6 Ways the Passage of Proposition 8 Would Benefit North Texas
This year’s general election, held Tuesday, Nov. 7, includes an important proposed amendment—Proposition 8—which would change Texas’ constitution to expand broadband infrastructure in our state.
At United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, we’re advocating for passage of Proposition 8 because expanding broadband internet directly supports our mission to improve access to education, income and health—the building blocks of opportunity—in North Texas.
Read on to learn more about Proposition 8, how United Way works to close gaps in digital technology and what you need to know about the Nov. 7 election.
The Basics of Proposition 8
Proposition 8 is one of 14 constitutional amendments under consideration in this year’s election. If voters approve the measure, Proposition 8 will create the Broadband Infrastructure Fund, which would release $1.5 billion in state funds to the Texas Comptroller to support broadband.
The great thing about these funds is that they don’t require a new tax; the funds have already been set aside by the Texas Legislature through a bipartisan measure. Now, voters must approve the funds to be used to expand broadband.
6 Positive Impacts of Proposition 8
By approving Proposition 8, voters can help build a stronger, more equitable Texas. Here are six of the top benefits of passing this amendment:
- We would narrow the “digital divide.” Right now, nearly one in four Texans, or 7.4 million people, don’t have access to high-speed internet. Low-income people in both rural and urban communities are more likely to lack broadband internet, which limits their ability to access vital digital tools, like remote learning resources, online job opportunities and digital healthcare. By expanding broadband services, we can reduce this digital divide that limits opportunities for far too many of our neighbors.
- Students would be better equipped for success. As we saw during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, today’s students need access to digital technology in order to truly thrive. By expanding high-speed internet, we can ensure that all students, regardless of income level, race or ZIP code, have equal opportunities for online learning, which will improve college and career readiness across the state.
- Workers would have greater job opportunities. A growing number of today’s careers require high-speed internet access and proficiency. And at the very least, workers need broadband internet to be able to complete workforce training programs and search for and apply for jobs. Approving funding for expanded broadband will bring a greater supply and diversity of good-paying jobs to North Texans.
- Digital healthcare would be accessible for all. In recent years, the availability and use of telehealth and other digital health resources has exploded—especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, many of our neighbors in North Texas are unable to benefit from the convenience and time-savings of digital healthcare because they lack broadband internet. Proposition 8’s passage would make important tools like telehealth available to more communities, which could contribute to better overall health outcomes.
- Our economy would grow. Access to broadband internet is vital for Texas’ economy, both in rural areas and urban centers. With more students achieving college- or career-readiness, more workers accessing higher-paying jobs and more families tapping into easy-to-access and affordable digital healthcare, our local and state economies would soar.
- Texas would be better prepared for the future. Our region and state continue to grow at a rapid pace. It’s important that we have the digital infrastructure that will support the people, businesses and services that are the lifeblood of Texas. Passing Proposition 8 is surefire way to ensure everyone has access to high-speed internet—including business owners, schools, hospitals, police officers and more—so that our state remains a safe and prosperous place to live.
United Way Expands Access to Digital Technology
At United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, we’re spreading the word about Proposition 8 because expanding broadband directly supports our Aspire United 2030 goals in education, income and health.
One of the other ways in which we expand access to digital technology is through Digital Bridges, a partnership with AT&T, Richard and Mary Templeton Foundation, Texas Instruments Foundation and The Eugene McDermott Foundation.
Launched in 2022 through generous support from AT&T, Digital Bridges distributes laptops and provides digital literacy training across Southern Dallas to provide students in grades K-12 and opportunity youth (ages 18-24) with the capacity and resources needed to access education, further their learning and stay connected in the classroom and beyond.
In the program’s first year, together with partners, we distributed 2,123 laptops, enabling students in Southern Dallas neighborhoods to engage in online learning and setting them up for success in today’s digital school and job environments. The program continues to deepen and broaden its impact this year.
Make Your Plan to Vote in the Nov. 7 Election
Expanded broadband adoption would benefit all North Texans, and we hope that every change-seeker will vote “yes” on Proposition 8. This bipartisan measure is focused on expanding internet service to areas of the state that are unserved or underserved. And as our state continues to grow, we need this type of digital infrastructure to keep up with the demands of new residents, businesses and visitors.
Election Day is coming up fast! If you haven’t already, make a plan to vote on Tuesday, Nov. 7, or during early voting, held Oct. 23 to Nov. 3. Read our Election Day Guide for everything you need to know about casting your ballot this year.