Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, today joined Senate colleagues in urging the U.S. Department of Transportation to permanently re-establish the Advisory Committee on Transportation Equity.

The Advisory Committee was created under the Obama Administration to convene stakeholders in order to provide independent advice and recommendations about comprehensive, interdisciplinary issues related to transportation equity. This includes the role of transportation policy on health, housing, environmental justice, and other related issues. However, the Trump Administration dissolved the Advisory Committee nearly a year before its initial charter was set to expire.

In a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, the Senators write, “We…believe that the Committee would help recognize and address the impact of our transportation infrastructure on climate change, health, housing, disability rights, environmental justice, safety, and other issues through meaningful collaboration.”

“As we work to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, we must ensure that the historic investments we seek to enact help revitalize communities, connect neighborhoods, and incorporate community input,” they continued. “We urge you to reestablish the Committee to emphasize these goals and foster opportunity in all communities.”

Carper signed the letter alongside Senators Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Wis.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).

Full text of the letter here and below:

The Honorable Pete Buttigieg

Secretary

Department of Transportation

1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE

Washington, DC 20590

 

Dear Secretary Buttigieg:

We write to urge the reestablishment of the Advisory Committee on Transportation Equity within the Department of Transportation, which would help ensure that proposed investments in our nation’s infrastructure redress historic barriers to mobility and promote economic opportunity for all.

The Committee was established in late 2016 to provide independent advice and recommendations to the Secretary of Transportation about comprehensive, interdisciplinary issues related to transportation equity. Furthermore, the Committee was formed to strengthen and establish partnerships with other governmental agencies, empower communities to have a meaningful voice in local and regional transportation decisions, and prevent discrimination. Unfortunately, the previous administration failed to convene this Committee and eliminated it in early 2018, nearly a year before its initial charter was set to expire.

We believe that permanently reinstating the Committee would align with the Biden Administration’s commitment to integrating equity throughout the President’s Build Back Better agenda. We also believe that the Committee would help recognize and address the impact of our transportation infrastructure on climate change, health, housing, disability rights, environmental justice, safety, and other issues through meaningful collaboration.

As we work to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, we must ensure that the historic investments we seek to enact help revitalize communities, connect neighborhoods, and incorporate community input. We urge you to reestablish the Committee to emphasize these goals and foster opportunity in all communities. We look forward to continuing to work with you to support transportation equity and build a better future for all Americans.

###