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Build America so America Works: The Petition to Build America
The United States is the nation that has achieved the most advanced engineering pursuits to benefit its people and the world. We are the first to put a man on the moon, to build a super-highway system, to create unrivaled air and rail transportation, and first-class public spaces, such as schools. But today, we can no longer be assured of crossing the Mississippi River safely, of protecting families from failing dams or levees or of providing a transportation system that works.
* Americans spend 4.2 billion hours a year stuck in traffic on our highways, which due to years of neglect now require $67 billion a year in maintenance and improvement costs alone - more than double what is currently allocated, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers. If we maintain and upgrade our highway system, we can save significantly and get to work or pick up our children on time.* At least 26 percent of our country's bridges are structurally deficient leading to tragedies such as the I-35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis. We can prevent these kinds of tragedies by repairing our bridges.* Approximately $30 billion is needed to renovate, repair and build new classrooms in our public schools. We can invest in future generations by taking care of our schools.* Across America there are 4,000 unsafe dams and 50 percent of waterway locks are functionally obsolete leading to deadly breaches such as what occurred in New Orleans. We have identified problems and we have the ability to fix them so that natural disasters aren't exacerbated.* Upgrades to the nation's electric transmission system are occurring at only a third of the rate of increased demand, according to the Consumer Energy Council of America. To increase domestic energy production by 30 percent, we can invest in traditional energy sources and biofuel refineries, wind turbines, ethanol production and clean coal technologies.* Demand for railway shipping is expected to increase 50 percent in the next 12 years, far outstripping our nation's current rail capacity and threatening to divert rail shipping to our already congested highway system. We can free our highways by rebuilding our railways.For the sake of America's competitive place in the world, for our economy and good jobs, in order to reverse the downward slide in our lifestyles and as an investment for future generations, I want to add my voice to that of the half-million working men and women of the Laborers' International Union of North America in urging Congress to make building America a national priority and redirect our nation's resources to doing so.
Sincerely,[Your Name] [Your Address] [City, State ZIP]