Building a More Inclusive and Sustainable California: Maximizing the Federal Infrastructure Funding Opportunity

High-functioning infrastructure is a prerequisite for a prosperous and inclusive society that delivers high-quality, middle-class jobs. However, California’s infrastructure has not always met the needs of its communities or created equitable access, often dividing them in ways that are still visible today. Furthermore, for decades California has under-invested in infrastructure and faces potentially hundreds of billions of dollars in infrastructure investment need, that current funding cannot meet. Our current infrastructure delivery can be slow and complex, and without a new approach, we may perpetuate historic inequities, delay the shift to carbon neutrality, and fail to make our infrastructure more resilient to the physical threat of climate impacts.

This report summarizes concrete recommendations we heard from elected officials, agency staff, and community leaders and members across the state to maximize and amplify the upcoming federal funds and accelerate project delivery.

By acting now, the state could deliver up to $180 billion worth of infrastructure projects and ~400,000 direct and indirect construction jobs. Average infrastructure project time can be significantly reduced by building a new governance model and a replicable framework to standardize and coordinate planning, as well as streamlining processes, permitting, and approvals for delivery. Finally, by integrating the principles of equity, climate, and shared prosperity in infrastructure development and delivery, California can shape a more modern, prosperous, resilient, and inclusive economy that centers community voice and priorities.