Make your voice heard with City, State, and Federal representatives!

infrastructure, projects, nyc construction, mbe contractor, wbe contractor, funding, funding opportunities,
This entry is part 3 of 3 in the series Bipartisan Infrastructure Act

Wrapping up our blog post series on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act, today we’ll talk about how to advocate for upcoming projects at the Local and City levels once funding starts moving from the Federal Government across States and into agencies. Starting with the basics:

How will the funding process roll out?

There’s an Infrastructure Implementation Task Force established under an Executive Order in place that’s designated to “coordinate effective implementation across the government and advance the Administration’s priorities”. Members of this Task Force are working together “to break down barriers and drive implementation of infrastructure investments across all levels of government” with federal agencies.

But what does that mean?

It means that these agencies will handle the funds’ distribution with some additional oversight.  You can see the amounts allocated for each construction industry segment in this NPR article, which includes a breakdown. We would also suggest reviewing the funding destined for New York on this White House’s fact sheet.

Also, this Washington Post article sets out an example of how the funds will flow through different stages over the next few years: Of the infrastructure legislation’s $566 billion in new spending, only about $20 billion will be spent by the end of fiscal year 2022.”

For example, “Ray LaHood, President Barack Obama’s first transportation secretary, said there are vast and complex projects that will extend over years, such as a new train tunnel under the Hudson River connecting New Jersey and Penn Station in Manhattan, known as the Gateway Program, or major bridge replacements. But, LaHood added, there is also a pipeline of road, transit and other projects that states can jump on quickly, making a swift impact.”

On the other hand, as noted by Jim Tymon, Executive Director at AASHTO“Having the predictability of five years of federal funding allows them to develop those plans rather than having to react on a year-to-year basis.”

The article projects that roughly “a quarter of the funding will go out by September 2024. Annual federal spending from the bill ramps up from there in fiscal years 2025, 2026 and 2027.”

Meaning that funding coming through federal channels can begin to hit states and cities (including New York) as soon as October and lasting up to 7 or 8 years. IMPLAN, a provider of economic data and analytical applications, created an infographic of the economic impact of this Act. Check out their blog post to read more about their findings and projections.

nyc construction, advocating, city representatives, funding opportunities, mbe contractor, wbe contractor

What concrete actions can you take now before the projects start hitting the City?

What if you have relevant issues pop up within your community? Effective communication with your elected officials is vital to an informed and responsive government. Too often we feel disconnected from what’s happening with City Hall, Albany, and Washington.

You have the right to inform your representatives of communities’ infrastructure needs. How can you do this?

Below is a list of Committees at the City, State, and Federal levels. In each committee, you’ll find the information to reach out to the representatives via email and tell them what you need. Here’s a quick overview of how to do it:

  • State Assembly’s Committees: Look for the committees that deal with the issue you want to address. Reach out to the Chairman about your communities’ needs, you’ll have all the contact information on the pages of each Committee.
    • State Assembly Members: Locate your Assembly Members’ contact sorting by last name or district: Send them an email (or cc them on the one sent to the Committee), requesting them to address the issue in your community as well. Follow up with the Assemblymember the following week.
  • New York Senate Committees: Filter the senators by the committee you want to check and you’ll see the District members that compose said committee.
    • By clicking on their profiles you can check the contact information to reach out about your communities’ concerns.
    • By clicking on “Visit the committee page” you’ll see the latest updates, news, and events archive.
  • NYC Council Committees: Review the committees that will handle your communities’ troubles and by clicking on them you’ll see which Council members serve on them.
    • On the right side of the page, you’ll see their names and when clicking on them, it will redirect you to their profile with the contact information to get in touch about your communities’ infrastructure needs.
    • On the homepage of NYC Council, you’ll find updates, press releases, news, and upcoming hearings with their respective links to join virtual rooms, hearing calendar, and video archive.

Are you ready to make your voice heard? Reach out if you are interested in gathering more resources so decision-makers include your needs in discussion with other lawmakers.

Take the first step in getting ready for these projects, schedule a meeting with us to discuss membership!

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