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Business, civic and elected leaders from across the country call on Congress to boost and refocus transportation funding.

 

Kicking off a new push to rejuvenate the nation’s investment in transportation, business and civic leaders from cities, towns and suburbs across the country came together Tuesday to urge Congress to help them innovate and build the infrastructure needed for today’s economy.

 

At the same time, event host Transportation for America, a Surdna Foundation grantee,released a proposal to raise an additional $30 billion a year for transportation, to plug the funding hole in the 2012 MAP-21 program while funding competitive grants to support innovative projects with strong economic impact. T4America announced the launch of a new campaign around the proposal.

 

“Under deadline to renew the federal transportation program and save the highway trust fund from insolvency in 2014, congressional leaders have said they want to hear from ordinary communities, and local civic and business leaders,” said James Corless, director of Transportation for America. “Today, they got that chance, and our alliance will make sure they hear from even more communities going forward.”

 

The Capitol Hill event, dubbed “Local Economies, National Prosperity: Community leaders make the economic case for federal investment in transportation,” featured speakers from communities as diverse as Nashville, Salt Lake City, Sacramento, Minneapolis and Tampa Bay. Business leaders and mayors explained why it is critical for their economies that Congress not only rescue the sinking trust fund, but raise enough revenue so local communities can fix bottlenecks and broken bridges while building new connections to support future prosperity.

 

“Local business leaders recognize that the right transportation infrastructure is a matter of economic life or death,” said Will Schroeer, Director of Infrastructure for Economic Development for the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce and the St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce. Underscoring the economic importance of transportation, he is the first joint appointment of the two chambers. “But we know we can’t go it alone, so it’s important to join with leaders from other communities to ensure that we have a strong federal partner.”

 

Participants in the day’s activities included Mayor Ben McAdams of Salt Lake County, UT; Mayor Mark Mallory of Cincinnati, OH; Mayor Ken Moore of Franklin, TN; Marc Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League and former mayor of New Orleans, LA; and Dave Williams, Vice President of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, among many others.

“Transportation investments make common sense,“ Morial said. “Helping people of all wage levels get to work and get to jobs, helping employers get access to the widest community of employees. It’s something that all of us, people from all parts of the political spectrum should be able to agree on.”

 

In addition to inaugurating a new membership network of mayors and county executives, major employers, key institutions, civic groups and many others, such as those that participated in today’s event, T4America is also today launching a new and improved website, complete with new features and ways to get involved.

 

Transportation for America is an alliance of elected, business and civic leaders from communities across the country, united to ensure that states and the federal government step to invest in smart, homegrown, locally driven transportation solutions. These are the investments that hold the key to our future prosperity. Learn more at www.t4america.org

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