.
FalconDad · October 29, 2020 at 10:54 am
It’s not hate, racism or being backward to be resistant to shariah law and face or head coverings for women. When people come here from other countries they really should at least try to assimilate to American culture.
farmbum · October 27, 2020 at 1:06 pm
One things for sure, some people are still backwards and not afraid to show it.
FalconDad · October 26, 2020 at 11:50 am
Becca rhymes with Mecca...gee what a coincidence.

Rashid actually seems like a good guy, he’s just not a good match for our area.
Becca · October 25, 2020 at 4:30 pm
FalconDad, I do hope you are not actually a father. I'd hate for you to teach your children to be as Islamaphobic as you are.
FalconDad · October 25, 2020 at 2:52 pm
Democrats are becoming the party of burkas.
Travis McArthur · October 23, 2020 at 5:01 am
Vote RED, Remove Every Democrat. Democrats are the party of hate, racism and antisemitism.
Cammie Rodgers · October 22, 2020 at 11:24 am
SaveFauquier2019 - You should ask CORPORATE America those questions. The insurance companies, the pharmaceutical companies, the wealthy CEO's and their equally wealthy investors. Anyone not on the 1%er train is fodder for the rich to use, and abuse for more money in their bank accounts, not yours.

It's been like that from the beginning of this country but has become worse since Reagan was POTUS.
Cammie Rodgers · October 22, 2020 at 11:18 am
We tried Data Broadband but had to give it up. Too many problems. If they get themselves straightened out we might try again in the future. Right now they are out more than they are in.
Jerome Fields · October 21, 2020 at 4:26 pm
Save - You sound down on your luck. Perhaps if you stopped voting for Republicans that can change.
farmbum · October 21, 2020 at 7:17 am
Save - you sound like an angry person. The republicans have run/ruined this country, for the last four years. Fauquier specifically, many more years.

Open your eyes and use your brain to think.

Savefauquiercounty2019 · October 21, 2020 at 5:30 am
Another radical left Democrat. Ask him why he wants to defund police? Where is Huma? Why did Feinstein have a spy from China driving her for 10 years? Why did dems bleach down and destroy evidence? Why does he enjoy cities and towns being destroyed by terror? Since obamadontcare destroyed health carewhat has he done to bring Fauquier hospital to more than a 2 star hospital as well as USA? Why have dems waltzed in 11 million illegal immigrants and colectiva funds their dirty politicians? Why since obamadontcare seniors on fixed incomes with average of $1500 a month been paying over $6000 annually for out of pocket expenses which doesn't include their premiums. There are no long term medicaid beds or assisted living or available affordable housing for the poor elderly? Trump didn`t create this.Americans stop watching the liberal media and start investigating it yourself.
Silii · October 20, 2020 at 7:18 pm
The fact is, Mr. Wittman has been in office 12 years and has produced absolutely NO results regarding broadband. People can gripe and moan and allege another government agency blah blah blah but nothing changes Mr. Wittman's pathetic record. The pandemic has loudly emphasized the shortcoming for students, teachers, workers, business operators, everyone without adequate access. Mr. Wittman is out of chances. It's time for a change to Mr. Rashid. Then if you don't like it, make another change in 2022.
Sammy · October 20, 2020 at 4:11 pm
govt & dems pushed electricity and telephones to rural areas and neither are free .. reliable returns & profits aplenty, and not just for their proprietors -- they generate enterprise by connecting people with commerce, education, law enforcement .. who is the biggest advocate for fauquier broadband? sheriff mosier .. his govt agency wants it, but it sounds like you would defund it like bob good did to the sheriff in campbell county? VOTE WEBB

jim goodwin · October 20, 2020 at 3:40 pm
Well, whoop-de-doo. Mr. Rashid has a plan for rural broadband. Of course it involves a new government agency, as with everything else Democrats propose because they pander to the people that believe in "free stuff."

There is no "free stuff". The bigger the government, the smaller the person. Mr. Rashid and the Democrats don't believe in individual freedom. One can't simultaneously believe in freedom and then make policies that erode freedom. Well, one can but that's the duplicitous way of the Democrat.
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