Article XIII. Infrastructure — Platform of the Multnomah County Democratic Party

PREAMBLE

Infrastructure embodies the fundamental facilities and systems that allow the economy to function. As a society, we must continue to construct facilities and systems upon which our communities and people can thrive. Systems must allow for business growth and a strong economy while protecting natural resources; ultimately designed by and for the benefit of local communities.

Locally preferred alternatives chosen by the citizens who live in our communities are imperative. Strong infrastructure and the projects that create and maintain it, are essential to a vibrant economy, peaceful living and environmentally effective communities.

The livability of our communities requires creatively-designed and strong infrastructure that includes schools, parks, trees, views, open spaces, libraries and museums.

PLANKS

  1. We believe that all construction and use of infrastructure must be directed through the framework of social justice and environmental responsibilities.
  2. We support the National Environmental Policy Act that requires Environmental Impact Statements for all actions.
  3. We support comprehensive capital improvements to maintain, preserve, upgrade or replace infrastructure, informed by assessments of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the Army Corps of Engineers and applying environmentally sustainable interdisciplinary design principles.
  4. We support projects that use local companies, materials, and disadvantaged businesses and workers, in all phases of the projects when comparing services or products.
  5. We support targeted investments in infrastructure to improve opportunities for small enterprises to grow.
  6. We support the restoration of public works and infrastructure projects such as the Works Progress Administration and New Deal, including in areas heavily populated by African Americans.
  7. We believe that new infrastructure investments must be spent on a multimodal inclusive transportation system focused on safety, efficiency, usage and environmentally-friendly techniques.
  8. We support the renovation, reuse, and recycling of building materials.
  9. We believe that without creating more plastic, we should reform and reuse existing plastic in building materials.
  10. We support the shift to local small agriculture, since industrial conglomerates do not serve the health of the people or the environment.
  11. We support the prioritization of clean, renewable energy production and distribution.
  12. We support the continuation of extraterrestrial exploration of our universe, to extend the reach of our understanding of Earth and open new modes of infrastructure that may not yet be fathomed.
  13. We support joint North-Central-South America infrastructure development as vital to our economy and stability.
  14. We support continuing six-day, door-to-door mail delivery for all businesses and residences.
  15. We support employing the full powers of federal and state laws and agencies exercising stewardship over forest, land and water resources, recognizing that protection and restoration of forests is a cornerstone of managing the atmospheric interplay of carbon and oxygen upon which plant and animal life depend.

LEGISLATIVE ACTION ITEMS

  1. We support the Build America Act of 2019 which provides dedicated funding for the national infrastructure investment program, the capital investment grant program, and for other purposes.[1]
  2. We support the Rebuild America’s Schools Act of 2019 which provides for the long-term improvement of public school facilities, and for other purposes.[2]
  3. We support legislation to promote and implement joint U.S.-Mexico development of water, farm, transport and other infrastructure resources. Such legislation must allow for inclusion of Central American nations in order to stabilize societies and underwrite peaceful interaction of peoples through mutual development of means of production and livelihood.
  4. We support legislation to promote and implement high-speed rail or other high-speed technology, including monorail, within Oregon and along the West Coast.
  5. We support public funding for electric vehicle infrastructure throughout Oregon.
  6. We support construction of renewable energy facilities or facilities that include carbon sequestration technology.
  7. We support programs that include all Oregonians in acquiring an electric vehicle, such as, but not limited to, buying clubs, raffles, lotteries, or giveaways.
  8. We support educating our citizens to know that every single-family dwelling with 220 volts electrical service (e.g., stove or dryer) is a half-finished fueling station for electric vehicles and other electric tools.
  9. We call upon our legislators to ensure continuation of six-day door-to-door mail delivery for all businesses and residences, and reinstatement of service standards.
  10. We direct Multnomah County and the City of Portland to claim the air rights over freeways in the public domain, and to develop parks and low-income and moderate-income housing over parts of them as described in the Central City Plan adopted in 1989, retaining the revenue from development in the public domain.
  11. We support continuing efforts to improve intra-city transportation to address inequities and ineffectiveness in current system.
  12. We support transportation infrastructure into and out of our ports, industrial areas and employment centers that is fast, efficient, multi-modal, and environment friendly.
  13. We support port-to-port bridge connections between Oregon and Washington — at Woodland, WA to St. Helens, OR; and at Camas, WA to Troutdale, OR – in order to strengthen the economy with efficient commercial connections, and the environment with less driving and congestion.
  14. We insist that a third freeway-bridge crossing between Oregon and Washington be open and usable before any major changes or closures are made to the I-5 and I-205 freeway bridges for other than maintenance.
  15. We call on the Oregon Legislature to require advance announcements of Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) for all marine commercial vessels needing I-5 freeway bridge lifts.
  16. We urge immediate action to extend the only High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane in the State of Oregon to miles north into WA.
  17. We call for legislation to provide adequate funding to repair infrastructure damage in U.S. possessions and territories.

[1] H.R. 180 Build America Act of 2019 amends the Internal Revenue Code to establish a National Infrastructure Investment Trust Fund and increases the tax on gasoline other than aviation gasoline and on diesel fuel or kerosene.  https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/180

[2] S. 266 Rebuild America’s Schools Act of 2019. https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/266/text#toc-HB49A2CE696C54259AC98CB8626B307BF