Story at a glance
- Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg outlined the disadvantages communities of color face in regards to U.S. infrastructure.
- Part of Biden’s plan is to help these communities secure better infrastructure and live in an environmentally safe place.
- The bill will cost more than $2 trillion dollars.
Following the unveiling of President Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg confirmed that improved accessibility for all American communities is a key pillar.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with theGrio, Buttigieg described how communities of color often face poor infrastructure and disadvantages compared to other regions in the United States — due to a history of racist systems and practices.
On a mass socioeconomic scale, Americans of color have been historically redlined from access to the same opportunities their white counterparts have, one of those being accessible public transit.
Buttigieg said this could include design faults, namely how some U.S. cities have overpasses that are physically low in Black communities.
“If you’re in Washington, I’m told that the history of that highway is one that was built at the expense of communities of color in the D.C. area,” Buttigieg told reporters, adding that community wealth also dictates the conditions of nearby transportation.
“There is racism physically built into some of our highways, and that’s why the jobs plan has specifically committed to reconnect some of the communities that were divided by these dollars.”
As Buttigieg and Biden prepare to jumpstart the economy by adding jobs to help with the revitalization of U.S. infrastructure, a major part of the plan is to distribute at least 40 percent of the overall benefits of federal infrastructure projects to disadvantaged communities.
Along with improved transit infrastructure, environmental justice, or the protection of vulnerable populations from anthropomorphic climate hazards, is also a key pillar. Communities of color tend to bear the brunt of adverse climate change outcomes and pollution.