The U.S. Senate has been in the final hours of debating a 2,700-plus-page infrastructure bill. The bill is part of a compromise between Senate Democrats and Republicans, and has thus been subject to heavy negotiations.
One of the things put forth by the administration into the original American Jobs Plan was the idea of a “Reconnecting Communities Act,” which would use $20 billion to undo some of the damage that had been done to urban neighborhoods (and particularly minority neighborhoods) in the early days of highway building. However, that figure of $20 billion has now been brought down to $1 billion.
In other words, out of a $1 trillion bill, a token amount of money has been dedicated to the Reconnecting Communities initiative. Naturally, people are disappointed.
This week on Upzoned, regular host Abby Kinney is out on vacation, so Chuck Marohn takes up the mantle of host and invites Strong Towns Board Member John Reuter on to “upzone” this story about the Reconnecting Communities Act—i.e., they discuss it through the Strong Towns lens. They talk about how advocates are pushing back on the Senate’s decision, and the disillusionment people are feeling over what has been promised by the infrastructure bill versus what’s being delivered.
Then, in the downzone, John has been obsessed with a parody of old school musicals, and Chuck has been reading a real page-turner about microbes invading the sun.