December 10, 2019 Board Meeting
Washington D.C. Trip
Recently I was in Washington, D.C. visiting with stakeholder groups in the labor and industry worlds, many members of Congress and some members of the Administration. The positive side from my perspective is that while there is always controversy around this project, I did leave our meetings there, particular my meeting with the Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee in the House of Representatives, viewing what I see as a multi-state desire to move forward on an infrastructure bill in early 2020. We had discussions our shared desires for renewed investment in rail, and specifically high-speed rail, on a national level. States like Texas, Virginia and California, the Northeast corridor, and increasingly the Northwest, are all interested in elements of high-speed rail. I left Washington D.C. very encouraged about the idea of seeing the indications of a Congressional bill with an infrastructure basis and a push to reinvest in high-speed rail in the coming year. It was very encouraging.
You’ll recall that earlier this year the Board adopted the preferred alternatives for the Bay Area. Members of the public in the San Jose area expressed concerns about how the proposed alignment would go through an historic neighborhood in the San Jose area. I’ve had extended conversations with the U.S. Representative for that area, Zoe Lofgren, including meeting with her while I was in Washington. I also followed that up with conversations with State Senator Jim Beall who represents the area here in Sacramento. Along with our Northern California Regional Director Boris Lipkin, we are working closely with the Congresswoman and the region to hear their concerns. The Board, in their resolution to approve the preferred alternative, asked us to consider how we’ll deal with the issues affecting that neighborhood and that community. We remain committed to doing that.
We have plenty of work to do going forward in 2020. We’re focused on meeting our obligations to our Federal partners and our Federal funding agreement, and we’re doing all things we can to make that happen.
Below you’ll find a link to the video 2019 Year In Review video our staff put together.