Rudy's Stance

America’s Crumbling Infrastructure

A country with a weakened infrastructure is like a person with advanced osteoporosis—they may look fine on the outside, but inside they’re just a stumble away from an ambulance ride to the ER.

Or worse.

And the truly sad part is, it didn’t used to be this way…

The Empire State Building was built—bottom to top—in under 14 months. During the worst depression this country has ever had. And the Pentagon—one of the world’s largest office buildings, holding over 25,000 workers—took only 16 months. During the middle of WW-II.

More recently, after the Northridge earthquake in 1994 Governor Pete Wilson slashed through the usual red tape and had the Santa Monica Freeway repaired and open within three months… when all the “experts” assured him it couldn’t be done in less than two years.

These days it’s not uncommon for similar-sized projects to take a decade or more… for just the permitting process. Add in environmental assessments, reviews, and litigations (designed to do nothing but prevent or delay much-needed improvements for political reasons) and it’s no wonder that—while we may look strong and robust on the outside—inside we have the crumbling bones of a calcium-deficient geriatric patient.

But the good news is, we don’t have to continue this way.

What can we do about it…?

We can take advantage of the unique opportunity to partner with the federal government and capitalize on the nation-wide infrastructure rebuilding plan being enacted by the new administration in Washington. Part of that plan includes an investment of $200 billion in federal funding (leading to approx. $1.5 trillion in total investment at the state, local, and private level). And even better, much of the decision-making around these investments will be returned to state and local governments. Along with this, the infrastructure plan will also eliminate the usual regulatory barriers which have previously prevented most infrastructure projects from being completed efficiently (i.e. on time and under budget—a rare thing in California these days).

Taking all the above in consideration, we need representatives in Washington who will work to accomplish what we—the residents of the 15th district—feel is most important for us. As your elected representative, I will work to secure funding to accomplish the following improvements:

  • Relieving congestion in the 15th District: Highways 680, 880, and 238.
  • Creation of a BART extension to Livermore and the Central Valley.
  • Expanding our vital water supplies. (Lest we forget, water = food and jobs.)
  • Improving our highway interchanges.
  • Improving and upgrading our electrical grid.
  • Working to cut the permitting process and repeal outdated regulations.

We need to take a fresh look at California regulations that benefit no one but bureaucrats and result in slow approvals for projects that would strengthen California's economy and way of life. It’s no secret our infrastructure is falling behind because of the failure to update and maintain systems that were built and implemented 50 years ago. Our economic success depends on the efficiency and quality of our transportation, water, and energy systems.

If elected, one of my top priorities will be to secure the necessary funding and regulatory reform necessary to bring California’s infrastructure up-to-date. After all, California now has the 6th largest economy on the planet. Isn’t it time we took steps to ensure that it also has a robust and reliable infrastructure worthy of its economic prowess?

A Better Way Forward!