We Love New England
May 23, 2019
Making our voices heard
by Joe Aiello | Northeast Field Coordinator
If we had more transportaion options in New England - we could all get to matches easier.
That's something we can all agree on.
I wanted to write a follow-up to last week’s blog about the Northeast Division meeting that took place earlier this month - since this topic was brought up at yesterday's North-South Rail Link Working Group meeting. While what I am going to be discussing is all a work in progress, this really does show the importance of being able to advocate “across state lines”.
Governor Dukakis, for quite some time now, has been advocating for the six New England Governors (a group that does meet yearly under the banner of “The Coalition of Northeastern Governors”) to meet for regional issues on a more regular basis as they did when he occupied the corner office at the Massachusetts State House. The reasoning behind this is pretty simple: because the region is the most “tight knit” of any other in the country - an issue in one state, is an issue for us all, especially when it comes to transportation. The worsening traffic conditions in Boston (and Massachusetts as a whole) have a direct effect on the surrounding states. The same goes for public transportation & passenger rail issues that connect the eastern coast (north & south via Boston - just not through) and the Knowledge Corridor (Hartford-Springfield).
So taking some direction from my mentor, I have been putting together a small team of fellow advocates from various groups around the region and I am co-authoring a letter that will go to the six New England Governors and ask them to call a meeting to specifically discuss transportation issues that affect the region.
- North-South Rail Link
- South Coast Rail
- Regional rail
- East-West Rail (via the inland & northern routes)
- Commuter rail in Maine
- Rhode Island transit master plan
- New Hampshire rail expansion
- Vermont rail investments
- Improvements to rail in Connecticut
Now this is not an exhaustive list by any means - but it is just a small highlight of what we have before us as advocates in New England. The worse that traffic, housing, workforce, and climate issues get - the less time we have to truly make an impact.
The time to strike is now and if our elected officials in DC won't listen, I’m hoping that our state leaders will.
"It is an honor to be recognized by the Rail Passengers Association for my efforts to strengthen and expand America’s passenger rail. Golden spikes were once used by railroads to mark the completion of important rail projects, so I am truly grateful to receive the Golden Spike Award as a way to mark the end of a career that I’ve spent fighting to invest in our country’s rail system. As Chair of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, it has been my priority to bolster funding for Amtrak, increase and expand routes, look to the future by supporting high-speed projects, and improve safety, culminating in $66 billion in new funding in the Bipartisan infrastructure Law."
Representative Peter DeFazio (OR-04)
March 30, 2022, on receiving the Association's Golden Spike Award for his years of dedication and commitment to passenger rail.