By: - March 30, 2021 11:22 am

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U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Dearborn) and U.S. Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) have introduced a Herculean $10 trillion federal infrastructure plan they say is aimed at improving the lives of underserved populations with emphasis on Black, Brown and Indigenous communities.

Called Transform, Heal, and Renew by Investing in a Vibrant Economy (THRIVE), the plan would be carried out over the next decade. It includes significant investments in renewable energy, zero-emissions buildings and economic development in some of the worst-polluted parts of the country.

U.S. Rep. Debbie Dingell at at Teamsters 337 rally on March 20, 2021 | Ken Coleman

“We need to be bold now,” said Dingell. “We’ve got to be intentional and intersectional as we implement legislation to create millions of good paying labor jobs, combat climate change, and codify racial equality in our communities. Through the THRIVE Act we can reorient the priorities of our government and our nation.”

Lawmakers are working out specific funding details, but Dingell and Markey say the legislation will be a “bold economic renewal plan that addresses the four current ongoing and intersecting crises: the public health disaster, racial injustice, the climate crisis and economic inequity.” The push for THRIVE comes as President Joe Biden is expected on Wednesday to unveil his “Build Back Better” domestic economic recovery plan during a visit to Pittsburgh. The Associated Press reports that Biden’s plan could cost between $3 and $4 trillion. 

Markey said THRIVE is, in part, a response to “negligence” of the Trump administration and would “serve as a guidebook for how we can rebuild our economy and our democracy to fix what is broken and make it work for every person in our country.”

THRIVE would create more than 15.5 million jobs per year and virtually end unemployment, according to an analysis by the University of Massachusetts’ Political Economy Research Institute. The Sierra Club commissioned the report. 

“The study also provides evidence on the quality of jobs created through THRIVE, including data on wages, benefits, and unionization rates,” the report reads. “It also reports on educational attainment levels of workers currently employed in the range of industries associated with the THRIVE agenda, as well as on the shares of women and people of color employed in these activities.”

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Ken Coleman
Ken Coleman

Ken Coleman covers Southeast Michigan, economic justice and civil rights. He is a former Michigan Chronicle senior editor and served as the American Black Journal segment host on Detroit Public Television. He has written and published four books on black life in Detroit, including Soul on Air: Blacks Who Helped to Define Radio in Detroit and Forever Young: A Coleman Reader. His work has been cited by the Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, History Channel and CNN. Additionally, he was an essayist for the award-winning book, Detroit 1967: Origins, Impacts, Legacies. Ken has served as a spokesperson for the Michigan Democratic Party, Detroit Public Schools, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters and U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence. Previously to joining the Advance, he worked for the Detroit Federation of Teachers as a communications specialist. He is a Historical Society of Michigan trustee and a Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit advisory board member.