Joint Statement in Support of a Fix-it-First, Jobs First, Sustainable Stimulus

Coalition for Smarter Growth, 1000 Friends of Maryland, Piedmont Environmental Council, Virginia Conservation Network, Shenandoah Valley Network, Community Research, Friends of the Earth, Maryland Alliance for Greenway Improvement and Conservation, Scenic Virginia, Audubon Naturalist Society, West/Rhode Riverkeeper, Montgomery Countryside Alliance, Action Committee For Transit, Anacostia Watershed Society, Partnership for Smarter Growth, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Clean Water Action, Virginia Association of Railway Patrons, Maryland Chapter of Sierra Club, Virginia League of Conservation Voters



Joint Statement in Support of a Fix-it-First, Jobs First, and Sustainable Stimulus

Dear Senators Mikulski, Cardin, Webb, and Warner:

The undersigned groups have been involved for many years in promoting, supporting and implementing fiscally and environmentally sustainable land use, transportation and environmental policies.  We hereby express our core concerns and recommendations for the stimulus bill before the Senate:

1)      We strongly oppose the proposed amendments by Senator Bond which would cut intercity rail and competitive multimodal funding and transfer those funds to highways.

2)      We continue to strongly oppose a $50 billion highways-only amendment proposed by Senator Inhofe, but understand Senator Boxer is working to make changes to this amendment.  We strongly support a fix-it-first (maintenance and repair) requirement for the funding, a priority for transit, rail, and local roads, and a process by which states must work with local communities to set their transportation priorities.  We need a real change in state DOT priorities.

3)      We support “fix-it-first” and “jobs first” as core principles, meaning that maintenance, repair and operations of roads, bridges, transit, and water and sewer systems should be the first and largest priority for funding.  This includes our support for transit operating costs because transit agencies are being forced to cut staff and service despite record transit ridership.

4)      We support priority investment in repair and upgrade of our water and sewer systems to protect public health, the water quality of our rivers, streams and the Chesapeake Bay, and to support continued revitalization of our cities and towns.

5)      We support energy efficiency and community development block grants.

6)      We support funding for new buses and railcars to meet rising demand for transit service.

7)      We support substantial transit capital and intercity rail funding provided it is tied to local commitment to design and implement transit-oriented development at the stations.

8)      We support requirements for local community input and input by local officials to determine the priority allocations for the general transportation funds.

9)      We support a requirement that the states and regions conduct a fundamental reevaluation of transportation project lists — before states can spend their federal capital funds – to account for rising energy prices, climate change and reduced long-term transportation infrastructure revenues.

The stimulus, especially the infrastructure portions, cannot be about business as usual.  We can no longer afford to fuel inefficient patterns of development with new infrastructure and not repair what we’ve already built.  Prime examples are our decaying bridges and exploding water mains.  By maintaining what we have already built we can also support development where we already have infrastructure.  Furthermore, in a world of higher energy prices and climate change we need to reduce the energy use, emissions, and oil dependency of our transportation sector.  This requires priority investments in transit and local “complete streets” supporting bicyclists and pedestrians, linked with more compact and efficient patterns of development.

Due to the speed with which the bill is moving we are providing phone numbers in lieu of signature for verification purposes.  Additional groups are expected to sign on tomorrow.


Stewart Schwartz                                               Christopher G. Miller

Executive Director                                              President

Coalition for Smarter Growth                               Piedmont Environmental Council

202-244-4408 ext 121                                         540-347-2334


Dru Schmidt-Perkins                                          Leighton Powell

Executive Director                                              Executive Director

1000 Friends of Maryland                                    Scenic Virginia

410-385-2910                                                     804-643-8439


Neal Fitzpatrick                                                  Martha Wingfield

Executive Director                                               President

Audubon Naturalist Society                                  Virginia Conservation Network

301-652-9188                                                      804-644-0283


Greg Smith                                                          Chris Weiss

Director                                                               Friends of the Earth

Community Research                                           202-222-0746



Geoff Patton, Ph.D.                                              Chris Trumbauer

President                                                             West/Rhode Riverkeeper

Maryland Alliance for Greenway                             410-867-7171

Improvement and Conservation



Emily Hoopes                                                       Ben Ross

Executive Director                                                 President

Montgomery Countryside Alliance                           Action Committee For Transit

301-349-5021                                                        202-293-2993


Jim Connolly                                                         Lisa M. Guthrie

Executive Director                                                 Executive Director

Anacostia Watershed Society                               Virginia League of Conservation Voters

301-699-6204                                                        804-225-1902


Sheila J. Sheppard                                                Kirsten Collings

Coordinator                                                           Campaign Director

Partnership for Smarter Growth                               Chesapeake Climate Action Network

804-225-1902                                                        240-396-2152


David O’Leary                                                        Andrew Fellows

Executive Director                                                  Chesapeake Regional Director

Maryland Chapter                                                   Clean Water Action

Sierra Club                                                             (202) 895-0420



Kate Wofford                                                          Michael Testerman

Executive Director                                                   President

Shenandoah Valley Network                                     Virginia Association of Railway Patrons

(540) 860-9944                                                        (804) 649-1405