Remarks presented at the “Changing the Conversation: Advancing a National Infrastructure Improvement Agenda” summit
The fundamental challenge facing this group for the next twenty-four hours is not to reach consensus on the need to preserve our deteriorating national public infrastructure or the necessity to improve and enhance it in order to meet the needs of the growing population in an ever more complex society. None of you would be here if you were not already convinced of those two facts.
Nor, I submit, is your primary goal to determine how to persuade the American public of that need. While the public may not view the challenge with the same degree of urgency that motivates all of us here this evening, Americans are increasingly restless with the congestion they meet on our streets and highways and are outraged by power blackouts and Katrina spawned levee failures. They want something done to remedy those situations, as long as the needs and outcomes are well understood and justify the costs.