Political Director’s Report – December 2021
Infrastructure, Inglewood and a Holiday Wish
By Antonio Sanchez
A few weeks ago, our Business Manager, Joël Barton, and I had a conversation with almost every congressmember in Los Angeles County. The topic was the trillion-dollar infrastructure bill that was working its way through Congress. All of the conversations were fruitful and all the congressmembers said it was their priority to get the infrastructure bill to President Biden’s desk as soon as possible. I want to give special recognition to Rep. Jimmy Gomez of the 34th Congressional District which includes downtown Los Angeles and the Eastside. He was a labor organizer before being elected to public office, and he helped maneuver the bill to President Biden’s desk.
I find it difficult to imagine what $1 trillion buys, so I invite you to think about it in terms of pipe, concrete, wire and conduit. The passage of this infrastructure bill is historic. It will keep job calls coming into dispatch from LA Metro, LAX, the ports, and public works departments from the County and from many cities in LA County. California will receive billions of dollars which will be earmarked for specific projects.
Here is a short list to help conceptualize just how much funding our state will receive:
- $25.3 billion over five years for repairing roads in the state that are in poor condition.
- $4.2 billion over five years for repairing bridges in the state that are in poor condition.
- $3.5 billion for water infrastructure and eliminating lead pipes in the state.
- $1.5 billion for airport infrastructure.
- $384 million over five years to build a network of chargers for electric vehicles.
- At least $100 million to install more broadband coverage.
Keep in mind that California will receive more than just what is on this list. This list is just the start.
A few years ago, most of the local elections were consolidated with the state and federal elections on even years, so we only had two elections this past November. We endorsed Arleen Rojas for Carson City Council and she won. Her election solidifies a labor majority on the council.
We also had an election in the City of Inglewood. With the completion of SoFi Stadium and the future home of the Clippers, Intuit Dome, under construction, the City of Inglewood has experienced lots of growth. Citizens there voted to send more funds to their public works department to keep up with that growth. Look for more opportunities for us in Inglewood.
Finally, I wish you a safe and peaceful holiday. Even after 20 months, it isn’t unusual for people to experience high stress or emotional distress due to the COVID 19 pandemic. Please reach out if you need help.
IBEW Local 11