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U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Members Join Mayors from Across the U.S. to Urge Action in Congress: “Infrastructure is Calling”

May 12, 2021

Infrastructure Is Calling - Press Release Photo

Mayor Quinton Lucas of Kansas City, Missouri, joins (left to right) Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC); Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chair Peter DeFazio (D-OR); Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, California; Mayor Levar Stoney of Richmond, Virginia; Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ); Rep. Greg Stanton (D-AZ); and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for a news conference on the importance of federal infrastructure investment to local communities. Additional photos can be found here.

Washington, D.C. — Today, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Chair of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Chair of the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), and two former mayors and current members of Congress—Reps. Albio Sires (D-NJ) and Greg Stanton (D-AZ)—joined Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, California; Mayor Quinton Lucas of Kansas City, Missouri; and Mayor Levar Stoney of Richmond, Virginia, outside the U.S. Capitol to highlight the need for Congress to act boldly on infrastructure.

This news conference coincided with the rollout of videos of nearly 30 U.S. mayors from across the country highlighting the importance of infrastructure investment in their communities. During the event, speakers underscored how federal investment in infrastructure can help both rural and urban communities across the country create good-paying jobs by investing in American manufacturing and ingenuity, all while reducing greenhouse gases from the transportation sector—the top source of carbon pollution in the United States.

“Few understand the impact of rebuilding our infrastructure better than our Mayors,” said Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “Right now, Mayors across the country are speaking out about the urgent need for the American Jobs Plan to create good-paying jobs and strengthen their communities. With their committed partnership and the tireless leadership of Chairman DeFazio, we will advance the historic investments in our infrastructure that we need to help our nation Build Back Better.”

“As a former county commissioner, I strongly believe federal infrastructure investment is essential to help communities thrive,” said Chair DeFazio. “The right kind of investment means good paying, local jobs fixing our roads and bridges. It means safer, more connected communities. It means better options to get around, including more reliable transit and trains, bike lanes, safe crosswalks, and ways to charge an electric vehicle. That is why I am so excited join the chorus of mayors whose cities need a federal partner to achieve transformational change for the people we all serve. With the Biden-Harris administration making infrastructure a priority, this is our nation’s opportunity to invest in a clean, green transportation system that will benefit generations to come.”

According to the American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE) 2021 Infrastructure Report Card, America’s infrastructure earned a grade of a C-. In addition, ASCE estimates that the gap in infrastructure investment stands at $2.6 trillion nationwide.

“Infrastructure is the glue that holds our country together — connecting people to jobs, opportunity, recovery, and one another,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “L.A. knows what bold investments in our roads, bridges, railways, water systems, and broadband can mean: a more resilient, more sustainable, more prosperous and equitable city. For mayors nationwide, infrastructure is calling, and the American Jobs Plan is the best way to answer it.”

“America’s cities need bold action on infrastructure, providing mayors and city leaders the funding and long-term planning capabilities we’ve been seeking for decades, so that we can work in a serious way to dissolve dividing lines in our communities,” said Mayor Lucas. “Mayors uniquely understand how strategic city planning and infrastructure investment are vital to advancing equity in our communities—and how an infrastructure overhaul is the nexus for so much transformative change in our country. America’s mayors will continue working with Congress to ensure passage of an infrastructure plan.”

“The time for investment is now,” said Mayor Stoney. “From decaying schools to bridges whose best days were decades ago, it is critical for Congress to act today. Let’s come together and put our cities and our families first.”

The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will be considering surface transportation reauthorization legislation in the coming weeks that will lay the groundwork for a significant portion of President Biden’s American Jobs Plan—which a majority of the public supports, according to a recent CBS News poll.

“We have just about every single form of transportation in the district, from ferries to buses,” said Congressman Sires. “You know what’s important about that? When somebody gets on the ferry, they don’t ask them whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat. When somebody gets on the bus to go to New York, they don’t ask them whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat. Infrastructure is for the entire nation, so they can go to work, people can get good jobs, and, as they say in New Jersey, bring home the bacon.”

“A historic infrastructure investment helped Phoenix recover from the Great Recession stronger than ever—it changed the kinds of jobs we have in our region and put our economy on a new course. What’s happening in Phoenix should be happening everywhere,” said Rep. Greg Stanton, former Phoenix mayor. “We can make that a reality if Congress steps up to the plate to pass bold, meaningful infrastructure investment. We need to be good partners to help mayors and cities leverage their own investments, transform their economies, and make America more competitive than ever before.”  

“In the 116th Congress, the House passed the Moving Forward Act (H.R. 2), which included funding to strengthen the nation’s existing infrastructure and support new, innovative transportation projects,” said Chair Norton. “Now, with Democrats in full control of the House, Senate and the White House, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in the future and address challenges like climate change and environmental justice.”

For a video of the press conference, click HERE.  

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