LAS VEGAS, Nev. – This afternoon, presidential candidates Vice President Joe Biden, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Senator Amy Klobuchar, and Tom Steyer discussed the future of the nation’s infrastructure at “Moving America Forward: A Presidential Candidate Forum on Infrastructure, Jobs, and Building a Better America.” The event, hosted by the nonpartisan nonprofit organization United for Infrastructure, was the first-ever presidential candidate forum focused on infrastructure issues and was held on the campus of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). All the leading candidates from both parties were invited to participate in the forum.
The forum was moderated by The Wall Street Journal’s Executive Washington Editor Jerry Seib and Deputy Washington Bureau Chief Jeanne Cummings and included questions from voters from Nevada and across the nation. Candidates were asked how their infrastructure agendas will improve communities, strengthen the economy, create jobs and promote safety and national security.
“It’s fitting that America’s leading transportation advocacy association, APTA, cohosted the first-ever presidential candidate forum on infrastructure issues,” said Nuria I. Fernandez, APTA Board Chair and General Manager and CEO of the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. “Infrastructure presents both an urgent challenge and a singular opportunity for the next presidential administration to address an issue that affects every American.”
“It’s great to see candidates have a thoughtful, in-depth conversation around the critical issue of infrastructure, particularly public transportation and passenger rail, which provides millions of Americans with access to jobs, education, and health care,” said APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas. “APTA members know infrastructure is a critical issue that impacts Americans in cities, suburbs and rural communities every day.”
Along with APTA, the host committee for the forum included the International Union of Operating Engineers; Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO; North America’s Building Trades Unions; Transport Workers Union of America; American Society of Civil Engineers; American Council of Engineering Companies; American Road and Transportation Builders Association; Value of Water Campaign; Association of Equipment Manufacturers; Airports Council International-North America; and Build Together.
A recent poll of voters in key swing states found broad support for infrastructure: 89 percent of voters agree that infrastructure is a unique opportunity for politicians to set aside partisan debates and actually work together to get something done, and 68 percent think politicians in Washington devote too little attention to providing clean air and water to the next generation and repairing our roads, bridges, and public transportation system. Ninety-one percent support bold federal investment over the next decade to rebuild and modernize America’s infrastructure. Support for a national infrastructure plan is consistent across demographic groups, including rural and suburban voters.
The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public and private sector organizations which represent a $71 billion industry that directly employs 430,000 people and supports millions of private sector jobs. APTA members are engaged in the areas of bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne services, and intercity and high-speed passenger rail. This includes: transit systems; planning, design, construction, and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions; transit associations and state departments of transportation. APTA is the only association in North America that represents all modes of public transportation. APTA members serve the public interest by providing safe, efficient and economical transit services and products.