BAF Applauds Mayor Rahm Emanuel's Infrastructure Revitalization Proposal
WASHINGTON, DC – Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced an innovative infrastructure program today - “Building a New Chicago” - intended to coordinate the revitalization of Chicago’s critical infrastructure. Included in the $7.2 billion package is energy efficiency work, runway expansion at O’Hare Airport, replacing crumbling sewer and water systems, 2,000 miles of repaved streets, and the creation of 180 acres of parks. Mayor Emanuel has proposed the creation of public-private partnerships through a new Chicago Infrastructure Trust to help finance the projects.
In response Marcia Hale, President of Building America's Future, issued the following statement:
“Mayor Emanuel’s proposal demonstrates visionary and common sense leadership. Everyone knows that our nation’s infrastructure is crumbling, putting citizens at risk and hurting economic competitiveness. We must now determine how best to maximize taxpayer investment. Establishing the Chicago Infrastructure Trust to help finance repairs and modernizations is a sound and effective approach to improving Chicago’s quality of life and economic prosperity.
“The U.S. Senate recently approved a transportation bill (MAP-21) that includes several provisions making it more difficult for states and cities to continue to innovate and partner with the private sector. BAF supports MAP-21, but we have serious concerns over several provisions that would erect barriers to states and cities seeking to collaborate with the private sector. This is not the time to stymie creativity, and we urge Congress to drop those provisions so that initiatives such as the one being proposed by Mayor Emanuel are not hindered.
“Mayor Emanuel’s proposal illustrates the need to protect the ability of states and cities seeking new solutions to infrastructure funding challenges. His actions today show leadership and creativity in addressing the growing crisis posed by our crumbling public infrastructure. Chicago has always been at the forefront of change and ingenuity and “Building a New Chicago” will generate economic development that can revitalize and improve the city’s infrastructure for future generations.”
Building America's Future Educational Fund (BAF-EF) recently released a new report - "Falling Apart and Falling Behind" - comparing the transportation infrastructure investments in the U.S. with those being made by our economic competitors. The report includes a series of recommendations to policymakers; chief among them is to develop a national infrastructure strategy for the next decade that makes choices based on economics, not politics. For the full report and more information, please visit www.BAFuture.org/Report.
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Media Contact: Laura Braden, 615-891-8433, email@example.com
“Infrastructure is a bipartisan issue because we all deserve safe bridges, uncongested roads, and sustainable transit options.”