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Representatives Larsen and DelBene discuss infrastructure

SNOHOMISH CO, Wash., April 21, 2022The Economic Alliance Snohomish County welcomed representatives Rick Larsen (WA-02) and Suzan DelBene (WA-01) to discuss how the Infrastructure Investment in Jobs Act (IIJA) will impact the county and its infrastructure projects, Tuesday, April 19.

In the spirit of celebrating infrastructure in Snohomish County, both representatives also attended the Community Transit Swift Orange Line ribbon cutting, which took place later that day. This will be Snohomish County’s third Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line and its first route to connect with Sound Transit’s Link light rail when the Lynnwood station opens in 2024.

Moderated by Misha Lujan, Government Relations Manager, the virtual coffee chat event also featured Sean Garcia, Senior Legislative Assistant – U.S. House of Representatives, and Paul Roberts, Washington’s second Congressional District Transportation and Infrastructure Coordinator.

The Infrastructure Investment in Jobs Act

The Infrastructure Investment in Jobs Act aims to create more jobs, drive economic recovery, and create a cleaner, greener, and safer transportation network by allocating about $1.9 billion dollars to Washington State over five years in formula funds, $385 million to airports, including Everett’s Paine Field, and $2.34 billion, as part of Larsen’s Green Buses Act, to go toward low and zero emission bus grants for transit programs in Washington State. 

The Green Ferries Act is also included in the Act directing around $250 million to purchase electric and no emission ferries nationwide.

“I always say you can’t have a big league economy without a little league infrastructure and what we did passing the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment in Jobs Act was a big league investment in the Nation’s economy,” Rep. Larsen said.

Representative Larsen

Rep. Larsen represents Washington’s second Congressional District (Northwest Snohomish, Skagit, Whatcom, and San Juan Counties) and serves as a senior member of the Infrastructure and Transportation committee, as well as the Armed Forces committee creating jobs and opportunity to meet the local needs of Washingtonians.

Congressman Rick Larsen (WA-02) speaking at the Orange Swift BRT Line groundbreaking at the Lynnwood Transit Center on Tuesday, April 19, 2022. Lynnwood Times | Mario Lotmore.

What Rep. Larsen is most excited about, in the passing of IIJA which he supported, is the ability to rebuild and rehabilitate a transportation here in Washington that was essentially built in the 1950’s by creating a transportation system built for the 2050’s.

Just last week Rep. Larsen spent time in two NATO southern countries – Italy and Greece – to meet with soldiers working on the defense and deterrent missions against the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by Russian military.

“There are folks who have been there [Europe] serving under COVID in our military, and just as they are crawling out of that, Russia has this unprovoked invasion of Ukraine,” Rep. Larsen told the Lynnwood Times during a follow up question at the Orange Swift BRT Line groundbreaking ceremony later on Tuesday. “So, the threat level has increased… They know what their mission is, it is the defense of NATO, it is the deter Russia from entering NATO alliance countries, and as much as we can, support Ukraine.”

Representative DelBene

Representative Susan DelBene represents Washington’s first Congressional District, after re-districting, spans Northeast King County all the way to Marysville in Snohomish County. She currently serves as Vice Chair on the House Ways and Means Committee and as Chair on the Forward-Thinking New Democrat Coalition.

During her time in congress DelBene’s focus has been on the issues of technology, healthcare, trade, taxes, environmental conservation and agriculture, and is a champion for working families.

Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) speaking at the Orange Swift BRT Line groundbreaking at the Lynnwood Transit Center on Tuesday, April 19, 2022. Lynnwood Times | Mario Lotmore.

In her opening remarks DelBene spoke to some of the areas she is most excited about in the IIJA Representative Larsen did not have the opportunity to touch on, during his short time window, including the $100 million to Washington State to expand broadband, and the $39 million to the state to go toward protection against wildfires.

“When we look at infrastructure it’s important that we look at building infrastructure for the next 50 years not the infrastructure that we’ve built in the last 50 years,” DelBene said. “Addressing resiliency, addressing issues of climate, addressing issues of equity, and using the resources and technologies that we have to make sure we’re building infrastructure long into the future.”

After some brief opening remarks, participants of the virtual event had the opportunity to ask Representatives Larsen and DelBene, through zoom and social media, questions spanning from workforce, aerospace innovation, broadband, and investments in affordable housing.

Economic Alliance Snohomish County

Economic Alliance Snohomish County is a non-profit serving as a combined economic development organization and countywide chamber of commerce. As a public/private partnership of community leaders, businesses, education, and workforce, Economic Alliance Snohomish County is a catalyst for economic vitality resulting in stronger communities, increased job creation, expanded educational opportunities, and improved infrastructure.

Their next coffee chat will cover the topic of recovery and resiliency on May 3 featuring Barbara Tolbert, Mayor of Arlington, and Dan Rankin, Mayor of Darrington. To RSVP to this free, virtual, event click here.

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