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Dingell Delivers State of the District Address Downriver

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-06) yesterday delivered her annual State of the District Address at the Southern Wayne County Regional Chamber Legislative Forum.
In her remarks, Rep. Dingell provided updates on legislative successes from the previous year for the Downriver community, including federal investments in infrastructure, manufacturing, clean energy, and environmental protections, as well as priorities for the coming year, including supporting auto workers and the auto industry and strengthening domestic supply chains.
Dingell also announced she will be holding a town hall with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) next Thursday, January 25, to address community concerns and provide a forum for questions related to local environmental sites.
Key excerpts
On the environment:
“Our state is setting an example to the nation that when we work together, we can solve real problems hardworking Americans face. We are seeing the impacts of this legislation firsthand here in Downriver.
The DCC, which is managing one of the most robust and effective Brownfield programs in the country cleaning up and redeveloping former industrial sites, received $3 million in supplemental funding this year from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. More importantly, the EPA had its national Brownfield conference here in Michigan. The Brownfield program Downriver was highlighted as one of the most successful in the country.
People are looking to us for advice because you are making the difference by helping our communities become safer, healthier, and vibrant, and reinvesting in local economies, and in Washington I am nonstop pushing to make sure the Brownfields Program is reauthorized and fully funded.
And we know there are thousands of projects and millions of dollars still to come. I look forward to continuing working with our state officials and all of you to continue getting these federal dollars to the communities that need them.”

On the auto industry:
“We put the world on wheels and Michigan has got to drive the future of mobility… You remember in the seventies, when we had high gas prices, and Japan was ready to build small vehicles, and we weren’t. We lost the small car market for a decade. We are competing in a global marketplace.
A few months ago, we all watched the UAW negotiations that led to agreements with all three automakers that included wage increases, cost of living adjustments, and increased job security for auto workers.
One of my number one goals was that the Trenton engine plant would remain open. We fought hard for it, and it happened. Since being built, the Trenton Engine Plant has built about 45 million engines and is the highest quality plant in the U.S. It’s critical that we protect these jobs to ensure hardworking Americans get their fair share.
When we’re doing trade agreements, I want an equal playing field. We’re competing against countries that don’t have to meet health and safety standards, they don’t have to meet quality standards, they don’t have to meet environmental standards, and they don’t have to meet labor standards. Any trade deal we have, we have to ensure our manufacturers are competing on a level playing field.
These historic agreements demonstrate what can be accomplished when the workers are given a seat at the table and can work together with management to keep these jobs in America, and keep our country at the forefront of manufacturing, innovation, and technology.”

On supply chains and manufacturing:
“We’re working hard to strengthen our domestic manufacturing and supply chains. It took COVID - first we saw it when we needed masks, or gowns, or gloves, and then we saw it when we started not to have chips for automobiles... The long-term shortage in semiconductor chips during the pandemic forced auto manufacturers to temporarily halt production assembly lines, negatively impacting both suppliers and American workers. Plants were closed, shifts were cut, and workers lost their jobs.
That’s why we passed the $54.2 billion CHIPs and Science Act last Congress which included $2 billion for mature technology nodes, with priority for critical manufacturing industries such as the auto industry. And I'm working on bills in committee to bring a lot more supply chains home because not only are semiconductors important to vehicles and appliances and consumer electronics, they're central to military, defense, and secure communications."

On civility:
“We are allowing vitriolic language and violence to creep in and be normalized. Calling people ‘vermin,’ talking about ‘poisonous’ people in our communities… We have to really start thinking about how we are treating each other. We need to worry about what’s happening to our Democracy.
We need to be polite, and we need to listen to each other. John Dingell taught me this years ago: God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason – to listen more and talk less.
We have to work to have communities be respectful. United we stand, divided we fall. There are people who are fanning the flames of division, and we need to think about it.”

Watch Rep. Dingell’s full remarks here

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