US goal of racial equality in infrastructure is left to the states

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US goal of racial equality in infrastructure is left to the states

While community business leaders say the highway will connect the city to economic centers in Louisiana, Ms Wiley worries it will displace her church and neighbors.

“Looking at where I live now, it looks like they want to push us further and, that would civilize the community,” said Ms Willie, president of an organization opposed to development. “My hope is it won’t be the same but I think it will.”

Louisiana Department of Transportation Secretary Sean Wilson said he was weighing the concerns of Ms Wiley, as well as the views of members of the business community, who say the project will connect Allendale to other cities in Louisiana and surrounding states. , which will lead to production. Millions in economic value to communities.

Mr. Wilson, who was recently elected president of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officers, a nonprofit representing state transportation departments, has yet to make a decision on how to move the state forward. needed.

But he said the federal government had informed him that the prospect of receiving funding from Louisiana’s Discretionary Fund would depend on whether the state’s projects factor in racial equity and climate change. Discretionary funds, he said, would be required to meet any expansion.

Mr. Wilson said that the views of the local community would be paramount.

“We’re going to tell them to live with this infrastructure. We’re going to tell them to invest local dollars in this infrastructure,” he said. “And if we don’t do it right, they The consequences of this infrastructure have to be dealt with.”

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Federal officials say there are provisions to encourage states to take equity into account. Transportation Department officials are working with the Household Policy Council headed by Susan Rice, who leads the president’s racial equity initiative, to reach out to local governments to implement the infrastructure package.

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