The House sent the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to President Biden’s desk, legislation that will address economic disparities and the consequences of decades of disinvestment in America’s infrastructure that have fallen most heavily on communities of color. In response, DNC Chair Jaime Harrison released the following statement:
“For years, Black Americans heard talk but didn’t see any action from Trump and Republicans who were unable to address critical community problems like lead leaching pipes, crumbling roads and bridges, and flooding streets.
“But now, thanks to President Biden, the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will address these monumental concerns while also advancing racial justice and equity through investments in communities of color.
“Because of Democrats, neighborhoods across the country will be safer, healthier, better connected, and Black Americans will experience an enhanced quality of life for generations to come.”
The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will deliver for Black communities by:
• Ensuring every American household has access to reliable high-speed internet, helping lower costs and improving internet access for Black Americans who are 9% less likely than their white peers to have high-speed internet
• Eliminating lead pipes and providing the largest investment in clean drinking water in American history. Families of color, especially in communities like Chicago, Milwaukee, and Newark are at the highest risk for lead exposure at home and in schools.
• Investing in public transit, reducing commute times, and addressing the backlog of repairs. In New York City, Black residents on average spend an additional 110 minutes per week commuting to work compared to white residents.
• Reconnecting communities divided by inequitable transportation infrastructure. The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will create the first-ever program aimed at reconnecting communities divided by transportation infrastructure that was built through Black neighborhoods, destroying homes, schools, churches and parks.
• The bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will invest roughly $65 billion — the single largest investment in clean energy transmission in American history — to upgrade our power infrastructure and reduce pollution. Black people are almost 3 times more likely to die from asthma-related causes than our white counterparts.
Remediating brownfields and Superfund sites. 26% of Black Americans live within 3 miles of Superfund sites that can lead to elevated lead levels in our children’s blood. By providing $21 billion to cleanup efforts, the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will help protect our children while providing good-paying union jobs to our communities.