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Garamendi wins transportation assignment

By Lisa Vorderbrueggen
Wednesday, November 18th, 2009 at 4:22 pm in Congress, Congressional District 10.

Rep. John Garamendi

Rep. John Garamendi

House Democratic leaders have recommended Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, be appointed to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

The House Democratic Steering Committee has also voted to place Garamendi on the Science and Technology Committee.

The full House Democratic caucus is expected to ratify the appointments when it reconvenes.

Garamendi, like his predecessor, Ellen Tauscher, will be the only Northern California representative on the transportation panel.

Congress is scheduled to reauthorize its national transportation spending blueprint in the next year. The legislation typically contains formulas that spell out the return of gas tax dollars to states. Committee members have considerable influence over its contents as well as earmarks for specific projects.

Garamendi was elected to District 10 on Nov. 3. The district includes Walnut Creek, Lamorinda, Livermore and smaller segments of Solano and Sacramento counties.

Read on for Garamendi’s press release on the subject.

PRESS RELEASE

Congressman John Garamendi, (D-Walnut Creek, California), today is proud to announce that the House Democratic Steering Committee has approved recommendations to appoint Garamendi to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and House Science and Technology Committee. The full Democratic Caucus is expected to approve these recommendations at its next meeting. Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s announcement on the committee assignments is here.

“I am absolutely delighted to have this opportunity to create quality transportation and technology jobs for residents of the 10th Congressional District and Northern California,” Congressman Garamendi said. “I want to thank my colleagues for assigning me to the House Transportation and Infrastructure and House Science and Technology committees.”

“As Northern California’s only representative on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, I look forward to addressing the critically important transportation needs of the 10th Congressional District and surrounding communities,” added Congressman Garamendi. “We need to reinvest in our crumbling highway infrastructure, and with federal and local assistance, the 10th Congressional District and our neighbors are prepared to create the most integrated and efficient public transportation network in the country.”

Four of the nation’s 20 metropolitan areas with the worst major urban roadways are in Northern California, including Concord, portions of which are in Congressman Garamendi’s district, and San Francisco-Oakland, San Jose, and Sacramento, to which tens of thousands of Garamendi’s constituents commute daily. The 10th Congressional District is home to a number of public transportation systems, including Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), Amtrak’s Capitol Corridor, and numerous regional bus systems. Four international airports are within 40 miles from the 10th Congressional District.

“I also look forward to sitting on the House Science and Technology Committee, where I will be able to steer federal assistance and policy to the critical research potential of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, the Joint Genome Institute, and other regional labs and universities. We must create jobs, and we need to combat climate change, and much of the research happening in the 10th Congressional District is laying the groundwork for industries that will achieve both goals,” said Garamendi.

Garamendi is one of California’s foremost transportation experts. As a state legislator, then-Senator Garamendi authored a proposition that brought $18 billion for mass transportation and highways in California. Senator Garamendi, along with then-Assemblymember Jim Costa, also authored the first legislation to study the construction of high speed rail in California, legislation that eventually materialized into the successful passage of last year’s high speed rail bond.

Garamendi also chaired the Joint Committee on Science and Technology. One of our country’s first policymakers to sound the alarm on climate change, Garamendi created one of the first alternative energy tax credits in U.S. history, directly leading to the construction of wind turbines in the 10th Congressional District and creating green jobs. He also brought hundreds of millions of dollars to university and lab research. As chair of the California Commission for Economic Development, Garamendi worked with business, labor, and educational leaders to develop strategies to expand science-based industries in California and create green jobs throughout the state.

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  • Ralph Hoffmann, Guest Columnist

    Ellen authored FTA Section 5303, a funding partner of the DVC Transit Center, whose co-project Manager is my boss, Cindy Dahlgren of The County Connection. (Ground Breaking, 11/17/09, completion expected June, 2010.)

  • RR, Uninvited Columnist

    Your heroine sat in the House for almost 2 decades. Was that her biggest achievement in local transportation?