WHAT GEORGIANS ARE SEEING: Georgia Democrats Barnstorm Macon, Savannah, Columbus to Praise Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

November 23, 2021

Throughout the past week, the Democratic Party of Georgia barnstormed the Peach State following the signing of President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, with local officials and labor leaders talking directly to Georgians about how the once-in-a-generation package will create thousands of good-paying union jobs, expand transit and transportation, and revitalize our state’s roads, bridges, and highways thanks to the leadership of Senators Ossoff and Reverend Warnock and Georgia’s six congressional Democrats — and no thanks to Georgia Republicans like GOP Senate candidate Herschel Walker.

On Thursday, November 18, Georgia Democrats were joined by Richard Hollar, President of the Macon Central Labor Council; Toomsboro Mayor Joyce Denson; and Kendra Castelow, Vice Chair of Macon-Bibb County Democratic Party in front of the Macon Terminal Station. Leaders discussed how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will help Georgia expand transit, pave the way for the I-14 corridor, and potentially build a high-speed rail network through Middle Georgia.

On Friday, November 19, Savannah Mayor Van Johnson joined the Democratic Party of Georgia and former Chatham County Commissioner Jay Jones on the Savannah River to thank President Biden and Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock for delivering $8 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to ease supply chain bottlenecks at the Georgia Port Authority.

On Monday, November 22, the Democratic Party of Georgia hosted a press conference in Columbus to discuss how the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will bring more high-quality jobs to the Chattahoochee Valley with Congressman Sanford Bishop, Columbus City Councilwoman Toyia Tucker, and Dwayne Massengale, Political Director of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen.

Here’s what Georgians are seeing about Georgia Democrats’ Bipartisan Infrastructure Law barnstorm:

IN MACON

WGXA: Bibb Democrats praise passage of Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill

  • Macon-Bibb County Democrats celebrated the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Thursday morning.
  • “We’re here today across from the Macon Terminal Station in the heart of Middle Georgia, where infrastructure has been neglected for decades too long,” said Kendra Castelow, Vice Chair for the Macon-Bibb Democratic Party.
  • President Joe Biden signed the bill into law on Monday. It contains billions for broadband internet, highways, bridges, stormwater and wastewater treatment, electric school buses, and more for Georgia.
  • Castelow highlighted one of the bill’s exciting projects for Middle Georgia — the I-14 highway designation from Texas to Columbus and Augusta.
  • Macon-Bibb Democrats praised the bill’s intended “economy-boosting, job-creating efforts” that lawmakers say will support good-paying union jobs while fixing some of our significant infrastructure needs.
  • Rep. Sanford Bishop spoke with us earlier this week to discuss some of what Middle Georgia can look forward to thanks to the new law.
  • That includes improvements to more than 400 bridges in poor or fair condition across the state and billions to go towards electric school buses.

41NBC: Georgia Democrats celebrate Infrastructure Bill

  • Georgia Democrats were in Macon Thursday discussing President Biden’s signing of the more than $1 trillion Infrastructure Bill into law Monday.
  • Kendra Castelow, Vice Chair of the Macon-Bibb Democratic Party, says the bipartisan bill will help make progress on projects like the I-14 corridor and interstate highway.
  • “This historic package will create a generation of high paying union jobs, stimulate our economy and revitalize our states roads, bridges and transportation leaving no Georgia community behind,” she said.
  • Macon is expected to get about $16 million to improve transportation over the next five years.
  • Richard Hollar, President of the Central Georgia Federation of Trades and Labor Council, says the bill will create an estimated 2 million jobs a year across the country during the next decade.
  • “This is not just for us but it’s a generational thing,” he said. “Our kids, our grandkids will have opportunities to work and prosper.”
  • Toomsboro Mayor Joyce Denson says the bill is a game changer for Georgia and many other states across the country. She says many small towns in Georgia, especially towns with majority Black populations, have suffered from a severe lack of infrastructure investments.
  • She says the Infrastructure Bill is exactly what those towns need to get back on their feet.
  • “The I-14 corridor that will connect the Chattahoochee valley all the way over to Augusta, Richmond County has been in works for more than a decade,” she said. “Well with this infrastructure bill, guess what? We can make a change.”
  • The Georgia Democrats tell us the White House hasn’t officially set a timeline on how soon states could see funding from the bill, but the Department of Transportation estimates states could receive the funding in as soon as six months.

