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Missouri Broadband Expansion | Election Firsts

Emily Weber standing with her campaign manager and other volunteers
Emily Weber
Emily Weber (second from right) is the first Asian American woman elected to the Missouri legislature. (Picture taken pre-COVID 19)

Governor Parson is allocating nearly $50 million in COVID Relief Funds to expand broadband services, and the election brings notable firsts to the Kansas and Missouri legislatures.

Segment 1 beginning at 4:56: Broadband access is being expanded in Missouri to ensure residents have access to essential services.

Expanding broadband access has been a top priority for a number of states including Missouri according to a recent PEW Charitable Trust's brief. The pandemic has highlighted where gaps in access exist as working from home has become a necessity for many households. Governor Mike Parson said he wants to ensure Missourians have access to telehealth, education, and telework.

Segment 2, beginning at 27:12: This past election Kansans and Missourians broke barriers by electing the first trans person and first Asian American woman respectively.

Emily Weber was voted in as a state representative in Missouri making her the first Asian American woman in the state legislature. In Kansas, Stephanie Byers will be the first openly trans person serving in the statehouse. Byers is also thought to be the first in the Midwest and first trans person of color elected to a state office nationwide.

When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.
As senior producer of Up To Date, I want our listeners to hear familiar and new voices that shine light on the issues and challenges facing the myriad communities KCUR serves, and to expose our audiences to the wonderful and the creative in the Kansas City area. Just as important to me is an obligation to mentor the next generation of producers to ensure that the important conversations continue. Reach me at alexanderdk@kcur.org.