Game Changers 2020 Essay Series: Inclusion, Innovation, Infrastructure, Imagination

Inclusion, Innovation, Infrastructure, Imagination

Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives

For generations, America’s leadership, strength and entrepreneurial spirit have been the envy of the world. Through investments in our children and their education, in cutting-edge infrastructure, and in life-saving science and transformational technology, we built an economy, and a middle class, that were second to none.

Yet, for years, the promise of America’s prosperity has eluded too many people. Too many American families wonder, in this time of innovation and globalization, if they have a place in the economy of tomorrow.

Our nation must make a game-changing commitment to remove all doubt for families and say clearly, “We will have an economy that works for you.” We must commit to reducing income disparity in our country and we must embrace inclusion, innovation, infrastructure, and imagination, not simply as priorities, but as imperatives that guide this work.

1. Harness technology and innovation with inclusion

First, we must harness technology and innovation with inclusion, so that we can drive growth that lifts up the middle class and combats the crisis of confidence felt by so many in America today. The middle class is the backbone of our nation, and we must strengthen it with modernization to America’s education system including workplace development, with comprehensive immigration reform, and with investments to rebuild our infrastructure.

2. Embrace innovation

We must also embrace innovation and get back to what we do best: advancing the next transformational inventions and breakthroughs that will raise the standard of living of all Americans – in clean energy, modern medicine, advanced manufacturing, smart transportation, and strategic defense. These technological advances will help safeguard America’s position as the unrivaled technological and economic superpower of the 21st Century Economy.

3. Rebuild our physical infrastructure

We must also increase paychecks by rebuilding America with green and modern infrastructure – from sea to shining sea. By rebuilding our physical infrastructure, we can lay a foundation for strong growth that  benefits every community. We must recognize the most expensive maintenance is no maintenance. We must commit to rebuilding crumbling roads, bridges and mass transit systems, modernizing ports and airports, rebuilding our children’s schools, repairing our water systems, and bringing broadband Internet to every corner of the country. We must do so in a way that creates good-paying jobs, protects clean air and clean water, combats the climate crisis, and reduces the national debt.

4. Embrace imagination

Finally, our country must embrace imagination. As the poet Shelley once wrote, “The greatest force for moral good is imagination.” We need creative, bold, and ambitious thinking to reduce income disparity, and to also combat the existential threat of our time: the climate crisis. With new technology and visionary leadership, we can make progress: promoting public health by protecting clean air and clean water, guaranteeing our economic strength as a leader in green infrastructure and technology, and fulfilling our moral obligation to be good stewards of God’s creation.

October 11, 2019