IN SAVANNAH

WJCL: Savannah Infrastructure — Democrat Press Conference on Savannah Investments

  • WJCL Anchor: “New at 7, Georgia Democrats celebrating the infrastructure bill. Our Nikiya Carerro was there as leaders gathered in Savannah earlier today.”
  • Carrero: “The Democratic Party of Georgia says the bill is not only going to be a game changer for the state, but for Savannah and the entire Chatham County. 
  • Carrero: “Mayor Van Johnson, along with Chatham County Democratic Chair Jay Jones, say it will bring endless jobs, improve transit and fix roads. As a historic city, Mayor Johnson said the money is greatly appreciated, as the time has come for upgrades.”
  • Mayor Johnson: “So to top it off, most importantly, middle class Georgians will not see the taxes raised a single penny to make these investments a reality.”
  • Carrero: “Mayor Johnson says the bill will also bring in $8 billion to the Port of Savannah, making it a huge player when it comes to moving freight.”

WTOC: Democratic Leaders Speak After Infrastructure Bill Passage

  • WTOC Anchor: “Now, following the passage of the bill in the House, local Democratic leaders gathered to speak about what this could mean for the city of Savannah.” 
  • Former Commissioner Jones: “The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law opens the door for projects that are going to employ workers with better wages and better opportunities across greater Savannah, including the largest federal investment in public transportation in history and potentially the creation of a high speed rail system from here to Atlanta, Georgia.” 
  • WTOC Anchor: “WTOC also speaking with Democratic National Committee Chair Jamie Harrison from South Carolina about the plan that would send millions to fix roads in need of repair in Georgia and South Carolina. Focusing in on Georgia, Harrison says the state will get nearly $9 billion to repair its roads and bridges. Something he says both big cities and small will benefit from.”
  • Chair Harrison: “That’s going to be extremely, extremely helpful for a lot of communities to have the infrastructure to make it easier to get to work and back and make it less dangerous. You know, I’ve driven the roads of both Georgia and South Carolina. And I know that in some places there are potholes bigger than I am. And it’s important, and they’ve been there for a while. You know, people have to get front end alignments, flat tires, and all that because the infrastructure is so poor. 
  • WTOC Anchor: “Harrison says you’ll see the benefits from the funding as ribbons are cut on changes made ahead in the years to come.”

WSAV: Georgia Democrats Infrastructure Press Conference

  • WSAV Anchor: “Georgia is expected to receive billions in funding through the $1 trillion infrastructure act. It was signed into law by President Biden on Monday and WSAV news’ Daisy Kershaw joins us now with what this means for Savannah.”
  • Kershaw: “From job creation to transportation, local leaders say the infrastructure and jobs law is a big deal for Savannah. Mayor Van Johnson says one major area of Savannah’s economy will see immediate impacts.”
  • Mayor Johnson: “The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill is going to have an unprecedented positive impact on Savannah.”
  • Kershaw: “Mayor Van Johnson says the infrastructure law will expand capacity for Savannah’s port.”
  • Mayor Johnson: “Right here at the mouth of the Port of Savannah, we will see immediate relief from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill. These funds will be used to set up pop up container yards to help ease the pandemic’s pressure on our nation’s supply chain.”
  • Kershaw: “The mayor says Savannah is getting $8 million for the port.”
  • Mayor Johnson: “Our ports are more than Savannah and more than just Georgia. We are the single largest single-container terminal in our country.”
  • Kershaw: “The ports aren’t the only entity receiving a cut.”
  • Mayor Johnson: “There are other investments that our community has desperately needed. About 11% of the bridges in Chatham County are what is deemed as structurally deficient.”
  • Kershaw: “Local leaders say the bipartisan law will also help expand Savannah’s job market.”
  • Former Commissioner Jones: “The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law opens the door for projects that are going to employ workers with better wages and better opportunities across greater Savannah.”
  • Kershaw: “And the mayor says this is just the beginning.”
  • Mayor Johnson: “This long awaited package will create 1000s of good-paying union jobs, stimulate our economy, and revitalize our state’s roads, bridges, and transportation — which I know we certainly need. More importantly, leaving no Georgia community behind.”
  • Kershaw: “The mayor also discussed the impact the laws broadband expansion will have on the state. He says it will help provide internet access to more than 600,000 Georgians who currently lack it, including those in Savannah.”

