Throughout the pandemic, we all became increasingly reliant on our digital devices for remote school, work and telehealth. Especially for my family, we depended on technology for our everyday lives.
My younger sister has learning disabilities and utilizes closed captioning for schoolwork. My mother, an immigrant from Japan, relies on her phone to translate and message distant relatives. As a student at the University of Washington, I access lectures, clubs, office hours and internships from my laptop.
The reliability of our devices is imperative for Washingtonians jobs, education and health care. Unfortunately, large tech companies (Apple, Microsoft) have moved in the other direction, monopolizing technology repair to reap profits. This created exorbitant repair prices and deepened the digital divide, disproportionately impacting rural and lower income communities.
If the Washington state Legislature passes House Bill 1810, consumers and small businesses would access parts to repair their devices. This would improve the longevity of the devices we rely on and decrease electronic waste.
We are currently in a critical window to pass HB 1810 before March 10. As a UW student, I encourage my district senator, Sen. Jamie Pedersen, to vote yes in support of this critical legislation.
Elena Hamblin, Bellevue