Yesterday, the mayors of the five largest cities in Wisconsin authored an op-ed for the Capital Times in support of President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal.
In the op-ed, Mayor Tom Barrett of Milwaukee, Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway of Madison, Mayor Eric Genrich of Green Bay, Mayor John Antaramian of Kenosha and Mayor Cory Mason of Racine, made the case for the deal’s passage through Congress – noting the profound impact its investments would have on their state.
The deal’s $550 billion in new investments would help rebuild roads and bridges across Wisconsin, modernize public transit, transition to cleaner forms of energy and improve resiliency in the face of the climate crisis. It would also extend broadband access to folks across Wisconsin and provide clean drinking water for Wisconsin families.
The bill would make Wisconsinites statewide more connected, more efficient, and more competitive in the 21st century economy.
The mayors note that the work they do in their cities is by-and-large nonpartisan or bipartisan – which is what this bill represents: progress for the American people and Wisconsinites regardless of party affiliation.
“Our residents rightly expect their local elected officials to ensure the pothole on their street gets fixed, the water from the tap is clean and the bus runs on time, regardless of whether they have a “D” or “R” next to their name on the ballot. We applaud our federal lawmakers who are taking the same approach to address these issues on a national scale.”
“Not only do we support the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal, but we also commend what it represents: Our democracy can deliver results for the American public.”
Read the full op-ed below:
We, as mayors of Wisconsin’s five largest cities, stand together in support of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal (BID) negotiated by President Joe Biden and a group of Democratic and Republican senators this month.
The $1 trillion package — with its $550 billion worth of new investment in transportation, water, broadband, energy and the environment — would modernize our nation’s infrastructure. This legislation would help enable America to compete on a global level, while empowering our residents to thrive from more equitable outcomes and enhanced quality of life in every neighborhood at the local level. We echo Biden’s recent comments to our neighbors in La Crosse: “This is a blue-collar blueprint to rebuild America.” Much of that rebuilding would take place right here in Wisconsin.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal represents the largest investment in American infrastructure in over 100 years, improving our collective safety, security and opportunity. The framework provides $110 billion for bridges and roads, which will help us fix the nearly 1,000 bridges and 2,000 miles of highway in Wisconsin that are in poor condition.
Mayors welcome these proposed investments, particularly: $39 billion to modernize our public transit systems, representing the largest federal investment in U.S. history; $7.5 billion to deploy electric vehicle charging infrastructure and another $7.5 billion to procure green fleets; $25 billion to improve for our airports; $17 billion to strengthen our ports and waterways; $73 billion to upgrade our power infrastructure and promote clean energy; and $1 billion to reconnect our most historically underserved communities and break down barriers resulting from discriminatory planning practices of the past.
Every American family deserves basic assurances that government will protect their households and provide modern utilities. As we emerge from the pandemic, a $65 billion investment will help bring high-speed internet to every home in America, including the 14% of families who currently lack access statewide. The framework would help states and localities to deliver safe drinking water to every family with $55 billion of assistance. It anticipates the risks of climate change and extreme weather events, which have cost our state $10 billion in damages over the past decade, by calling for $50 billion to make our infrastructure more resilient against risks of storms, flooding and excessive heat or cold. A $21 billion investment in environmental remediation will help cities address pollution that has harmed the public health of residents of neighborhoods that have suffered from environmental injustices for too long.
State and local officials have long envisioned world-class rail service in the Midwest. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal would help turn that vision into reality by providing $66 billion worth of passenger and freight rail investments, the largest national rail investment since the creation of Amtrak. This would enable us to add stops in Green Bay and Madison. The expansion would connect our Wisconsin cities with other communities nationwide — creating jobs and opportunity in the greater region, facilitating intercity travel and commerce, and reducing greenhouse emissions and traffic congestion. In short, it would help achieve our goal for a connected future and transform how we live, travel and do business.
As mayors, the vast majority of our work is bipartisan or nonpartisan. Our residents rightly expect their local elected officials to ensure the pothole on their street gets fixed, the water from the tap is clean and the bus runs on time, regardless of whether they have a “D” or “R” next to their name on the ballot. We applaud our federal lawmakers who are taking the same approach to address these issues on a national scale.
Not only do we support the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal, but we also commend what it represents: Our democracy can deliver results for the American public. We look forward to working with our federal partners in the administration and in Congress to restore and rebuild our nation’s infrastructure and set future generations of Wisconsinites on a road to prosperity.