High-Speed Rail Plan a Blueprint for 21st Century Infrastructure
Statement by California Labor Federation Executive Secretary-Treasurer Art Pulaski
“With the release of today’s new business plan, Gov. Brown and the High-Speed Rail Authority offer a viable, innovative blueprint to realizing a 21st century California infrastructure.
“The Authority’s plan to connect the Central Valley and Los Angeles basin in the first phase of high-speed rail construction makes perfect sense financially and operationally. By saving tens of billions of dollars through the use of existing commuter rail lines, the Authority’s new plan addresses funding challenges while giving Californians a realistic, transparent roadmap to making the vision of high-speed rail a reality.
“For far too long, the politics of decline have scarred California growth. We can no longer afford to compete with China and other large economies from behind. It’s time to invest in California’s future. High-speed rail will transform our state’s economy and lead to sustained job growth. The construction of the project will put hundreds of thousands of Californians, who have lost jobs through no fault of their own, back to work. The project promises to be a boon for small business, creating a renaissance for California entrepreneurs.
“As with any bold project, the voices of doom and decline say it can’t be done. They said it in the 20th century when California constructed a world-class infrastructure of freeways, dams, bridges and aqueducts that connected our communities and fostered a golden age of middle-class growth. We must reject the voices of decline now, as we did then, to reinvent California.
“We commend Authority Chair Dan Richard, the Authority board and Gov. Brown for providing the leadership our state needs to move forward. We urge the legislature to act boldly and swiftly to release voter-approved bonds that will allow construction to begin on this critical project by early next year.”