FOX 28 Savannah: Georgia politicians discuss the passing of infrastructure bill

  • Georgia Democrats held a news conference Friday, to highlight the passage of President Joe Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure bill.
  • President Biden signed the $1 trillion infrastructure bill into law on Monday, where Democrats claim the passage of the bill will tackle key projects such as addressing power lines, roadways, and ports.
  • “It’s not going to take years to see these impacts. right here at the mouth of the port of Savannah, we will see immediate relief from the bipartisan infrastructure bill. These funds will be used to set up pop-up container yards to help ease the pandemics pressure on our nation’s supply chain,” said Savannah Mayor Van Johnson.
  • Mayor Johnson said over the next few years, Georgia will receive billions of dollars to make these repairs, and a huge chunk of the money is going to the Georgia Port Authority.
  • “Savannah will be able to spend eight million dollars, designated for Georgia ports from the bipartisan infrastructure bill. About 20 miles down there, we have ships waiting to come in and the fact is we can’t get them in quick enough. We need to have an alternative solution to speed up our supply chain,” said Johnson.

IN COLUMBUS

WTVM: GA. Dems in Columbus Today

  • WTVM Anchor: “Happening today in Columbus, the Democratic Party of Georgia will hold a press conference to talk about the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill passing.”
  • WTVM Anchor: “News Leader 9’s James Giles is with us this morning. Mr. Giles, good morning. Let’s talk about the agenda for today for this meeting, what are you expecting to hear from them?” 
  • Giles: “Hey, good morning, Ben and Cheryl. Today around noon, Congressman Sanford Bishop along with other Democratic leaders around the Peach State will highlight the passage of President Joe Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill. Now, Democrats say they credit Senators Jon Ossoff, Reverend Raphael Warnock, and Georgia’s six congressional Democrats’ leadership for the bill’s passage.”
  • Giles: “Now, according to the party, the bill will drive a huge economic boost to West Central Georgia, impacting everything from expanding transit and transportation to making sure people have affordable access to internet.” 
  • Giles: “Officials also say the bill will create thousands of good-paying jobs, stimulate the economy, and revitalize the state’s roads, bridges and highways. Now, here in Columbus leaders say the Fountain City will receive roughly $20 million of the money. Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson says the city’s engineering department will decide what roads will be repaired first.”
  • Giles: “And Democrat leaders say the bill is supposed to make sure no Georgia community will be left behind.”

WRBL: Party officials talk Biden Infrastructure Bill impacts on Columbus

  • President Joe Biden signed the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill on Nov. 15. Of the $1.2 trillion Georgians will see $12.34 billion.
  • The infrastructure bill plans to create thousands of jobs, stimulate the economy, and revitalize roads, bridges, and highways. Here in Columbus, it has not yet been determined exactly where all the funds will be allocated.
  • As part of the infrastructure plan, Columbus will receive $27 million for transportation purposes. 
  • Here in Columbus, City Councilwoman Toyia Tucker says, “this means opportunity, this is exactly what we talked about as far as the community … this infrastructure bill and the money that is going to flow through our city, is going to be extremely helpful to not only businesses, not only workers, but families as well.”
  • With the SPLOST that passed in Columbus on November 2nd combined with the infrastructure bill, residents can hope to see a lot of improvements.

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