Today, President Joe Biden signed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a multibillion-dollar investment in roads, bridges, transportation systems, lead remediation for water, broadband, and other important aspects of the country’s physical infrastructure.
In response to the news, Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), issued the following statement:
“We are pleased to see the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act become law. This is a much-needed and long overdue investment in our nation’s infrastructure—from our roads and bridges to our public transportation systems, water security, and our ability to prevent the worst consequences of climate change.
“We look forward to working with all of the relevant government agencies to ensure that communities of color, who have often been overlooked and underfunded, receive the level of investments needed to implement these essential improvements.
“The new law also makes vital investments in two key areas – providing broadband internet access to all Americans regardless of where they live and funding for both lead remediation and air pollution reduction in public schools, where crumbling infrastructure has long-plagued schools in low-income areas and communities of color. We are also determined to ensure that there is investment in the crumbling water infrastructure around the country, which results in exorbitant bills for working families. LDF has documented how water tax liens for unpaid bills disproportionately results in the loss of Black homeownership.
“But this is just one part of what our communities need. The next step is for Congress to come together and pass the Build Back Better Act. Through reducing health care costs, promoting the construction of more and better housing, supporting minority-owned businesses — as well as entrepreneurs who were formerly incarcerated — and investing in clean energy, the legislation will help ensure that the United States is a more equitable, just, caring, and dynamic country in the future.”
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Follow LDF on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.