With the prioritization of infrastructure spending by the White House and support from both sides of the aisle, infrastructure is politically well-positioned to secure much-needed funding.
Despite a large-scale consensus that investment in our nation’s infrastructure is critical, an infrastructure package has yet to materialize.
As the White House prepares to lay out its strategy for the most effective approach to investing in infrastructure, advocates and key leaders on infrastructure issues — including the American Planning Association — are weighing in on big questions during Infrastructure Week — May 15–19 — ranging from how to pay for a comprehensive infrastructure package to who should benefit from it.
APA has long been an advocate for more and better investment in the nation's infrastructure.
This includes not only transportation investments, but also the framework needed to supply water, manage stormwater, provide energy, facilitate communication, and more. Earlier this year, APA's Board of Directors adopted guidelines that we're strongly urging Congress and the Trump administration to use as they work to create federal infrastructure legislation that addresses the concerns of planning advocates.
Infrastructure Week Gets Started
Infrastructure Week had its big kickoff today with an event attended by many notable infrastructure experts, including many coalition partners, business leaders, and a member of the Trump administration: U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao.
At the start of the event, Secretary Chao reiterated Infrastructure Week’s rallying call, “It is time to build.” She spoke to the urgency of the issue by laying out the Trump administration’s timeline, which she suggested will be shared with the country in the “next upcoming weeks.” In the meantime, Chao proclaimed that the administration is working alongside a myriad of other coalition partners, including 16 federal agency partners, as well as governors, mayors, and private stakeholders throughout the country.
Despite the White House’s involvement in prioritizing infrastructure spending, the country must ultimately rely on Congress to deliver funding for an infrastructure package. More than 280 affiliate organizations are taking part in Infrastructure Week events all over the country, not just in Washington. This large-scale advocacy effort represents a perfect opening for grassroots engagement.
That is why APA is calling on all planning advocates to position themselves as a resource for legislators in the discussion surrounding infrastructure investment.
Infrastructure Spotlight at NPC17
Infrastructure investment was on everyone's mind at NPC17 in New York City. APA's Policy Team was ready with information about our newly adopted infrastructure principles, daily policy briefings outlining APA’s official recommendations for more effective and equitable infrastructure investment, and updates on what we're hearing in Washington.
In case you missed us at NPC17 this year, here's what we're insisting Congress include in any federal infrastructure legislation:
It Is Time to Build
If you want to ensure that appropriators sign off on spending that includes funding to strengthen our nation's communities, boosts the economy, and expands opportunity, then share APA’s adopted infrastructure principles with your elected officials to put pressure on Congress to follow through with an effective investment in infrastructure.
Reach out to your legislators now — while deliberation among decision makers at the federal level is under way — so your elected officials know what pieces must be included in an effective infrastructure package.
Share APA’s Infrastructure Principles with your elected officials.
Top image: Construction on the extension of the No. 7 line in New York City. Photo courtesy Metropolitan Transportation Authority / Patrick Cashin (CC BY 2.0).
About the Author
Trevor Grady is APA's government affairs associate.