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Metro Newsroom

Abramson to Testify Before Congress for Main Street Stimulus Package

Tuesday October 28, 2008

Abramson: Country can’t remain competitive without investments in cities

Mayor Jerry Abramson will testify before a House of Representatives committee in Washington, D.C. tomorrow, where he will push for a federal stimulus package aimed at creating jobs and improving infrastructure in cities.

“Metropolitan economies account for nearly 90 percent of national employment,” Abramson said. “If we want to heal this economy and create jobs, we need to invest in the metro areas that drive the national economy.”

Abramson will speak on the behalf of the U.S. Conference of Mayors before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday.

The Conference of Mayors is proposing a $150 billion Main Street Stimulus Plan to grow jobs, repair aging infrastructure and modernize schools and public housing. City leaders said after Congress bailed out Wall Street to the tune of $700 billion, it’s time for Washington to help local governments and the private sector create jobs.

“We’re not looking for a bailout. We’re looking for an investment,” Abramson said. “Cities are the best places to invest as we can get the money out to the people and businesses that can stimulate the economy.”

The Conference of Mayors plan includes:

1. Community Development Block Grant for Infrastructure: $10 billion

2. Energy Block Grant for Infrastructure, Green Jobs $5 billion

3. Transit Equipment and Infrastructure $9 billion

4. Highway Infrastructure $32 billion

5. Airport Technology and Infrastructure $1.5 billion

6. Amtrak Infrastructure $1.25 billion

7. Water and Wastewater Infrastructure $18.75 billion

8. School Modernization $7.5 billion

9. Public Housing Modernization $2.5 billion

10. Public Safety Jobs and Technology $2.48 billion

Others testifying before the House committee include John Engler, former governor of Michigan; Gary Gallegos, Executive Director, San Diego Association of Governments, representing the National Association of Regional Councils; and John Irons, Research and Policy Director, Economic Policy Institute.