Two years ago, Republican and Democratic leaders seemed to agree that our country needed better infrastructure. In his victory speech after the 2016 election, Donald Trump announced: “We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none.”
Today, infrastructure is more like second to last on the political agenda of the party in power.
With a change in congressional leadership, however, infrastructure has resurfaced as one of the key areas where the two parties and the president can find common ground.
Trump’s previous infrastructure plan was a privatization scheme, a plot to roll back environmental regulations and a scam to enrich the wealthy. AFSCME delegates passed a resolution during the 43rd International Convention in Boston opposing the sham plan.
A new infrastructure proposal must create good jobs and invest in public services. A plan America needs and AFSCME would support would, among other things:
• Invest in across-the-board quality public services while protecting against dangerous and costly privatization schemes;
• Create good jobs in transportation, energy and water systems, schools, public safety and community rebuilding that offer security for working families;
• Maintain the critical work that experienced public service workers perform on each and all levels of public infrastructure, from design to oversight.
Senate Democrats proposed one such plan in 2017. It called for big investments in roads and bridges, rail and bus systems, water and sewer systems, public schools, broadband internet and more. And it sought to create 15 million jobs.
AFSCME has long encouraged public investment in our country’s infrastructure. In 2019, we will continue to make our voices heard so that any infrastructure plan creates good jobs and invests in public services.