Rebuild Texas Infrastructure

Infrastructure is figuratively and literally the foundation upon which our society is built. Without it, our cities and towns can't function. We need to lower congestion on our roads, provide clean drinking water to all our citizens and protect our communities from floods that wipe out homes and businesses. An advanced infrastructure is a public good and is one of the fastest and most efficient ways to create good paying jobs that every Texan would be proud to have. When infrastructure investment goes up, household incomes and GDP grow with it. It makes economic sense.


Our district was hit particularly hard from Hurricane Harvey. I’ve heard some local politicians talk about how this could not have been predicted or that there was not much we could have done to prevent it. They are misdirecting us from the truth.

The truth is that t​​​​​his was predicted and could have been prevented if not for politicians that were more worried about attracting campaign donations than protecting the constituents they serve.

A true representative would have recognized these issues and done something about them before the storm;

  • Our drainage systems are too slowly upgraded and can’t keep up with increased flow rates, leaving rain to pond in our streets and creep into our homes.
  • The Barker and Addicks Reservoirs were not maintained to the standard necessary to withstand the amount of rainfall that fell on us.
  • Real estate developers are supposed to build neighborhoods with detention ponds so they could retain any additional water runoff. Those protections were not enforced.
  • Real estate developers lobbied our politicians to build your future homes in the flood plain regardless of the future risk it might bring on to the home owner.

 

Beyond the devastating flood, Texas needs a major overhaul in many other infrastructure aspects as well. In 2012, the ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) rated our Texas infrastructure with an overall letter grade of C. The newest ASCE report card is out for 2017 and the Texas got a C-.

Currently, the United States is being outspent by countries all over the world. Texas can be the envy of the globe if we choose to make the investment to fix our deficient dams, bridges, congested roadways, rail roads, overflowed airports, failing electric grid, underfunded parks, and drinking water system. Rebuilding our infrastructure will create good paying Texas jobs that can’t be shipped outside of the state. Infrastructure is a public good that benefits everyone, from those commuting every day for work to the businesses that transport goods all over the state and country. Emerging businesses choose where to locate their offices largely on the local resources and infrastructure. When Texas competes with places like Silicon Valley to attract developing industries, we create new good paying jobs. An upgraded infrastructure will save lives, money, and time for everyone.

We must look forward and recognize the needs not only of tomorrow, but five, twenty, and fifty years from now.

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