Putting American Workers and Businesses Back In the Fast Lane

Gary Toebben
President & CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

This post was co-authored by Maria Elena Durazo, Executive Secretary Treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor.

Nothing is more important right now than creating good jobs and putting people back to work. But doing so is difficult in a time when leaders get caught up in heated rhetoric and sidetracked by intense partisanship. We lose sight of what Americans need most: JOBS. If you sharpen your focus on job creation, you can see—despite the red versus blue debates—a shining example of hope and collaboration that promises to generate over a million jobs and build our country’s infrastructure. It’s a plan called America Fast Forward (AFF).

AFF calls for increasing and leveraging the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) to support the private sector in creating jobs now by building projects on a faster timeline.

Just this week, the Democratic and Republican Senate leaders in public works and transportation outlined legislation to reauthorize our federal transportation programs that allow local municipalities to strategically leverage funds with federal dollars to immediately generate jobs.

The proposed legislation supports America Fast Forward and the expansion of TIFIA, which means that construction teams can get to work building a 21st century public transportation system today — not years from now. In addition to construction jobs, it will create more permanent jobs for bus drivers and mechanics who operate and service our bus and rail lines, and it will improve the quality of life for the millions of workers who use our roads and public transit to get to and from work everyday. In Los Angeles, American Fast Forward means expediting our Measure R transportation plan and creating hundreds of thousands of local jobs. That’s what America Fast Forward is about, and this is the type of bipartisan leadership that America needs to rebuild our nation’s economy and infrastructure.

The Los Angeles County Federation of Labor and the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce applaud the leadership and bipartisan efforts of Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), James Inhofe (R-OK), Max Baucus (D-MT), and David Vitter (R-LA), who came together to work on this important legislation and recently announced the outline of a strong transportation funding bill. Their support for America Fast Forward will create good, living-wage jobs while protecting our hard-earned taxpayer dollars.

We now call on the leaders of the House of Representatives to join this bipartisan coalition of Senators and support this innovative, 21st century job creation strategy.

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