In November 2020, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and former Chamber Chairman Henry Cisneros asked us to help compile a list of the top infrastructure needs in San Antonio and Bexar County. The goal was to provide important data to the new Administration as an infrastructure bill was being developed.
The Chamber led the initiative and collected information from various entities in San Antonio and Bexar County, including projects and priorities critical to shaping a successful economic future in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the first time any information like this has been collected for our region, and the Chamber is proud to have been able to share this information on behalf of our community.
Cisneros recently released the report, which proposes 1,800 major U.S. infrastructure projects designated by local governments as “immediate funding priorities.”
“The weather events of recent months have made clear to us that basic infrastructure is not something we can take for granted,” Cisneros said. “We need to plan it, finance it, and build it. The San Antonio Chamber of Commerce provided a needed service in assembling our region’s infrastructure agenda, including water, power, transportation mobility, airport improvements, communications, public facilities such as for medical services and school buildings. Infrastructure is about growth and employment, but we do not exaggerate when we say that it is also about life and death public services.”
The report identifies three big priorities in American Infrastructure: Essential Infrastructure after The Pandemic, Climate Resilience, and Urban Rural Connections.
Additionally, the Cisneros-Kinder study identifies local and regional Infrastructure priorities:
- Transportation (including public transit),
- Public Facilities (including health facilities and parks),
- Water and wastewater,
- Energy (including renewables),
- Climate resilience, and
- Urban-Rural Connections.
The inclusion of local and regional infrastructure priorities is critical as they reflect the priories of American cities, metropolitan areas, and regions. Integrating local and regional priorities into a national infrastructure plan will support and advance the three national priorities.
The Biden Administration has presented the “Build Back Better” infrastructure spending program, which aims to “build a modern, sustainable infrastructure and an equitable clean energy future.” The Chamber is hopeful that the opportunity to share the region’s infrastructure projects and priorities will help shape a successful economic future going forward, and that funding for an infrastructure bill will make its way to our region.
For more information, please contact Stephanie Reyes, VP of Public Policy at email@example.com or by phone at 210-299-2162.