Chicago, Illinois — Today, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi joined Congressional Candidate Jesús “Chuy” García and community leaders for an important conversation about the need to build America’s physical, personal and societal infrastructure. The leaders also toured a carpenters training facility that provides hands-on training to its members working to adapt to the world’s fast-changing economy. Below are Leader Pelosi’s opening remarks:
“Thank you very much, Commisioner García, for the invitation to be here and for the leadership you have provided on this issue — and for bringing so many important people together that can affect the best possible policy.
“I want to acknowledge Gary, who gave us a tour of the carpenters training facility. I thank him for his hospitality as well.
“Thank you, all. It’s a dazzling array of experience that you all bring in this.
“We are so excited about Commissioner García coming to Washington, D.C. and bringing his knowledge of his community, his aspirations, and the rest. We love Congressional Luis Gutierrez; we are going to miss him. He’s very excited about Mr. Garcia.
“We have something called A Better Deal: Better Jobs, Better Pay, Better Future. It’s about how we can increase the paychecks of the American people and how we can lower costs as well. The way I would shrink some of its provisions would be in three words, which are one word: build, build, build — build the infrastructure of America. The need for us to build is there — from every part of the country, from sea to shining sea — surface transportation, high speed rail, mass transit, water systems since some of them are hundreds of years old built of bricks and wood, broadband across the country. All of these things, we need to build, and they will create jobs immediately but also promote commerce.
“That has never been partisan in the past. Yet, we just don’t have the kind of bill that we had anticipated and that we hope we would have.
“So as we get ready for what comes next, we want to be ready. The second part of ‘build, build, build,’ is build the personal infrastructure: job training, the education of the American people, lifetime learning for our workers. The personal infrastructure is so important for our workers, and that includes workers’ benefits, safety in the workplace, health care and the rest. And the third ‘build,” is to build our democracy — that every person is respected, their votes are counted as cast, and that we respect America as a nation of immigrants where people come here.
“I am wearing orange today for gun safety day. It’s about building the physical infrastructure, building the personal infrastructure and building our society and democracy in a safe way.
“What has been proposed in Washington is the reverse of what we need to do. It used to be 20% local, 80% federal. Now, they are reversing; they want the opposite. You might as well not be doing anything. I know that our elected officials here may know that that’s almost impossible to do.
“So, I want to hear from you. We have real problems with what was put forth. It’s meager to begin with. It’s lopsided, making almost impossible to do. But, to be hopeful, it won’t be long before we have more leverage to do a bill that is worthy of our country and a good investment in our future.
“In the course of this election, we want to make sure that everyone who is running is held accountable for their commitment to building the infrastructure of America.
“Thank you, all.”