Local Streetcar Manufacturing At the Table for Obama Job Summit

Chandra Brown of United Streetcar (a subsidiary of Oregon Iron Works) is one of 100 business people who will be at President Obama’s December jobs summit. Here’s the press release from Congressman Blumenaur:

Blumenauer Announces United Streetcar President Chandra Brown to Join President Obama at Jobs Summit

Portland, OR -Congressman Blumenauer (D-Ore) announced today that, at his recommendation, the White House will invite Chandra Brown, President of United Streetcar and a resident of Oregon’s Third Congressional District, to participate in President Obama’s Jobs Summit on December 3rd, 2009.

Based on United Streetcar’s success in building the first American made Streetcar in 58 years, Congressman Blumenauer called on the administration to include Ms. Brown in the summit.

“Investment in America’s infrastructure is key to our economic recovery, creating jobs and laying the physical foundation for a stronger country. I am thrilled that Chandra Brown will have a seat at the table for the President’s Job Summit next week. Under her leadership, United Streetcar has emerged as a bright spot in American manufacturing. With each streetcar they build, they’ll not only employ people in my district, but will involve other manufacturers around the country in creating the parts they need to make each car,” said Congressman Blumenauer.

“I believe this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am so grateful in particular to Congressman Blumenauer for his efforts in making this happen. I look forward to representing American manufacturing and small businesses at the summit, and continuing work to create family wage jobs in Oregon and around the Country,” said Brown.

United Streetcar will build the cars for the Portland streetcar loop project, which was recently approved by the administration. The project is estimated to create 1,500 jobs.

United Streetcar, LLC, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Oregon Iron Works, Inc. (OIW). OIW is a specialized fabrication and manufacturing company founded in Oregon in 1944. United Streetcar’s mission is to provide modern, efficient, safe and reliable American-produced streetcars and to be a pioneering force in increasing urban transit options throughout the United States.

9 responses to “Local Streetcar Manufacturing At the Table for Obama Job Summit”

  1. I believe United Streetcar is also slated to build 6 or 7 streetcars for Tucson, AZ. Hopefully this will be the start of something big. Not that it isn’t already a big deal.

  2. Whether or not the stimulus is working, depends on what you think would have occurred without it.

    Many people, smarter than me on this topic, think that without the stimulus we’d be in a depression, not merely a recession. Of course, we don’t get parallel universes to run experiments like this; but the conditions last year were not dissimilar to conditions in 1929. The response has been quite different, of course, and so far the results have been better than the events of eight decades ago.

    Many economists argue that the problem with the stimulus is that it hasn’t been big enough, not that we shouldn’t do it. Others disagree, of course, and I suspect many opinions on the matter among politicians are informed more by ideology or political calculation (many in the GOP seem inclined to oppose whatever Obama does) rather than by economics.

  3. Scotty’s bringing up the right ideas: The question about the stimulus isn’t “has it cured our problems” but “has it prevented things from being even worse”. The answer to the second question is certainly “yes”.

    I’ll admit that I’m a fan of Paul Krugman and I agree with his opinion that without the stimulus things would be a lot worse, with a unemployment a lot higher as there would be a lot of unemployed government contractors (e.g. road paving companies) and government employees.

    The best stimulus is the type of things we discuss here on this forum – what is the best use of our dollars to improve our lives albeit in a transit sense here.

  4. Yea sure, Americans would really put up with selling apples on the street.

    How do you spell R-E-V-O-L-U-T-I-O-N?

    The stimulus aint done [Moderator: Implied expletive removed.]

    The rich are still rich, the poor live on the streets, and the working class is under pressure from the right wing to give up all the gains of the last 50 years.

    Nothing has changed!

  5. Well, since we’ve somehow gone off on this stimulus tangent, a couple of opinions of my own.

    1. The stimulus, as passed, couldn’t do a whole heckuva lot to preserve/create jobs. It is doing it’s job, but it’s way underpowered. Much of the stimulus is merely fast-tracking projects already in the pipeline, there isn’t much direct aid to state governments which are hurting the most, and a huge portion of the stimulus was in the form of tax cuts which don’t tend to have much short-term stimulative value. (In fact, it can be argued that if tax cuts are so terrific for long-term economic stability, we wouldn’t be in this mess after years of tax cutting.)

    2. Anecdotally I’m seeing a significant shift in “on the street” conditions. Our house is on a busy street and over the years we’ve seen a lot of transient activity come and go, and a fair share of dumpster diving for bottles/cans and garage sale treasure, abandoned shopping carts and that sort of thing. But last week someone actually consumed discarded food from our trash can, which (at least from the perspective of our street) was a new low.

  6. Anecdotally I’m seeing a significant shift in “on the street” conditions.

    10-4; Over here in NW a definite surge in dumpster activity and people sleeping in my parking lot.

    Wonderful caring country we have here.

    And the buses, wow, truly a sad picture of humanity right now.

  7. Many in DC expect a “second stimulus”. Unfortunately, there’s a whole bunch of people who (it seems) want there to still be a recession come November 2010.

  8. Totally agree with you Bob and Scotty about the need for more stimulus. The problem with tax cuts alone is that they don’t stimulate demand. If people have more money in their pocket in times of economic uncertainty, they’re going to save it instead of spending it, which doesn’t promote economic activity. But actual government spending will create demand in the economy.

    On a transit related observation of the Great Recession, I can say that the commute into Portland from Vancouver on I-5 has gotten noticeably better than it was in 2006 and 07. The back-up in the morning used to start at Main Street and it’s now almost always starting right at the I-5 bridge or Mill Plain (if there’s any back-up at all). That’s a 2.5 mile traffic jam that doesn’t exist any more.

    When I ride C-Tran express, the drivers used to almost always get off I-5 at Main Street, make their way through Vancouver and then get back onto I-5 at Mill Plain. I think that in the last year I’ve only had a driver do that once or so. It never happens now because there are so fewer people going to work and such less freight on the road.

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