Today's cafécito:Tejanos - Today, Jolt is launching our brand new weekly newsletter, Cafécito y Chisme! We’ll keep you informed on the issues impacting our Latino communities. Check your inbox Monday mornings for Cafécito y Chisme - served calientito with all the updates on Texas Politics & Policy.
Last week, something actually got done in Washington D.C. that will have a ripple effect here in every corner of Texas.
Last week, Congress passed $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill to fix roads, bridges and much more. The bill now heads to President Joe Biden’s desk, where it will be signed into law. According to a report in the Texas Tribune, an estimated $35 billion of this funding will go to Texas over the next five years. This is part one of the framework that the White House calls ‘Build Back Better,’ with another plan to invest $1.75 trillion in additional funds for social programs and clean energy infrastructure still in the works.
At Jolt, we took a look at what passed, and we are here to help you understand how this could impact our Latino communities here in Texas. These investments will create jobs, improve transportation accessibility, and bring internet access to rural communities.
The new law will create an estimate 2 million jobs per year for the next decade, mostly in the construction industry.
Roads and Bridges
$110 billion will go directly to construction and repair for roads and bridges. This is the largest investment to roads and bridges since the creation of the Interstate Highway system in 1956.
The plan allocates $39 billion dollars to repair and expand public transportation, with an additional $66 billion for trains. This will make taking public transportation more accessible and improve the experience of taking the bus or train.
$65 billion will be allocated to improve access to high-speed broadband internet. States will receive grants to fund broadband expansion for rural and low-income communities.
Clean Drinking Water
We will also see $55 billion set aside to fix aging water distribution pipes, including replacing any lead pipes. In addition to fixing lead pipes, the money would also help clean up PFAS, a chemical that can contaminate water supplies.
Tejanos deserve a state that works for our needs. These changes are a major step in the right direction. It is proof that elections matter, and that when we show up to vote, our voices can be heard, and the government will have to respond with policies that fund our communities, set up our kids to thrive, and help ensure healthy futures for us all.
Get involved - We want to hear from you!
Internet access, public transit and better roads are all important, but we could do more, right? Well, the second bill of the Build Back Better plan has not passed yet, and it needs to. It will provide access to affordable childcare, more healthcare benefits for our Abuelas and create clean energy jobs for young people across the country. Let us know how these policy changes could impact your life by taking our quick survey!
The immigrant youth-led group United We Dream released this awesome zine (a mini magazine) that is free to read. It features stories and poems in English and en Español paired with eye-popping illustrations. Please read and share!
The U.S. and Mexico border opened up again to "non essential" travel for the first time since the start of the pandemic. This is great news, especially for folks who have gone almost two years without seeing their family members.