Infrastructure & BBB Will Boost Communities of Color

Published on November 08, 2021

(Washington, D.C.) — On Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and agreed to vote on the Build Back Better Act by the week of November 15th.

Mayor Sylvester Turner (Houston, TX), president of the African American Mayors Association, issued the following statement in response: 

“Friday marked a monumental victory for our entire country. Lawmakers passed a landmark bipartisan infrastructure bill, and the Build Back Better Act will receive a vote soon. There is no question that these bills combined will transform our nation for decades to come.”

“The two bills will help make enormous progress toward uplifting communities of color across the nation. The bills provide a huge infusion of funding to fix our crumbling infrastructure and build healthier, more walkable communities -- while creating jobs. They also mark our nation’s largest-ever commitment to environmental justice. The plans include desperately-needed investments to combat climate change -- like funding to control flooding and modernize our electricity grid to improve access to renewable energy. Importantly, there’s additional funding to remove lead service lines throughout our older cities to eliminate potential water disasters like we saw in Flint and Benton Harbor, Michigan. Furthermore, the bills will help close the digital divide by expanding access to high speed internet so all Americans have an opportunity to compete in the 21st century global economy.” 

“The bills will improve access to economic prosperity through provisions that strengthen health care, affordable housing, child care, and employment. For example, the package includes four weeks of paid family leave -- a revolutionary provision to strengthen families and help working parents maintain their jobs. The package could also create more than one million affordable homes, provide significant funding for youth apprenticeship programs, target new money for programs that serve out-of-school youth in high-crime and high-poverty areas, and fund employment activities for justice-involved young adults who have dropped out of school.

“The list goes on. Together the infrastructure and Build Back Better plans represent a promise fulfilled to communities of color. Now, we need to make sure the latter makes it through the House and the Senate. When that happens, the United States will take a giant leap toward becoming the equitable nation we all deserve.”

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