As the U.S. continues to roll out economic recovery investments, including potentially trillions of government funding to be allocated across all fifty states for physical and digital infrastructure modernization, United for Infrastructure, a non-profit coalition comprising more than 500 Affiliates from business, labor, and governments across America are calling on our leaders in Washington to LEAD WITH INFRASTRUCTURE.
“Investments, policies, and reforms are urgently needed to keep people safe, to make our families healthier, our communities more resilient and equitable, to make jobs more prosperous and our economy secure,” said Zach Schafer, Executive Director and CEO of United for Infrastructure. “It is time for leaders in Congress and the administration to prioritize infrastructure. It is time to demonstrate the leadership the country needs.”
America faces immense challenges: ending the COVID pandemic, rebuilding the American economy, mitigating and adapting to the climate crisis, and making our communities more just, livable, and equitable for everyone. Infrastructure is key to addressing each of these. Infrastructure can jumpstart the economy through strategic stimulus and keep people safe on their commute to work or drinking water from their tap. It enables people to work and learn remotely. It is the foundation of our society.
“There is so much work to do - and the key to getting it done is leadership - bipartisan leadership - that prioritizes the everyday needs of American families, workers, and businesses,” Shafer said. “We need to ensure the infrastructure we already depend on can withstand a changing climate and helps reduce emissions through technology innovation, mode-shifting, and better planning and permitting. We have to raise the bar for ourselves and ensure every American has access to quality, affordable, reliable transportation, water, energy, and the internet. And we have to ensure that we can design, permit, and build the infrastructure we need on time and on budget.”
The organization is calling for policymakers, especially at the federal level, to lead.
“American voters have told us for years that fixing the infrastructure we have, making it safer and more resilient, and building a new generation of transportation, water, Internet, and other systems is an urgent need and a bipartisan issue,” Shafer explained. “Investing in infrastructure can play a crucial role in the economic recovery, creating both short-term and long-term jobs. When we invest in infrastructure, we invest in ourselves. That’s why nearly 80% of local funding measures pass at the ballot box, and nearly 90% of voters believe it is extremely important that Congress and the administration act modernize our public infrastructure.”
According to the organization, every $1 invested in infrastructure generates $3.70 in economic growth.
Closing our investment gap by repairing and modernizing our roads, bridges, drinking water systems, ports, and more will protect 3.1 million jobs in 2039, with outsized benefits for the manufacturing and healthcare sectors.
United for Infrastructure also points out the costs of not acting sharing statistics, including:
- 40,000 lives lost every year in car accidents – many of which could be avoided through better planning, technology, and maintenance.
- Forty-three percent of our public roadways are in poor or mediocre condition, and the vehicle miles traveled over “poor” roads has increased from 15 to 17 percent over the last decade.
- Property devalued – and lost – due to under-maintained dams and levees and flood control infrastructure.
- An average of $9 every day for each American household lost due to underperforming infrastructure – money spent on damaged electronics from grid surges, time lost waiting for a train or the subway, and more expensive goods at the grocery stores and pharmacies, including an average of $533 per driver each year in avoidable car repairs.
“The scale of our infrastructure needs demands bold action, a national vision, thoughtful policy, and significant funding from the federal government,” Shafer said.
Now in its ninth year, United for Infrastructure brings together diverse voices advocating for infrastructure, and while they are heartened by the renewed attention the current Congress and administration are bringing to this issue, they continue to be concerned about “big promises, half measures, and false starts.”
“Joined by leaders from industry, labor, and state and local government across America, we are reminding our leaders in Washington that there are no Republican bridges or rails or airports, and no Democratic water pipes or internet connections or power lines. Our communities, our workers, our businesses, and our families are asking our nation’s leaders to #LeadWithInfrastructure.”
Events are taking place from Monday, May 10 – to Friday, May 15. You can learn more about these events here.
IoT Evolution World, a publication of Technology Marketing Corporation, is a media sponsor and will be covering the week and publishing a series of special features.
Arti Loftus is an experienced Information Technology specialist with a demonstrated history of working in the research, writing, and editing industry with many published articles under her belt.
Edited by Luke Bellos