AAMA Calls Bipartisan Agreement on the Build Back Better Package
Published on October 13, 2021
(Washington, D.C.) — Washington is in the midst of heated deliberations over a bipartisan infrastructure plan and the Build Back Better package. Mayor Sylvester Turner (Houston, TX), president of the African American Mayors Association (AAMA) and the Climate Mayors, issued the following statement:
“Together, the infrastructure bill and Build Back Better package represent a new contract with America, ushering in new jobs, better transportation systems, and middle-class tax cuts -- plus critical investments in high-speed internet, lead pipe replacement, and solar facilities that serve low-income Americans. These bills are exemplary of how the government can work for everyday people.”
“As Black mayors, we are also deeply conscious of how crucial these investments are to start to reverse our nation’s long history of environmental racism.
“Since our nation’s inception, the people planning our infrastructure have paid little attention to the welfare of communities of color. Builders constructed
highways that went straight through communities of color, often taking houses by eminent domain to complete their projects. Planners plowed
through marginalized communities to create parks. Hazardous waste dumps and polluting industries were placed far from white communities and into Black and Brown neighborhoods. The list goes on.
“Today, the negative consequences are painfully clear. Black Americans are three times
more likely to die from exposure to air pollutants than white Americans. Black communities have lower quality roads
and transit systems
than white areas. And Black, Latinx, and Native American people are more likely
to live without running water and basic indoor plumbing than white Americans.
“As such, we know personally that infrastructure touches every aspect of society -- from the environment and health to education and the economy. By passing the Build Back Better package and the infrastructure bill, we have the chance to supercharge the economy, curb climate change, improve our transportation structures, and so much more.