The $700-plus billion recovery package being hashed out in Congress has tremendous potential to revive the American economy. But if it moves ahead as designed, I fear it will also further entrench many long-standing inequities of American life.
Advocates for working families welcome Washington's long-overdue interest in our national infrastructure. President-elect Barack Obama and congressional leaders are right to spotlight the deplorable conditions of our roads and bridges.
But potholes on mega-highways are far from the most consequential infrastructure shortfalls facing America.
In low-income urban neighborhoods and rural areas across America, residents are facing the dramatic crumbling of their schools, water lines and public transit systems - the very lifeblood of these communities. This is not simply a matter of inconvenience. Communities like Richmond, West Oakland and San Francisco's Visitacion Valley are being literally cut off from true economic and social opportunity.