By Alex Lasry
President Joe Biden recently signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill into law, a signature part of his Build Back Better agenda. This bill will make unprecedented investments in our neighborhoods and communities, and will impact every single person in the country.
This was a historic achievement, but too few of the details have been covered by the media and therefore, the full scope of this bill and how it will impact our lives is not widely understood.
For Milwaukee, the infrastructure bill will result in millions of dollars of investments directly into our neighborhoods. Our community will benefit in the form of new roads and bridges, better transit, improved electrical reliability, more energy efficient homes and schools, and better access to affordable broadband.
The bill allocates significant funding for lead pipe replacement to our homes, which will improve the health outcomes for our children. We are going to need significantly more people to do this work that we currently have, opening up opportunities for individuals to get trained and start a career with a family sustaining wage and benefits. As such, this funding will create tremendous opportunities for individuals who want to enter the pipe trades to become plumbers.
The infrastructure bill will provide funding to reconnect neighborhoods that were previously divided by highway construction, helping repair the damage done by decades of segregation and displacement and restitching communities back together.
Milwaukee Public Schools will benefit from funding dedicated to investing in renewable energy, saving taxpayers money and reducing pollution. Furthermore, there is money allocated to better weatherize low-income homes, which will be more environmentally friendly and save Milwaukeeans on energy bills.
But it’s not enough to simply build back our infrastructure, we need to go one step further and ensure that we are investing in the future of our community.
The Build Back Better Plan will result in millions of dollars worth of economic investment, that will result in thousands of new good paying jobs. We need to ensure that those jobs are family-sustaining, and that every part of the community gets included. We can’t just only give these jobs to those that have gotten them in the past. We need to seize this once in a generation opportunity to train the next generation of workers.
We need to approach this historic investment in a community driven way like we did when we were building Fiserv Forum and the Deer District. We went out to every part of Milwaukee to host job fairs and recruitment sessions. We made sure that unemployed and underemployed individuals were prioritized for opportunities. We made sure that the economic impact of making this investment in Milwaukee was felt in every neighborhood in Milwaukee, not just Downtown.
Now we need to do that again and make sure that we hold those in charge accountable to delivering real results.
We all know that too often, politicians make promises and don’t deliver. Politics is the only profession I have ever seen where people aren’t judged on results, but instead get credit for simply proposing something, making a speech or being on a commission.
Voters want more than that, and they deserve more than that.
We need to elect people with proven track records of getting things done.
I look forward to being judged on the results I have already delivered for Wisconsinites and the hard work I plan to do as your next United States senator.