Reps. García, Newman, T&I Chair DeFazio Join Chicagoland Transit Leaders to Highlight Transportation and Infrastructure Priorities in Midwest as part of President Biden's American Jobs Plan

April 5, 2021
Press Release

CHICAGO, IL — Today, Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04) joined Congresswoman Marie Newman (IL-03), Chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR), and transit leaders to highlight local transportation and infrastructure priorities in the Midwest region as Congress pushes forward with passing President Biden’s American Jobs Plan. The event underscored the importance of convening a broad coalition of local transit leaders and advocates to gather their input and ideas and determine the best path forward to creating good jobs and making America more competitive.

“Latino, Black, and marginalized communities continue to suffer segregation, gentrification, separation from opportunity by physical barriers like train tracks and highways. The American Jobs Plan will begin to undo decades of discrimination in infrastructure policy by investing in our communities, creating millions of good-paying union jobs, and rebuilding our country’s transportation systems,” said Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García. “We have a once-in-a century opportunity to make transformational investments to fix our crumbling roads, bridges, and transit systems in Chicago and across the country. I look forward to working with Congresswoman Newman, Chairman DeFazio, transit leaders, and local officials to get Chicago the funding it needs.”

“For decades, our nation has put modernizing our infrastructure and transportation systems on the back burner, resulting in incomplete infrastructure projects, broken roads, eliminated bus routes, and transportation deserts in far too many communities across the country. With the American Jobs Plan, we have a once-in-a-century capital investment to put our country on the right track to build back our roads and local transportation systems so we can make them more affordable, accessible and reliable than ever before,” said Congresswoman Newman. “As we move forward with passing this critical legislation, it’s imperative that our transit leaders, local officials and advocates all have a seat at the table so we can ensure Illinois residents receive the high-quality, reliable transit systems and infrastructure they deserve.”

“From small towns to big cities, the Midwest’s infrastructure is critical to the economy and job creation in the region. Today’s discussion—on the heels of President Biden unveiling his once-in-a-generation American Jobs Plan—only made it more clear that transformative investments to move our infrastructure out of the 1950s and into the modern era cannot wait,” said Chair DeFazio. “With Representatives Newman and Garcia, the people of Illinois are well served by two leaders who aren’t afraid to roll up their sleeves and get to work creating jobs, investing in communities, and ensuring that our infrastructure and transportation systems are smarter, safer, greener, and made to last.”

Announced last week, President Biden’s American Jobs Plan represents a historic investment that will create millions of good-paying, union jobs, rebuild our country’s infrastructure and transit systems, and position the United States as a leader in infrastructure and innovation once again. As Congress moves forward with building on the historic proposal, Congresswoman Newman has convened a broad coalition of transportation leaders and advocates to best identify priorities and projects to improve and modernize infrastructure and transit systems in the Chicagoland area and the state of Illinois. 

“Metra applauds Congresswoman Newman’s leadership in holding today’s important event with House Transportation Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio,” said Jim Derwinski, Metra’s CEO/Executive Director. “The announcement by the Biden Administration of their $2 trillion infrastructure plan is a much-needed shot in the arm for the nation’s aging infrastructure. We know with Congresswoman Newman and our entire congressional delegation, along with visionary leaders like Chairman DeFazio in Congress, we will soon have a robust infrastructure package that invests in transit and invests in America.”

“President Biden’s American Jobs Plan represents a much-needed commitment to the infrastructure that keeps our cities and towns moving,” said Chicago Transit Authority President Dorval R. Carter, Jr. “We thank Congresswoman Newman and the entire Illinois Delegation for working with Chairman DeFazio and Congressional leaders to craft an infrastructure package that will enable the CTA and transit agencies across the country to address longstanding needs to repair and modernize our aging infrastructure.”

“After the unprecedented challenges of the last year, it is extremely encouraging to see new leadership in Washington that prioritizes not only helping cities and states recover from the COVID-19 pandemic — but is also committed to investing in infrastructure that will build our country back and build it smarter, better and fairer,” said Chicago Department of Transportation Commissioner Gia Biagi. “These investments will push forward our work to prioritize walking and biking, reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, and improve our public way to support neighborhood revitalization.”

“President Biden’s American Jobs Plan is a monumental effort to not only rebuild our nation but create tens of thousands of good-paying union jobs in the process,” said Illinois AFL-CIO President Tim Drea. “From the American Rescue Plan and efforts to pass the PRO Act to today’s convening of local leaders, I applaud Congresswoman Newman and the rest of the Illinois delegation for ensuring our state’s workers always have a seat at the table as we collectively work together to restore our economy and strengthen our unions along the way.” 

“To maintain the region’s status as North America’s freight hub, the county has a growing need to expand and repair existing thoroughfares,” said Will County Executive Bertino-Tarrant. “A comprehensive infrastructure package will have the dual benefit of helping to address the County’s growing transit needs while creating good-paying jobs as Will County begins its comeback.”

A recording of the event can be found here.