It’s Time to Rebuild the American Dream with a Green WPA

Holly Lynch New Yorker

Sponsored Content. 

As Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria stormed our coasts last year, memories of Superstorm Sandy flooded back. Even today, in 2018, our infrastructure can’t handle Sandy 1.0, let alone 6.0. 

When Joni Mitchell sang: "they paved paradise to put up a parking lot," she basically predicted the Sandy-Effect caused by people like Robert Moses who, starting in the 1920s, paved over trolley-tracks, farmland, and much of Long Island to accommodate the highways and car lobby, making us vulnerable to unfathomable storm surges. All I can say is thank God they didn’t pave over Central Park!

But our history isn’t just of building a city, it’s of a relentless commitment to the American Dream and its economic, cultural, and technological future.  We’ve never stood still, not even after 9/11 or Sandy.
So, we can’t idle now, when we’re 6 years OVERDUE for another disaster.
Even as I write, Congress hasn’t passed an infrastructure budget. And NYC doesn’t have functioning subways, roads, tunnels, sea walls, or an emergency disaster team.

In 2015, the American Society for Civil Engineers Infrastructure Report Card gave us a C-. That was 3 years ago. Today, the Center for an Urban Future estimates it’ll cost NYC $47.3+ billion JUST to repair current infrastructure -- not expand needed sewers or transit-lines. 
So, what can we do? 

If Trump won’t help, let’s build a Green WPA-like public/private partnership. This first-ever disaster-preparedness and relief initiative would get our infrastructure back on track while setting a nationwide standard for what can be done to rebuild the country and its dream of working-class job-security.

Here’s how it could work:

The estimated $50 billion needed, is available. Accenture has estimated that Baby-Boomers will pass $30 trillion to their children– 45% of whom, plus GenX, are already investing in key sustainability efforts, not charities. Additionally, corporations like Citibank are investing profits and guiding employee monies into steady-growth Social-Impact Bonds. 

There are better, affordable ways to rebuild sustainably. The Natural Resources Conservancy’s NatureVest provides municipalities with funds for Green Infrastructure -- a cost-effective way to manage contamination caused by flood-water run-off. Doing that benefits communities and their wallets by harvesting clean water while lowering developer costs.

It’ll create jobs. The March 2017 Report: Exploring the Green Infrastructure Workforce and video, predicts that Green Infrastructure will create an estimated 239,000 entry level jobs nationwide, enabling long-term careers that put people to work, building a sustainable storm-resistant infrastructure. NYC needs its coastlines and green spaces fortified. What a great opportunity for the nearly 172,000 NYC youths that Jobs First NYC estimates are out of school and out of work.

We also need highways, and the electrical grid rebuilt. Who better to re-employ than the, engineers and energy-workers who built the city and country? But this time they’ll build sustainably. Our job is clear. Here’s how to support NYC’s efforts, the dreams of a future workforce, and a new U.S. infrastructure:

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/html/stormwater/nyc_green_infrastructure_outreach.shtml.

NEXT STORY: New York OceanGrid

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.