June 20, 2018

Rep. Ruben Gallego Statement Regarding Attempts to Terminate the South-Central Light Rail Extension Project

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) released the following statement:

"The south-central light rail extension will transform our city.

"It will connect low-income residents to new jobs and new opportunities. It will make Phoenix a better place to run a business and raise a family. It will help students get to school, seniors get to doctors' appointments, sports fans get to games and breadwinners get to the office.

"That's why every Phoenician who cares about the health, vitality and growth of our city should be outraged at the latest attempt to kill this critical project. Let's be clear – at this late stage in the process, any delay could lead to the loss of federal funds. Any pause could block construction for the foreseeable future.

"Opponents of the project know this. They don't care that the project was approved by 75 percent of voters living along the corridor. They don't want more time to study the situation. They're not interested in analyzing other options. Their sole objective is to terminate the light rail extension. Period. And they want a vote at the city council for this purpose with little warning and minimal consideration of the long-term consequences.

"When we brought light rail to downtown Phoenix, more than a billion dollars in capital investment followed. We can achieve the same kind of economic growth and development in the working class South Phoenix neighborhoods I'm proud to represent in Congress.

"Four in ten residents of the south-central light rail corridor live at or below the federal poverty line. More than anything else, this project is about giving them a better shot at the American Dream. For their sake and for Phoenix's future, the city council must allow the south-central light rail extension to move forward as planned."