eNews - November 21, 2011
Let's move forward with High-Speed Rail
We've been talking about High-Speed Rail (HSR) for years (its cost; its environmental benefits; the jobs it will create for our industry, etc.), and finally, with the release of the new California High-Speed Rail Authority's business plan, we are much closer to the project becoming a reality. At a Bay Area press conference in November, labor leaders, including our own Political Director Mark Kyle, gathered to express the countless benefits of HSR to the state's economy, noting that California's I-5 was once deemed too expensive and impossible, yet today, it is the transportation backbone of the state. "We need the rail line for mobility and to accommodate our growing population, but we also need the jobs that will come with constructing it," said Kyle. For the full article, click here.
The first phase of the project (starting in the San Joaquin Valley) is expected to create 100,000 construction jobs with 5,000 of them being permanent operations and maintenance jobs. More than 1 million jobs will be created over the lifetime of the project. Moving forward with HSR is a no-brainer for our industry, but it is also a no-brainer in terms of accommodating California's growing population (it's expected to grow by 12 million by 2032) with a greener means of transportation that won't ruin an already fragile environment.
Should we spend money on more freeways and airports that rely on fossil fuels while increasing traffic congestion or invest in a clean, quick train that will be easy to maintain? Yes, the train is expensive, but so is nearly every innovation that has come out of this state (none of which are fully paid for at the beginning, such as the California Water Project). The naysayers cannot see the bigger picture, and as long as they continue to think small, California's economy will continue to shrink accordingly.
Local 3 members are urged to get the facts on HSR and how its construction will save and create jobs for us all. Click on the links below for more information and call your district office to see how you can support it.