U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., was able to include her proposal to bring back the U.S. Transportation Department’s Advisory Committee on Transportation Equity as part of the “Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation (INVEST) in America Act,” the $547 billion proposal backed by congressional Democrats.
Wilson insisted the advisory committee would include “community, academic, and government stakeholders to advise the Transportation secretary on policies to promote equity through community engagement and interagency collaboration” which was needed “because transportation policies and investment have historically decimated marginalized and underserved communities by severing access to basic services, resources, and economic opportunities.” She also noted “equitable transportation efforts help to revitalize urban, rural, and underserved areas by serving the unique needs of these communities.”
“Inequitable transportation policies and funding have exacerbated long-standing systemic disparities in marginalized communities, especially in District 24. The Advisory Committee on Transportation Equity will give leverage to stakeholders from these communities to craft real solutions to address issues that impact constituents every day,” said Wilson.
Wilson also helped shape the proposal to ensure that students at community colleges, minority serving institutions (MSIs) and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have more public transportation access.
“It is important to underscore the intersectionality of transportation equity issues, as water, health, housing, transportation, and community safety are all markers of healthy communities of opportunity and are all reliant on equitable infrastructure investments and strategies,” said Wilson. “The advisory committee would be a fundamental accountability body that could drive intentional cross-agency engagement.”
After serving in both chambers of the Florida Legislature, Wilson won an open congressional seat in 2010 and has easily retained it since then in a very secure district for the Democrats.
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