“We Do Big Things” — Transportation and the State of the Union

Statement by the
Equity Caucus at Transportation for America
on President Obama’s
State of the Union Address

We applaud President Obama’s State of the Union call for smart, targeted transportation investments that connect all Americans to opportunity.

The infrastructure Americans build, operate, and repair today will create jobs now and lay the foundation for a competitive and prosperous tomorrow. But our inadequate, outdated, and underfunded transportation systems are keeping too many struggling Americans—young and old, rural and urban—from fully connecting and contributing to the national economy.

Millions of Americans rely exclusively on public transit, walking, or biking to get to work, to the doctor’s office, to school, and to the grocery store. Nearly 20 percent of African American households, 14 percent of Latino households, and 13 percent of Asian households live without a car. Fifteen percent of Native Americans must travel more than 100 miles to access basic services.

Smarter transportation investments can unleash the under-realized economic power of communities across America.

We look forward to working with President Obama and Congress to move forward a surface transportation authorization in 2011 with investments that:

  • Create affordable and flexible transportation options for everyone, regardless of income, race, age, disability, or background;
  • Create, protect, and ensure fair access to quality jobs, training, and contracting opportunities in the transportation industry;
  • Promote healthy, safe, and inclusive communities with housing opportunities for families of all incomes; and
  • Encourage fair and transparent investment of public dollars invested in transportation.

The American people want these changes, too. A recent Transportation for America poll revealed that more than two-thirds say they “would like more transportation options.”

By investing in transportation projects, America can get people back to work now, lay a strong foundation for future economic growth, and expand opportunity for millions of people. But we must target our investments equitably to the people and places that need them the most.

Americans are ready to get back to work building our future.

Endorsed by these members of the Equity Caucus:

PolicyLink (Equity Caucus Chair)
Alliance for Biking & Walking
Alliance for Metropolitan Stability
Alternatives for Community & Environment
Amalgamated Transit Union
America Bikes
American Public Health Association
Apollo Alliance
Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living
Center for Community Change
Center for Rural Strategies
Center for Social Inclusion
Change to Win
Coalition for the Advancement of Regional Transportation
Coalition on Human Needs
Coalition on Regional Equity
Conservation Law Foundation
Developing Communities Project
Enterprise Community Partners
Equity Atlanta
Gamaliel Foundation
Good Jobs First
Green for All
Greenlining Institute
International Brotherhood of Teamsters
Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies
Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity
Labor/Community Strategy Center and Bus Riders Union
Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
Little Village Environmental Justice Organization
Local Initiatives Support Corporation
Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition
Low Income Investment Fund
Massachusetts Public Health Association
Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy
NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations
National Association of County and City Health Officials
National Center for Bicycling & Walking / Active Living Resource Center
National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development
National Complete Streets Coalition
National Congress of American Indians
National Council of La Raza
National Fair Housing Alliance
National Housing Conference
National Housing Trust
National Low Income Housing Coalition
National Urban League
National Wildlife Foundation
Opportunity Agenda
Partnership for Working Families
Poverty & Race Research Action Council
Public Advocates
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
Reconnecting America
Redwood Coast Rural Action
Safe Routes to School National Partnership
Smart Growth America
Transit Riders for Public Transportation
Transport Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO
Transportation Equity Network
Transportation for America
Trust for America’s Health
Ubuntu Green
Urban Habitat
U.S. Public Interest Research Group
William C. Velásquez Institute
Wider Opportunities for Women
YouthBuild USA

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