Our current infrastructure was built for a time when there were fewer people and businesses in Southwest Washington and less carbon in the atmosphere. Now, our antiquated infrastructure is jeopardizing our quality of life. Modernizing our infrastructure is an investment in our communities that will create jobs and make our daily lives easier, safer, and less expensive in the long run.
It’s time for Congress to fund a replacement for the I-5 bridge. The insufficiency of the bridge system has created an environmental and physical hazard that hampers the productivity of our regional economy and makes life miserable for the tens of thousands of Washingtonians who make the daily commute across the river. To arrive at a forward-looking solution that works for Southwest Washington, we will need to improve cooperation with our neighbors in Oregon by forming a unified body tasked with handling interstate transportation and infrastructure issues.
A modern infrastructure also means updating our electric grid, expanding renewable energy infrastructure, and bringing every building and car in line with carbon reduction targets. We need to use our existing infrastructure in smarter ways, especially by investing in mass transit to the point that it becomes an attractive alternative to driving. Such an undertaking will give workers in this district and across the country good-paying jobs, stimulate the economy, and boost our national productivity.
Technology is now an integral part of our infrastructure. Our laws have lagged far behind our technological capabilities, resulting in widespread encroachment on our civil liberties and shutting millions of rural and low-income Americans out of the benefits of digital access. We deserve a comprehensive Internet Bill of Rights that ensures universal web access and net neutrality, protects residents from warrant-less mass surveillance, and provides users with more control over their digital data.