Senate approved bill could mean millions of dollars in infrastructure upgrades for GreensboroBy Yasmine Regester, Peacemaker Staff Writer / August 12, 2021
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President Joe Biden’s $1 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was approved in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, August 10, following widespread support of the bill. The bipartisan bill passed 69-30 with support from 19 Republicans, along with Democrats. North Carolina Republicans Senator Richard Burr and Senator Thom Tillis both voted yes on the measure.
On Monday, local and state leaders came together to express their support of the bill. Mayor Nancy Vaughan of Greensboro, North Carolina Democratic Party Vice Chair Floyd McKissick and Communications Workers of America (CWA) N.C. State Legislative-Political Coordinator Grant Welch held a virtual press call to discuss how the legislation will make the lives of working people in North Carolina better by creating good union jobs and making the economy more sustainable, resilient and just.
The bill would provide investment in public transportation; roads, bridges, passenger and freight rail; drinking water and wastewater upgrades; clean energy and electrification; legacy pollution cleanup and extreme weather-resiliency; cyber-attack prevention technology; and universal broadband access.
“Cities make things happen. We are responsible for roads, water, sewer, trash disposal, transportation and neighborhood development – just to name a few. As we grow, our needs are quickly outpacing our budget. The impact that the bipartisan infrastructure deal will have on Greensboro and cities and towns across the country is much-needed,” said Mayor Vaughan.
She shared that she was one of 20 mayors in North Carolina from across party lines that signed a letter in support of President Biden’s plan, as members of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
“President Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure deal is a historic investment in our nation’s infrastructure that will make life better for all North Carolinians,” said Mayor Nancy Vaughan, adding, “This is something we truly need. We know the infrastructure bill will position North Carolina workers, farmers and businesses, large and small alike, and minority-owned, to be able to compete and win. It will deliver results for the people of the Triad and across the street.”
Mayor Vaughan also noted that a few of the major projects that this bill will fund for Greensboro is upgrades to water and sewer treatment facilities, roads, sidewalks and bike lanes.
“These are all projects that can go directly from the Build Back America plan. One of the other things that this plan is qualifying as infrastructure is affordable housing. People might not realize that is also a part of the plan. Greensboro and most large cities across North Carolina have an affordable housing crisis. This will enable us to invest more money into affordable housing.”
Communications Workers of America (CWA) N.C. State Legislative-Political Coordinator Grant Welch stressed how important good paying jobs and high speed internet access is critical to investing in jobs that set the state and country up well for our future as well as the green economy and telecommunications infrastructure.
“We all want good paying jobs that provide for ourselves and our families. We all deserve a chance to provide a stable future. That’s why President Biden’s infrastructure deal is important to union members and working people across North Carolina,” said Webb.
NCDP Vice Chair Floyd McKissick touted the need for lawmaker bipartisanship approval on the bill.
“President Biden promised to work across the aisle to deliver results for working families, and this deal shows we can come together to position American workers, farmers and businesses to compete and win in the 21st century. Families across the country have waited so long for these improvements in their lives,” he said.
The bill is now scheduled for a vote in the U.S. House.