MADISON, Wis. — Earlier this month, President Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, certifying this one-in-a-generation investment in good-paying jobs, roads and bridges, broadband access, and clean drinking water. Families in every corner of Wisconsin and from every background — whether Black, brown, or white — will benefit from this law as it works to make a more equitable and competitive future.
Across the state and country, Black community activists have celebrated the law and the critical investments it will bring to Black families:
Congresswoman Gwen Moore: “Every community should have access to clean drinking water. For years, I have worked to secure the funding needed to remove all of Milwaukee’s lead pipes, which pose a threat to our children. The infrastructure bill includes funds that will help remove the 70,000 lead pipes in Milwaukee. That’s why this legislation is so crucial.”
State Representative Kalan Haywood: “The infrastructure bill includes policies that will work to reconnect communities. As we know, the laws and standards that were in statute in the 50s and the 60s detrimentally and carelessly allowed and used bridges and highways to decimate and separate communities of color. They were separated from economic cores, transportation, and opportunity. This bill provides funds to address and rectify that issue.”
Milwaukee County Supervisor Felesia Martin: “This is something that brings the deliverables directly to Milwaukee. And for every voter who doubted that the Democratic contingency couldn’t do it, we’re here to say today, they said they could and they did.”
Stacy Clark, Vice Chair of Democratic Party of Wisconsin Black Caucus: “This bipartisan infrastructure bill is life-changing for Wisconsin residents, especially residents in Milwaukee County. And it’s so groundbreaking because it is ground rooted in equity.”
- “He explained that the bill will allow Wisconsin to take critical steps in advancing racial equity and justice. One investment is broadband-focused and making sure that every American has access to reliable internet. This will help bridge the digital divide, Clark said. In Wisconsin, Evers’ Administration has already expanded broadband access to 300,000 homes and businesses, Clark said, adding that Evers declared 2021 the year of broadband access.”
Rep. Joyce Beatty, Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus: “I am glad the Senate, under the leadership of @POTUS, has passed a bipartisan bill that would make serious investments in our infrastructure. This compromise has the potential to rebuild the middle class with honest, good-paying jobs and reignite American competitiveness. My colleagues and I remain committed to working with the President as we build back better in #OH03 and nationwide.”
National Black Caucus of State Legislators: “Just when the political divisions seem to be at an all-time high in this country, President Biden, working in a bi-partisan way with Congress has found a way to bring America together through focusing on our common needs…. The Members of NBCSL look forward to working with our federal partners to help get America reconnected.”
National Black Justice Coalition: “Having reliable, accessible transit and internet, clean air and drinking water, and living wage jobs is a game-changer for Black LGBTQ+/SGL people living in poverty. We celebrate the passage today, and urge Senators to move quickly to also approve the budget, which includes major federal investments in child care, immigration, family leave, and climate change.”
U.S. Black Chambers, Inc.: “The Senate’s passage of the legislation is a critical step towards securing a long-awaited investment in our nation’s infrastructure system. USBC has been advocating for this action since 2010. In addition, USBC priorities for contracting opportunities and broadband investment are included in the bill that will — at long last — codify the Minority Business Development Agency, representing a bipartisan commitment to investing in the growth of Black businesses across the country. This investment will especially help those in our community who have historically lacked access to broadband, expanding to Black-owned businesses everywhere an increased opportunity to grow, scale, and adapt.”
Here’s how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal will deliver for Black Wisconsinites:
- Expanding access to broadband to all Wisconsin families, and helping lower costs and for Black Americans who are 9% less likely to have high-speed internet.
- Eliminating lead pipes and providing the largest investment in clean drinking water in American history. Lead pipes disproportionately impact low-income families of color in Wisconsin.
- Investing in public transit, reducing commute times, and addressing the backlog of repairs — as well as addressing the racism ingrained in transportation and urban planning.
- Funding roughly $65 billion — the single largest investment in clean energy transmission in American history — to upgrade power infrastructure and reduce pollution. Black Americans are almost 5 times more likely to die from asthma-related causes than their white counterparts.
- Remediating brownfields and Superfund sites — 26% of Black Americans live within three miles of Superfund sites that can lead to elevated lead levels in children’s blood.