Two East Coast political leaders joined Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger Saturday at a Los Angeles park and ride lot to unveil “Building America’s Future,” which they described as a new coalition designed to rally support for increasing the federal commitment to funding the nation’s infrastructure needs.

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, a Democrat, and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an independent, joined California’s Republican governor at the event.

“I mean, you have an Independent here, you have a Democrat here, a Republican. I mean, how much better can you get?” Schwarzenegger said. “And we are soul mates. We totally believe that we must rebuild America.”

The nonprofit organization will be made up of elected and executive officials from state and local governments, according to a news release from Bloomberg’s office.

In the short term, the coalition is supposed to work with presidential candidates and platform committees of the national political parties to ensure that the next president understands the enormity of the infrastructure crisis and is committed to increasing federal funding, the release said. In the long term, the coalition will serve as a repository of best practices and a think tank on infrastructure funding issues.

“We can all look at recent headlines about levees in New Orleans, air traffic congestion in the Northeast, or the bridge collapse in Minnesota to realize that our nation’s infrastructure is in need of serious attention,” Bloomberg said. “But those examples only scratch the surface of the problem.”


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