Angela Glover Blackwell on Equity, Infrastructure, and the President

Today PolicyLink Founder and CEO Angela Glover Blackwell spoke with “Streetsblog Capitol Hill” Editor Tanya Snyder about her meeting with President Obama this week to discuss equitable infrastructure investment, and ensuring that low-income people and communities of color are positioned to benefit from these improvements.

Here’s an excerpt:

It was wonderful to be in a meeting with the president and the Treasury secretary and governors and mayors from around the country talking about infrastructure, with an emphasis on transportation. We’ve been focused on it for years, and it was encouraging to see it getting that level of attention and to see the President of the United States take an interest in transportation.

But I felt I had a tremendous responsibility to lift up the voices of low-income people and people of color and the communities where they live. It’s easy to talk about transportation and not talk about poverty, or the severe unemployment among Latinos and African Americans, those hit first and worst by this recession. I felt on my shoulders the responsibility to express that this has to be done in a way that impacts those who need it most. And the others there really heard what I was saying. Several referred back to what I had said, which was that transportation is a lifeline to opportunity in this country, and it’s way too important to leave to transportation professionals.

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One Response to “Angela Glover Blackwell on Equity, Infrastructure, and the President”

  1. avatar

    Your are correct that transportation concerns has its roots in poverty and the economy. In Toledo schools have "fixed their budget problems" by cutting the transportation of school children to school. Public school children need the bus to go to and from schools in order to take advantage of the few special programs that the school system provides. In a district that is already in academic emergency how are poor children suppose to get out of this vicious cycle of poverty? The transportation authorities have also re-routed city buses to make it more difficult for those school children and workers who ride the bus to get to and from their daily places. The purpose of this is to build the downtown into a center for the wealthy and privileged which takes from the poor. This also gives the city "an appearance of prosperity" without addressing the issues of poverty and homelessness in the city..

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