Infrastructure Spending Must Be Equitable

Shriver Center and Legal Impact Network members urge Secretary of Transportation to comply with Title VI in planning and implementing projects.

All Americans, regardless of race, color, or national origin, should benefit from the recently enacted Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which allocates more than $3.5 billion to be distributed through grants administered by the Department of Transportation (DOT). The Shriver Center, in concert with 17 members of the Legal Impact Network and the Appleseed Network, has urged DOT to put equity at the forefront of infrastructure funding decisions and spending oversight to implement the infrastructure law.

Historically, transportation funding decisions have had lasting negative impacts on marginalized communities, particularly communities of color, across the country. As President Biden has acknowledged, “Many urban interstate highways were deliberately built to pass through Black neighborhoods, often requiring the destruction of housing and other local institutions. To this day, many Black neighborhoods are disconnected from access to high-quality housing, jobs, public transit, and other resources.”

The Shriver Center and its Legal Impact Network and Appleseed Network partners call on DOT to enforce compliance with Title VI, which prohibits discrimination in federally funded programs, in its implementation of the infrastructure law. In particular, DOT should establish a process for public complaints and transparency in Title VI program evaluations, as well as vigilant enforcement of existing Title VI regulations.

Read the letter to the Department of Transportation

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