Jan 12

Past Event

Memo to the President: Invest in Infrastructure for Long-Term Prosperity

Event Materials



  • Bruce Katz

    Katz, in his introductory remarks, said that the United States is the only industrialized country that fails to link its transportation networks. "It''s a crazy way to do business and it''s a recipe for disaster," he said.

    Bruce Katz

  • Governor Edward Rendell

    The governor urged the new White House to better coordinate planning and funding for infrastructure to build a first-class system.

  • Rep. Donna Edwards

    Congress is in the business of making the nitty-gritty decisions on new infrastructure projects, she said, but the politics should be removed from the decision-making.

  • Robert Puentes

    Puentes explains how each metropolitan area has different infrastructure needs and should be allowed to innovate.

    Robert Puentes


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President-elect Obama is preparing plans for an immediate economic stimulus package. At the same time, his new administration must consider how to make investments that will stabilize and strengthen our economy over the long term. Smart investments in infrastructure, innovation and life-long learning can enhance national prosperity—especially in metropolitan areas, where the bulk of our population lives and jobs are located.

On January 12, Brookings held the tenth of 12 events to provide timely policy recommendations and advice to the incoming president and his transition team. Brookings Vice President and Director of the Metropolitan Policy Program Bruce Katz and Fellow Rob Puentes offered a public memo to the president-elect with recommendations on bolstering infrastructure and investing in other economic drivers. This forum focused on infrastructure, including recommended structural reforms in the coming economic recovery package as well as reforms that are needed in the intermediate term.

Read the memo »

Event Agenda

  • Welcome

  • Opening Remarks

    • Governor Edward G. Rendell

      State of Pennsylvania

  • Moderator

    • David Leonhardt

      Columnist, The New York Times

  • Featured Panelists

    • The Honorable Donna Edwards (D-Md.)

      U.S. House of Representatives

    • Deb Miller

      Secretary, Kansas Department of Transportation

    • Patricia Mulroy

      General Manager, Southern Nevada Water Authority

    • Portrait: Rob Puentes
    • Stuart Rogel

      President and CEO, Tampa Bay Partnership


January 12, 2009

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM EST

The Brookings Institution

Falk Auditorium

1775 Massachusetts Ave., NW


For More Information

Brookings Office of Communications

(202) 797-6105