Jennifer Woofter's September 12 op-ed ("Why are we still waiting on broadband?") to your paper is highly misleading, which is not surprising since she is attempting to replace an outstanding representative who has served her constituents for over 20 years. Ms. Woofter made it appear that Del. Kathy Byron alone had been the cause of high-speed broadband not being available to rural areas. For nearly eight years, our governors had paid lip-service to helping rural areas get high-speed internet, but with little actual effort to make it happen. While Governor Ralph Northam continues to talk, Del. Byron has enabled nearly 7,000 homes to be able to connect to 1 gigabit per second high-speed internet this fall. Del. Byron cannot take care of high-speed internet for the rest of the rural areas in Virginia, but she takes action to get people in her District provided. Great job, Del. Byron.
Ms. Woofter also attacks Del. Byron for taking the side of corporate interests by noting that she has received $3,500 financial support from Verizon and $5,000 from the Virginia Cable Telecommunications Association in this election cycle. I think it is ludicrous to think a person of Del. Byron's statue would sell her reputation and principles that have been proven over her more than 20 years of service to the people of the 22nd District. Del. Byron was able to work cooperatively with members of the Virginia Cable Telecommunications Association and the Virginia Tobacco Commission to provide private/public funding for state of the art high speed internet for her constituents. Great work arranging a win-win solution that will stimulate economic growth, Del. Byron.
Beyond broadband, Del. Byron has accomplished advancements on workforce development by enabling a first in the nation 'pay for performance' program for credential workforce training. She has taken on the powerful hospital lobby on the Certificate of Public Need issue that would reduce constituents' medical costs and help doctors and insurance companies to control their costs.
On November 5, remember all the accomplishments that Del. Byron has delivered for the 22nd District and vote to send her back to Richmond to do more for us.