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Barragán Votes to Create Millions of Jobs, Fight Inequality and Address the Climate Crisis

By July 1, 2020 No Comments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                      

July 1, 2020

 

Moving Forward Act includes two of Barragán’s bills: Climate Smart Ports Act and Outdoors for All Act

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Nanette Diaz Barragán voted in favor of the Moving Forward Act, the sweeping legislation to invest more than $1.5 trillion to rebuild America’s infrastructure while creating millions of good-paying jobs, combatting the climate crisis and addressing racial disparities in southern California and throughout the country.

 

“The Moving Forward Act proves we can grow the economy and create jobs at the same time we fight climate change and move towards environmental justice, “ Congresswoman Barragán said. “It will create jobs, both traditional jobs rebuilding infrastructure like roads and bridges, and create new jobs by investing the clean-energy industry. It will fight climate change by investing more than $70 billion in new energy infrastructure: modernizing the electricity grid, investing in renewable clean energy and energy efficiency, expanding electric vehicles and charging stations. It will move us towards environmental justice by investing in badly needed water infrastructure updates in underserved communities and reducing toxic air pollution at our ports, which are most often surrounded by Brown and Black neighborhoods.”

 

The bill makes record investments in clean energy, schools, affordable housing, broadband internet and transit.

 

The Moving Forward Act includes two bills written by Congresswoman Barragán: the Climate Smart Ports Act and the Outdoors for All Act.

 

The Climate Smart Ports Act would create the first federal program dedicated to greening our nation’s ports. The legislation creates a zero-emissions ports infrastructure program to assist ports and port users with replacing cargo handling equipment, port harbor craft, drayage trucks, and much more with zero-emissions equipment and technology.

 

“The Climate Smart Ports Act would bring environmental justice to communities living near ports, often low-income communities and communities of color,” Barragán said. “In many ways, the Port of Los Angeles is the economic heartbeat of my district. Ports are job creators, but also major sources of air pollution with serious public health consequences for the people living in the nearby neighborhoods. These people live close to working diesel trucks, ships, trains, and cargo-handling equipment spewing poisons into our air and water. And we’ve paid the price. By greening our ports, we can tackle this environmental injustice.”

 

Nearly 40 percent of Americans live within three miles of a port, including residents near the Port of Los Angeles in Barragán’s district. Many port communities are low-income communities and communities of color that have to deal with high-emitting diesel trucks, ships, trains, and cargo handling equipment. These high traffic areas are often referred to as “Diesel Death Zones.” Environmental justice issues are prevalent, and this bill can serve as a significant down payment on reducing these disparities.

 

The Climate Smart Ports Act has been cross-filed by Senator Jeff Merkley (Ore.), S. 4042

 

For quotes from organizations supporting the Climate Smart Ports Act, click here.

 

The bipartisan Outdoors for All Act was introduced by Barragán and Rep. Michael R. Turner (R-Ohio) to create a dedicated source of funding for the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program, which supports park projects in urban and low-income communities across the nation.

 

“For many low-income folks, city parks are the only easy and affordable access to the outdoors,” Barragán said. “Green spaces are crucial for the health and development of our kids, and the well-being of every member of the family.  This bill will help local governments identify and create new green spaces, and set aside existing green spaces for the construction of neighborhood baseball fields and playgrounds. It also allows for park projects along our nation’s waterfronts, like the one in my district.”

 

A 2017 survey found that 51 percent of residents in Los Angeles County live more than a half-mile from. Park. The city of Compton has only 0.6 acres of parkland per 1,000 residents, well below the Los Angeles County, California and national averages.

 

The Outdoors for All Act is a companion bill to legislation, S. 1458, introduced by Senator Kamala Harris (Calif.) in the Senate

 

For quotes of organizations supporting the Outdoors for All Act, click here.

 

Some of the other far-reaching provisions of the Moving Forward Act include:

  • The INVEST in America Act, a nearly $500 billion investment to rebuild and reimagine the nation’s transportation infrastructure by fixing our crumbling roads and bridges, improving safety, reducing gridlock and putting the U.S. on a path toward zero emissions from the transportation sector by cutting carbon pollution, investing in public transit and the national rail network, building out fueling infrastructure for low- and zero-emission vehicles and deploying technology and innovative materials. The INVEST in America Act is fueled by American workers and ingenuity thanks to strong Buy America provisions and labor protections.
  •  Invests in schools with the Reopen and Rebuild America’s Schools Act, which funds $130 billion in school infrastructure targeted at high-poverty schools with facilities that endanger the health and safety of students and educators. This investment will help students get back to school and create more than 2 million jobs to help workers get back to work.
  • Addresses structural challenges and upgrades childcare facilities by leveraging a 5-year, $10 billion federal investment to generate additional state and private investments in making sure that childcare settings are safe, appropriate and able to comply with current and future public health directives.
  • Invests over $100 billion into our nation’s affordable housing infrastructure to create or preserve 1.8 million affordable homes. These investments will help reduce housing inequality, create jobs and stimulate the broader economy, increase community and household resiliency in the face of natural disasters, improve hazardous living conditions and increase the environmental sustainability of our housing stock.
  • Protects access to safe drinking water by investing over $25 billion in the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund and other programs to ensure all communities have clean drinking water and to help remove dangerous contaminants like PFAS from local water systems.
  • Modernizes our energy infrastructure for a clean energy future by investing more than $70 billion to transform our electric grid to accommodate more renewable energy, expand renewable energy, strengthen existing infrastructure, help develop an electric vehicle charging network and support energy efficiency, weatherization and Smart Communities infrastructure.
  • Delivers affordable high-speed broadband Internet access to all parts of the country by investing $100 billion to promote competition for broadband internet infrastructure in unserved and underserved communities, prioritizing those with persistent poverty. Gets children connected to remote learning, closes broadband adoption and digital skills gaps and enhances payment support for low-income households and the recently unemployed. 
  • Modernizes the nation’s health care infrastructure by investing $30 billion to upgrade hospitals to increase capacity and strengthen care, help community health centers respond to COVID-19 and future public health emergencies, improve clinical laboratory infrastructure, support the Indian Health Service‘s infrastructure and increase capacity for community-based care.
  • Modernizes and strengthens the United States Postal Service by investing $25 billion to modernize postal infrastructure and operations, including a zero emissions postal vehicle fleet, processing equipment and other goods.
  • Promotes new renewable energy infrastructure by incentivizing the development of wind and solar on public lands and building a workforce for offshore wind.
  • Promotes investments in our communities by spurring private investment through the tax code, through a revitalized Build America Bonds program, expansions of Private Activity Bonds and significant enhancements to the New Markets Tax Credit and the Rehabilitation Tax Credit.

 

A fact sheet on the Moving Forward Act is available here.

 

The bill passed the U.S. House by a vote of 233-188 and must be passed by the Senate and signed by the president in order to become law.

 

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Nanette Diaz Barragán is proud to represent California’s 44th Congressional District, which includes the communities of Carson, Compton, Florence-Firestone, Lynwood, North Long Beach, Rancho Dominguez, San Pedro, South Gate, Walnut Park, Watts, Willowbrook and Wilmington.