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Merav's Platform

Merav in front of the capitol building in Cheyenne at the Women's March 2020.

The greatest threat to the future of Wyoming

In 1869, women in Wyoming were granted the right to vote; the first in the nation and beyond! Recognizing the rights of women paved the way for the creation of our beloved “Equality State”. It was a historical achievement to be proud of.

But now the future of the state and the women and men of Wyoming is at risk.  

The greatest threat to the future of Wyoming is climate change. No, not from the direct effects of rising sea levels or unbearable heat, but as a result of actions taken by other people to curb the effects of climate change. The technology to replace coal, oil, and gas with alternative energy sources is advancing in leaps and bounds across much of the planet. When the price of coal, oil, and gas declines below the cost of production, this sector will wane, along with the bulk of Wyoming’s revenue. We are watching the beginning as coal mines and coal-fired power plants are closing and our communities are losing residents and loved ones.

Is there a solution?

Of course! We need to diversify the state’s economy. We have been discussing it for decades, but accomplished only incremental change. The development of new extraction methods of fossil fuels mitigated some of the economic downturns over the years. Wyoming’s rugged terrain (the feature we love so much) combined with harsh weather, isolate us from major hubs of commerce and limits agricultural production. Our remote location, lack of infrastructure, and low population, discourage many entrepreneurs and companies. But now we have to act! If we stopped viewing ourselves solely as an energy producing state, state, and think more broadly, we can become attractive to a variety of industries. New technologies developed to curb the rise in greenhouse gases are spurring other types of innovations that rely on Artificial Intelligence, Biotechnology, DNA computing, Material Science, Integrative Planning. Just consider all the components required to build and operate an electric off-road truck, or hydrogen-cell vehicles. Or the expertise that will be needed to maintain caravans of self-driving trucks on our highways. Or what will happen when we merge Artificial Intelligence and DNA computing. Imagine such innovation as the future of Wyoming!

Merav with her dog, Chilkoot.

What makes Wyoming attractive?

Wide-open spaces, clean air and water, breath-taking scenery, abundant wildlife and fish, vast tracts of public lands; unparalleled quality of life for outdoor lovers… and rugged, adaptable and compassionate people who strongly believe in “live and let live”.  

What do we need to add?

•Infrastructure – modern data connectivity from every town in the state; data storage and high computing power; cheap, reliable and locally produced renewable energy; well-maintained, wildlife-friendly roads and other transportation modes.

•Services – Reliable and accessible healthcare system (not only insurance, but rather doctors and nurses, hospitals and clinics) providing high-quality care throughout the state. Top-notch education from pre-school to college (through our community colleges and the University of Wyoming). Professional training and job guarantee programs for people transitioning to new careers or dignified retirement and healthcare plans for those who can’t.

How? It will take holistic vision and careful planning to build our diverse  human capital while maintaining what we cherish.  We can learn from the Front Range of Colorado where open spaces have turned into a vague memory. We do not want to create the Jackson housing crisis in other parts of the state. We will need to empower our people, plan our investments, avoid failing endeavors, save revenues for the future, and consider all potential sources of income.

How can Wyoming achieve all this? Where do we get the money? We start by selecting the right advocates who are interested in turning this vision into reality. We start the process now realizing that it will take years to accomplish. We start by sending the right representatives to Washington, D.C., where support and incentive programs for innovations will be created. We start by electing me, Merav Ben-David, to represent Wyoming in the United States Senate.

Platform

Merav's Platform

In the past few months, our world has abruptly changed. To overcome the challenges Wyoming and the country face, we need a holistic vision, and the bold leaders who can turn it into action. As your senator, I will fight to: