Demos calls on Congress to support and enact “Jobs and Infrastructure” legislation

Demos calls on Congress to support and enact “Jobs and Infrastructure” legislation

June 22, 2017
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Dear Members of Congress,

Demos, a national non-partisan public policy organization working for an America where we all have an equal say in our democracy and an equal chance in our economy, writes to encourage you to join a growing list of co-sponsors of House Concurrent Resolution 63, supporting efforts to enact a bold jobs and infrastructure package that benefits all Americans, not just billionaires.

Demos calls on Congress to support and enact “Jobs and Infrastructure” legislation that the country needs. The American Society of Civil Engineers has graded our infrastructure a D+, poor and at risk.

As a member of the Millions of Jobs coalition, we call on each of you to embrace an expansive vision of the American economy that creates millions of jobs and publicly invests in our crumbling infrastructure that range from airports, bridges, and roads to water systems and schools. This resolution lays out principles for the United States to advance a 21st Century public investment, advances economic equity for historically disenfranchised Americans, and prioritizes saving the planet.

Demos calls on Congress to reject any false promises of a jobs and infrastructure plan that gives away billions of dollars to hedge funds, foreign governments and private investors, while saddling working people with more tolls and fees and doing nothing to address the global national security threat of a warming planet.

The legislative vehicles for a jobs and infrastructure spending may vary. But the principles that undergird any proposals must not. We call on you to champion legislation that adheres to -- and vigorously resist any plan that does not meet -- the following principles:

  1. Invest in creating millions of new jobs through investments in roads, bridges, and 21st century projects;

  2. Prioritize public investment over corporate giveaways and selling off public goods;

  3. Ensure that direct public investment, without reliance on private investors, provides the overwhelming majority of the funding for infrastructure improvement, so that public investments advance the public good;

  4. Prioritize racial and gender equity and environmental justice;

  5. Embrace 21st-century clean-energy jobs, including expanding solar and wind power, promoting energy efficiency, and modernizing the energy grid, while avoiding support for projects that promote fossil fuel use and hasten the disastrous effects of climate change;

  6. Include expanded Buy America provisions, protect and encourage the use of project labor agreements, require the use of Davis-Bacon prevailing wage standards, include strong local hiring and veteran-hiring requirements, ensure racial and gender equity in hiring, and guarantee that disadvantaged communities most in need, including both urban and rural communities, receive priority;

  7. Ensure the wealthiest Americans and profitable corporations who reap the greatest economic benefit from public goods pay what they owe and pay their fair share for key investments moving forward;

  8. Ensure that investments are not paid for at the expense of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, or any other vital program;

  9. Not weaken or repeal existing laws or rules protecting the air, water, or environment, transportation safety, civil rights, worker safety, prevailing wage standards, or minority contractor provisions;

  10. Prioritize resilient infrastructure that can withstand natural disasters, as well as physical- and cyber-attacks.

The Trump Administration has begun to lay out their infrastructure agenda, one that prioritizes taxpayer subsidies to billionaires, foreign governments, and Wall Street banks to sell off public assets. Millions of Americans have been excluded from America’s prosperity to this day. It’s imperative we publicly invest in a bold jobs and infrastructure vision that provide better opportunities for all workers, particularly workers of color left out of the many job gains we’ve made. We urge all Members of Congress to join us in this vision.

Sincerely,

Connie Razza
Co-Director of Policy and Research
Demos
 
Vijay Das
Senior Campaign Strategist
Demos