Congressman Fortenberry sees local role in stability, livability trends
NEBRASKA CITY – Congressman Jeff Fortenberry urged local citizens and government to take up the job of improving America, creating stability and building guardrails so that society, economics and civics can flourish.
Fortenberry: “It’s tough work in that we’re living in a time, particularly after having spent so much, necessarily so, at the federal level in the beginning trying to fight off this pandemic, we can not federalize every conceivable good. We have a society that is based on multiple levels of government.”
Fortenberry is the ranking member of the agricultural subcommittee on the House Appropriations Committee, which has oversight for agricultural security and food and drug administration.
He said the subcommittee hopes to encourage Americans to celebrate the agricultural resources and technology.
Fortenberry: “We have an incredible natural resource base. Technology, from which we’ve transferred though the traditional land grant institutions, has created an economic dynamic that is key to having a stable society. I mean, without food you’ve got about three days before things fall apart. We take this completely for granted.”
He said he believes the next generation will strengthen its agricultural and manufacturing sectors so the country is not overdependent on others like China.
He said improvements in rural broadband and enhancements of telehealth are part of what he sees as a trend of turning back to the American center.
Fortenberry: “I see a return to what I call a “place to base strategy” – localism.
He said places like Arbor Day Farm and the Lewis Clark Center will see more regional use.
Fortenberry: “You all noticed this during the pandemic, people were in the parks. A lot of times the parks are empty, but people were now in the parks. I think we rediscovered the gifts of community in our own back yards.
…towns like Nebraska City are going to be greatly enhanced because of a return of looking inward for our own, not just entertainment – that’s a bit of a superficial word – but our own sense of finding meaning in community and solidarity.”
Fortenberry said American has gone through a period of stamping out acreages to build highways and provide links for cars, but he sees an alignment of preferences among the older and younger generations for walkability between
The new way of thinking, again the architecture for livability -- by the way, that’s what I call “back and roll” development – an ecosystem of livability. People look at me very strange when I say that, but I’m trying to get this introduced in the vocabulary, because I think that’s what it is. The preference curves for the elderly and the young are aligning around housing and the ability of having walking distances to shopping needs as well as faith institutions, so walkability, livability, integration in the ecosystem, nature, with housing and transportation, that’s the trend.”
He said broadband Internet is the undercurrent of the trend.