Congressman John Garamendi

Representing the 3rd District of California
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Congressman Garamendi Says Make Public Transit in America for our Economy, Environment & Security at 13th Annual Transportation Summit

August 11, 2010
Press Release

IRVINE, TX – Congressman John Garamendi (D-Walnut Creek, CA), a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, today participated in a panel discussion, "Rail Transit’s Community Impact," at the 13th annual Transportation & Infrastructure Summit. Garamendi, a leader in the fight to bring high speed rail to California, explained how smart investments in public transportation combined with policies that promote manufacturing in America can propel our country toward a more prosperous, sustainable, and secure future.

"I’m here today, surrounded by transportation leaders, to say the time is now to invest in public transportation – but we must make it in America," Congressman Garamendi said. "We can no longer afford to use our federal tax dollars to subsidize foreign produced goods. If we don’t make it in America, we won’t make it in America. Manufacturing matters."

"In the 21st century, America faces at least three challenges that will shape the destiny of our great nation: the rising influence of oil states that don’t share our interests or values; the growing ecological crisis caused by climate change; and the continuing decline of the manufacturing sector that created our middle class," Congressman Garamendi explained. "Public investments in rail manufactured in America tackle all three challenges head on. Investments in public transportation and infrastructure are a win for our economy, a win for our environment, and a win for our national security."

To bring good manufacturing jobs back to America, Congressman John Garamendi has authored three bills that would close corporate tax loopholes that reward the off-shoring of jobs and end taxpayer subsidies for foreign-produced clean energy technology, buses, railcars, and ferries. Garamendi believes that America’s security and prosperity in the 21st century depends on reasserting our leadership in clean energy and public transit production. For more information on the legislation, please visit: /sites/garamendi.house.gov/files/makeitinamerica/ 

As a California State Senator in the 1980s, Garamendi helped pave the way for two critical transportation investments. Along with then-Assemblymember (now Congressman) Jim Costa, Garamendi authored the legislation that began the planning process for a high speed rail network. In the November 2008 election, 18 years after the passage of Garamendi’s legislation, a $10 billion high speed rail bond was passed by the voters with the strong support of Garamendi.

Garamendi was joined on the panel by moderator Tim Welch, Councilmember, City of North Richland Hills, TX; Art Guzzetti, Vice President of Policy, American Public Transportation Association; Robert Lepore, Senior Vice President-North American Transportation Planning, AECOM; Gail Lyssy, Director of Program Management and Oversight, Federal Transit Administration Region 6; Eliot Shapleigh, Texas State Senator; Peter Sklannik, Parsons Brinkerhoff; and Gary Thomas, President/Executive Director, Dallas Area Rapid Transportation (DART). For more information on the summit, please visit: https://www.transportationsummit.com/.