Padilla, Biden Highlight Historic Federal Infrastructure Investments in California
LOS ANGELES, CA — U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) today joined President Biden, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis, U.S. Representatives Ted Lieu and Karen Bass, and local construction workers at LA Metro’s D (Purple) Line Extension Transit Project – Section 3 site to highlight the historic federal infrastructure investments being made in California through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
“When we talk about the need to invest in affordable, reliable public transit options for working families, I know personally how important that is,” said Senator Padilla. “And it’s for those reasons that I was proud to support both the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law last year and the Inflation Reduction Act this year. Since my first day in the Senate, I have brought that perspective of working men and women—and our nation has to invest in infrastructure, not just for infrastructure’s sake but invest in families, invest in their pursuit of the American Dream, invest in economies for all of us.”
Senator Padilla has been a champion for improving California’s infrastructure. Last year, Padilla voted to pass the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which is the largest investment in public transit in our nation’s history and will provide over $9.5 billion in formula funding to California over the next five years to invest in transit projects.
Padilla has also strongly advocated for local transit agencies like LA Metro and the critical transit services it provides. Earlier this year, Senator Padilla joined local officials and LA Metro to highlight federal investments in the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor light rail project and later announced nearly $1 billion in federal funding to support the project, and most recently joined local leaders for the opening of the K Line. During the height of the pandemic, Padilla also announced $1.24 billion for LA Metro from the American Rescue Plan, which Padilla also voted to pass, to help the agency maintain critical service and jobs.
A full transcript of Padilla’s remarks, as delivered, are available below:
Good morning, Los Angeles!
It’s so great to be here with so many community leaders, the leadership of L.A. Metro, and I always love seeing hard hats! The men and women building this thing, who will keep working to maintain it and to operate it because Los Angeles is union town.
We do have a lot to celebrate. Over the last two years, it has been this Democratic Congress, working with President Biden, that has delivered. We’ve delivered record investments in our nation’s infrastructure, record investments in infrastructure here in Los Angeles and throughout Southern California, including, but not limited to public transit.
Now most of you know that I am the proud son of immigrants from Mexico. My folks came in the 1960s in pursuit, like so many others, of the American Dream. For 40 years, my father worked as a short order cook, my mom worked cleaning houses, we had I want to say a two car household—it was like a one and a half car household—because there was one that we could rely on and there was one car that from time to time, just wouldn’t start, it would break down. And it happened, I remember, I still have these memories of number one, waiting with my mom at the bus stop, hoping that—it wasn’t light rail back then, it wasn’t a big subway back then, it was the RTV—hopefully that it wasn’t too late because she has to get to work. The other memory I have with her haggling with a mechanic, and it usually was a tray full of homemade tacos and, “please, I promise I’m good for the money, I just need another week but I need my car.”
When we talk about the need to invest in affordable, reliable public transit options for working families, I know personally how important that is. And it’s for those reasons that I was proud to support both the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law last year and the Inflation Reduction Act this year. Since my first day in the Senate, I bring that perspective of working men and women and our nation has to invest in infrastructure for infrastructure’s sake but invest in families, invest in their pursuit of the American Dream, invest in economies for all of us.
And so yes we’ll have a historic level of infrastructure investments in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law represents in transportation—not just roads, bridges, and highways—in public transit, especially in electrification of our transportation sector; investment in the reliability and renewability of our electrical grid; investment in broadband deployment, particularly in rural areas; investment in infrastructure to protect our state and our nation’s water supply. This is a big freaking deal!
And we’re investing in greener infrastructure between the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act, while reducing health care costs, we’re on a roll, and we got more work to do. I want to speak just briefly in Spanish before the next speaker comes up. The bottom line is we’re doing it for working families, we’re doing it so that kids can go to school and drink clean water, not water that comes out of a pipe, we’re doing it so we and our neighbors don’t have to breath diesel exhaust through the community. There’s so much good that Democrats, including President Biden, are delivering. That’s what we’re celebrating here today.
Brevemente en español. Es un gran placer dar la bienvenida al presidente Biden aquí, a la ciudad de Los Ángeles para celebrar las grandes inversiones en infraestructura que fueron aprobadas el año pasado y este año. Gracias a la mayoría demócrata en el congreso trabajando con el presidente. Por muchos años, yo crecí en la comunidad trabajadora de Pacoima, California en el valle de San Fernando. Y bien se, con la experiencia de mi familia, soy hijo de cocinero, hijo de una señora que limpiaba casas. Y cuando el carro se descomponía, se que tan importante era tener acceso a transito público para llegar al trabajo. No teníamos opciones, tenemos que seguir trabajando. Es mi motivo. Como su senador federal, seguir luchando por los recursos necesarios para invertir no solo en infraestructura por cuestión de infraestructura, si no más opciones costeables para las familias trabajadoras de hoy. Para cumplir su sueño americano y invertir en la economía para todos, y para nuestro futuro.
With that, I want to thank President Biden for his visit here to Los Angeles. Thank you all here for being here today, for this historic day for the city and for the region, and let’s have a great day everybody! Last but not least, last but not least, just want to keep saying, don’t forget to vote!