Wave Wire Services
WASHINGTON — Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti joined House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chair Peter DeFazio, and a coalition of U.S. mayors May 12 in urging the federal government to make a bold investment in the nation’s infrastructure.
“There is no better way to rebuild our middle class and accelerate our economic recovery from COVID-19 than through the local careers that will be created by a bold national investment in our infrastructure,” Garcetti said. “A national investment in our infrastructure would address so many of our key challenges: air pollution and climate change, clean water for our children, broadband access for small businesses and students, and the traffic congestion that takes so much time and money away from our families. Local leaders are ready to get to work.”
The news conference in Washington, D.C., highlighted the “Infrastructure Is Calling” campaign, which includes videos from 29 mayors talking about the importance of federal infrastructure investments in their communities.
President Joe Biden introduced his American Jobs Plan on March 31, calling for $2 trillion to rebuild bridges and roadways, upgrade ports, deliver clean water, renew the nation’s electric grid and more. The plan was praised by Accelerator for America — a nonprofit consortium of mayors, labor and business leaders, and urban and economic development experts co-founded by Garcetti.
According to Accelerator for America, each $1 billion that the U.S. invests in infrastructure creates more than 22,000 jobs, many of which are well-paid union jobs that lead to careers. The group calls for the federal government to draft infrastructure stimulus legislation in alignment with the needs and autonomy of local governments in order to be most effective.
“Mayors have remained on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis in our cities for more than a year,” said Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt, who is a member of the Accelerator for America Advisory Council. “Now, with federal infrastructure investment potentially directed into local communities, we could have the opportunity to lead our cities through inclusive economic recoveries that will rebuild our communities even stronger than they were before.”
Garcetti, Pelosi and DeFazio were joined by Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., chair of the House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit; Rep. Albio Sires, D-N.J., senior member of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure; Rep. Greg Stanton, D-Ariz., former mayor of Phoenix and vice chair of the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit; Mayor Quinton Lucas of Kansas City, Missouri; and Mayor Levar Stoney of Richmond, Virginia.