Thursday, January 8, 2009

Gerry Connolly on Secretary Peters Approving Rail to Dulles

Throughout the campaign last year Rep. Gerry Connolly repeatedly talked about how he was looking forward to bringing his passion for local politics to the federal level. He often stressed how his past experience has been about being directly accountable to his constituents and how he wanted to bring that accountability with him to Congress. Not even a week into his first term we have a prime example of how his time as Chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will help him when addressing certain issues.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters has decided to give final approval to the rail to Dulles plan. This is important to note because Gerry frequently dealt with the last Congressional delegation and state leaders in regards to this plan during his time as Chairman of the Board. The symbolism of the plan receiving official approval so quickly after Gerry Getting sworn in might is a great reminder of how Gerry is combining his experience of being a Senate staffer years ago and his local activism in community organizations and local government.

With that in mind, here is part of Gerry's statement on Secretary Peters giving the plan final approval.
“The 23.7-mile Dulles Rail Project promises to transform commuting patterns in the Dulles Corridor and across the entire region, Connolly said. "At the same time, it will add hundreds of new jobs to the local labor market over the five-year life of the project and pump billions of dollars into our economy.”

The 11th District Congressman said the positive economic impact on our region is expected to total more than $4.5 billion over the next five years, including direct expenditures on salaries, goods, and services, and tertiary expenditures on housing, food, retail purchases, and other services.

The Dulles Rail project was one of Connolly’s top priorities during his 14-year tenure as Fairfax County Board Chairman and district supervisor. Noting that the project was first discussed 47 years ago, Connolly said, “The Dulles Rail Project underscores the long and arduous process of building a transportation project of this size.”

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