The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

KL Conner,

The Fight for Equitable Infrastructure Investment Moves from the White House to the State House


The Infrastructure Investments and Jobs Act (IIJA), signed into law in November, makes a $1.2 trillion investment in infrastructure and puts in place multiple racial equity provisions. A new article, released today by the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), gives examples of some of the racial inequities in our current infrastructure and how the IIJA could address them.

Crumbing, flood-prone roads, unsafe drinking water, lack of public transit and internet, life-shortening air pollution -- this is what infrastructure failure looks like. Low- and moderate-income households are disproportionately households of color, and they are among the most at risk of experiencing infrastructure failures.

The Historic Opportunities for Racial Equity in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, by CEPR researchers Anais Goubert and Algernon Austin, illustrates various racial disparities found in infrastructure investments and how specific IIJA funds address historical infrastructure equities.

Some states are chafing against the racial equity provisions in IIJA designed to address historical inequities in infrastructure investment. "The potential of IIJA to reverse historical racial inequities in infrastructure investment may depend on state and local activists for strong implementation in some states," said co-author Austin.

The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) was established in 1999 to promote democratic debate on the most important economic and social issues that affect people's lives. In order for citizens to effectively exercise their voices in a democracy, they should be informed about the problems and choices that they face. CEPR is committed to presenting issues in an accurate and understandable manner, so that the public is better prepared to choose among the various policy options.

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