In Opening Hearing of Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García Brings Attention to Overlooked Communities

February 8, 2019
Press Release
Transportation policies frequently fail to address needs of working class and minority populations

Washington, D.C. – On Thursday, February 7, 2019 Congressman Chuy García (IL-04) spoke at the opening hearing of the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure entitled, “The Cost of Doing Nothing: Why Investing in Our Nation’s Infrastructure Cannot Wait.”

Click here to watch the full remarks.

“Chicago is at the heart of the nation’s transportation networks including rail, highways, waterways, and is also home to two major airports. My constituents rely on good transportation to get to work, see the doctor and attend school.

“I’d like to shed light in this committee on the needs of those too often overlooked in our urban planning and policy-making processes.

“I represent a district that has many foreign-born individuals, like myself, and is majority Latino. I know that for too long people of color and immigrant communities have not been given a seat at the table. Unsurprisingly, urban planning and transportation policies frequently fail to adequately address the needs of working class and minority populations.”

“I am only one of two members of color on this panel who hail from the Midwest, and the only one of Hispanic descent. I pledge to my constituents back home and to those without a seat at the table that I intend to be a voice for those communities that have been adversely affected by this lack of representation.

“Studies by the Transportation Research Board confirm that immigrants in general, and Hispanics and Asian Americans are the fastest growing users of public transit in the country.

“Federal investment in infrastructure, as a share of total investment, has steadily declined in the last 15 years. This has forced States and localities to raise more revenue locally in an attempt to meet their growing infrastructure needs. Despite these efforts, the U.S. continues to experience a degradation of infrastructure and doing nothing will increase the pace of deterioration and cost of rebuilding. Congress must act to provide significant Federal dollars to invest in infrastructure. Raising revenues is the only sustainable way to increase infrastructure investment. No amount of private or leveraged financing will address chronic underinvestment.”