On the six month anniversary of the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, Tucson Mayor Regina Romero, who was present at the White House signing ceremony of the event, joined Biden/Harris Administration Infrastructure Coordinator and former New Orlean Mayor Mitch Landrieu in a press call with Arizona reporters on the legislation’s progress.
Speaking first, Mayor Landrieu boasted how his newly formed team is quickly distributing funds ($110 billion so far) to state and local applicants with another $100 billion ready to be released when approved.
Saying that state and local governments (including tribal communities) will have control over 90 percent of the infrastructure projects, Mr. Landrieu stressed that the goals of the Biden/Harris Administration are to:
- Rebuild the country from the ground up.
- Solicit feedback on the legislations progress and look for ways to improve implementation.
- Invest in high paying union jobs.
- Improve Equity.
- Increase purchasing of American made products.
- Combat climate change and provide avenues for green collar and green energy jobs along with water and lead pipe cleanup. There are also funds to combat wildfires and droughts.
- Expand broadband.
- Repair, rebuild, and modernize roads, bridges, airports, the electric grid, and shipping.
- Modernize cyber security.
Speaking after Mayor Landrieu, Mayor Romero first thanked the Biden/Harris Administrations’s point person on infrastructure, saying:
“Mitch, Thank you do much for your partnership… Mitch has been in our shoes. He understands what it is like to be a C.E.O. of a city…How grateful Mayors like myself are to the Biden Administration for this once in a lifetime opportunity.”
She also thanked Arizona’s Congressional delegation, especially Senator Mark Kelly, for their efforts in securing funding in the infrastructure legislation for additional PFAS cleanup and remediation.
Noting local efforts coupled with current infrastructure partnerships with the Biden/Harris Administration (please click here to read earlier articles on these events) like the recent passage of Prop 411, the initial PFAS clean up efforts, the unveiling of the Electric Vehicle Roadmap, the move to shift to electric fuel buses and create new routes for them to reduce traffic congestion, the revamping of streets to make them safe for all modes of transportation, and the receipt of a grand to repair/rebuild the bridge on 22nd Street, Mayor Romero stressed that “people want to see investment in infrastructure” and “I believe deeply that one of the greatest responsibilities of government is investing in infrastructure…” She also conveyed that such forward policies spark greater private investments to go with public contributions toward rebuilding and modernizing local communities.
Mayor Romero also expressed hope that the infrastructure law will be the final ingredient in creating a railway line between Phoenix and Tucson. If that occurs, she said it would relieve traffic congestion on I-10 and “reduce traffic congestion.”
She closed by echoing earlier comments from Mr. Landrieu by reminding the audience that some of these infrastructure projects will be completed fairly quickly while some may take years (from the drawing phase to actual construction) to complete.
Later, she posted on social media:
Great press call with #WhiteHouse Senior Advisor & Infrastructure Coordinator @MitchLandrieu46 on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and how cities like #Tucson are leveraging federal resources to build a better America.
— Regina Romero (@TucsonRomero) May 26, 2022