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Bloomington Against I-69 will be coordinating a large scale drive to contact Indiana state representatives about an important piece of new legislation, beginning Friday, January 30th, and continuing through next week. We want everyone to write or call their state representatives in support of HB 1656, a piece of legislation that would cut all funding to Mitch Daniels’ I-69 highway project. This bill would take the $1.5 billion that the governor has set aside for I-69 construction and direct it towards local road maintenance and improvements. The bill would also make sure that Daniels does not have control over any economic stimulus money that might come from the federal government. This is critical, as the governor has already pledged to spend at least some of that money on I-69.
Many House members feel that it is unconscionable for the state to be sitting on $1.5 billion when the people of Indiana need jobs right now. We agree, and applaud them for introducing this strong piece of legislation. After all, when the money finally gets spent, it is estimated that I-69 will cost $1,560,000 for every job it creates!
We feel that it is our duty as people of Bloomington and citizens of the world to oppose new-terrain I-69. If we are to keep our strong community, we cannot allow our neighbors to be evicted and our countryside destroyed by this road. In a time when global warming threatens our future, it is senseless to build new highways instead of strengthening sustainable transportation options. And, just as importantly, the “NAFTA superhighway” will help to export our manufacturing jobs to exploitative Mexican and Latin American sweatshops. In these times of economic and environmental crisis, we simply cannot afford this highway.
We will be holding a town-hall meeting about the legislation in Woodburn 003 on Tuesday, February 3rd, beginning at 7:00 pm. We will also be manning tables where people can write or call their state legislators at locations around campus and in People’s Park. If we are going to make our voices heard, we need to act fast and show our legislators that we are behind them! We urge everyone to contact their state representative and let them know your stance on HB 1656. You can find out who your legislators are, and get contact information for them, at http://www.in.gov/apps/sos/legislator/search/. If you are in Peggy Welch’s district (Bloomington) it is especially important that you get in touch, since she is on the committee that is considering the bill this coming Monday.
Bloomington Against I-69
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