DRIVE Act Falls Short in Meeting Transportation Equity Needs

Statement from Angela Glover Blackwell, Founder and CEO of PolicyLink, and Wade Henderson, President and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
We appreciate the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works’ leadership on the urgent issue of transportation by issuing the DRIVE Act.  While we are pleased that the DRIVE Act acknowledges the need to remove barriers to participation for entrepreneurs who are women and people of color and to fund research on the impacts of transportation costs for low-income people, the DRIVE Act does not represent the long-term vision for transportation policy and investment that our nation needs.
Transportation is a vital link to ensuring opportunity for all – connecting people to jobs, schools, housing, health care, and grocery stores.  For millions of Americans – particularly poor people and people of color – that link is broken.  We are seriously concerned that the DRIVE Act does not include policies that repair that link.

We call on congressional leaders to pass surface transportation legislation that will generate jobs and economic opportunity for all, foster communities of opportunity, and measures success through equity and inclusion. Seven in 10 Americans support investments in job training and infrastructure improvements that reduce racial and ethnic inequality. Our nation’s success, both economically and socially, depends on having a transportation system that works for everyone, not just a select few. It’s time for Congress to pass legislation aligned with that vision.”  


The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit

PolicyLink is a national research and action institute advancing economic and social equity by Lifting Up What Works®. Founded in 1999, PolicyLink connects the work of people on the ground to the creation of sustainable communities of opportunity that allow everyone to participate and prosper.  For more information about PolicyLink, visit

PolicyLink and The Leadership Conference’s sister organization, The Leadership Conference Education Fund, co-chair the Transportation Equity Caucus, a diverse coalition of more than 100 organizations promoting policies that ensure access, mobility, and opportunity for all.


Angela Glover Blackwell
Angela Glover Blackwell