In 2010, Union City adopted a comprehensive plan to revitalize and grow our small but close-knit city by 2030. Our vision encompasses a holistic infrastructural remodeling, from improving the South Fulton Parkway road system to a proposed Commuter Rail system and an enhanced pedestrian environment. We’ve made great strides towards building the thriving and economically competitive community we set out to create in our 2010 plan, but in order to position Union City – and Georgia at large – to achieve its full potential, Washington has to step up to the plate and invest in America’s infrastructure. That’s why Democrats and Republicans alike must come together to support the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework, a historic $1.3 trillion plan introduced by President Joe Biden and a bipartisan group of senators.
Having served as the Mayor of Union City for eight years and as a city council member for six years before that, I know a good deal for cities when I see one. And that’s exactly what the Biden administration has put on the table. The Framework will create a generation of good-paying union jobs, stimulate economic growth, and position Georgia and the United States to compete and win the 21st century, including investments in many of the key technologies needed to combat the climate crisis. And the plan won’t raise a dime from Georgians earning below $400,000 – meaning no gas tax increase and no fee on electric vehicles.
Transportation infrastructure is the backbone of every working class city, and it’s a focal point of this investment. The Framework will devote more than $312 billion to transform transportation in cities like ours around the country, including $110 billion for roads, bridges, and major projects. The plan focuses directly on what transportation infrastructure in our cities need right now: resilience, equity, and safety for all users, including cyclists and pedestrians.
For folks in Union City and all across Georgia, riding public transportation takes 74.1% more time than driving a car, with non-white households 3.9 times more likely to commute via public transportation. Additionally, 7% of Georgia’s trains and other transit vehicles in the state are past useful life. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework will modernize public transit with a $48.5 billion investment and direct $66 billion towards passenger and freight rail – the largest federal investment in public transit in history.
As we continue to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, we must continue to look towards the future and make long-term investments in America that boost Georgia’s economy from the bottom up and middle out. President Biden is delivering on his promise to find common ground in Washington to get things done. Now, it’s time for both sides of the aisle to pass this infrastructure deal and push Georgia and America to the next level of innovation and economic progress. This moves us closer to our piece of the promise.