While many metropolitan cities surge forward, rural areas and many low-income urban areas continue to be hurt by demographic decline, loss of manufacturing jobs, rising poverty and lack of investment, and poor infrastructure – both in terms of traditional infrastructure related to buildings, water systems and transportation as well as broadband internet connectivity. Failing to address these issues will deepen the chasm between rural and urban areas, with negative implications for national cohesion. Urgent infrastructure needs are deepening the rural-urban divide and also the gap in urban centers themselves. These communities need school renovations, investments in health care, upgrades to water and sewage treatment systems, improved transportation, and greater access to broadband. Such investments can help to reduce out-migration of younger people and the loss of business opportunities, to increase job growth and economic productivity, and to enable these regions to better face the forces of globalization, digitization, and automation.
To discuss these issues and to explore collaboration at the state-level, the Aspen Institute Germany and the American Council on Germany invite you to the next discussion in our virtual event series State-to-State: German-American State Legislator Dialogue with German and American state legislators including Ellen Demuth (CDU), Member of the State Parliament of Rhineland-Palatinate, Philipp da Cunha (SPD), Member of State Parliament of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Senator M. Teresa Ruiz (D), New Jersey State Senate (invited), and Senator Jerry Sonnenberg (R), Colorado Senate.