Executive Council Candidate brings together policy experts and legislative leaders to promote NH Capitol Corridor Rail Project in 2017
NASHUA, NH — On Thursday, October 6, Dan Weeks led a discussion with local political leaders and policy experts at Nashua City Hall at 12pm to outline next steps for bringing commuter rail to southern New Hampshire starting in 2017. The Weeks campaign also released a video highlighting the candidate’s support for commuter rail.
“After years of study, the evidence is in that commuter rail is New Hampshire's biggest economic development opportunity in a generation. For a modest up-front investment, we can unleash hundreds of millions of dollars in outside investment for the good of our entire state and create thousands of middle-class jobs to grow our economy and keep our young people from leaving,” Weeks said.
Weeks, the Democratic candidate for Executive Council in District 5, will lead a discussion with Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess, State Sen. Bette Lasky, former State Sen. Peggy Gilmour, rail engineering expert Michael Izbicki and developer Dan Kelly of the NH Rail Transit Authority, as well as nearly 20 state legislators and legislative candidates, at the Nashua City Hall Auditorium today from 12-2pm.
“It is time for the state legislature and Executive Council to look to the future by beginning the financial planning, preliminary engineering, and environmental permitting that will allow New Hampshire to leverage federal funds and invest in commuter rail,” said Weeks.
Weeks called on the New Hampshire state legislature and Executive Council to reinsert over $3 million in available federal funding for the Capitol Corridor rail project back into the state’s Transportation Improvement Plan, and develop public private partnerships to assist with financing the proposed extension of the Lowell line to Nashua, Manchester Airport, and downtown Manchester. The funding was removed by Republican leaders in 2016, against the recommendation of the NH Department of Transportation and contrary to public demand.
“My great-grandfather Sinclair Weeks helped build the Interstate Highway System half a century ago,” Weeks said. “He was a conservative businessman and Eisenhower’s Secretary of Commerce, yet he recognized that public investments in infrastructure and education breed private-sector growth. We need to bring together private enterprise and public investment once again, to strengthen our New Hampshire economy through commuter rail.”
“Studies show that while the Capital Corridor rail project would cost between $5 to $10 million per year, it would serve nearly 700,000 passengers per year, bring $174 million in federal tax dollars back to New Hampshire, create 5,600 permanent jobs, spur $750 million worth of new real estate development and nearly 2 million square feet of commercial space by 2030,” said Weeks. “That’s why 74 percent of Granite Staters support commuter rail. That’s why our Chambers of Commerce and businesses large and small support commuter rail—to help spur economic growth and keep talented young workers in New Hampshire.”
“The single biggest economic development opportunity in a generation is staring us in the face,” Weeks said in a video released by his campaign. “If I’m your Executive Councilor, I will take the right votes to move our state forward on commuter rail.”
Dan Weeks and his plan to fight for commuter rail was endorsed by Nashua Mayor Jim Donchess and Hon. Peggy Gilmour, candidate for State Senate District 12.
- Mayor Jim Donchess: “We need strong allies at the highest levels of state government to succeed – people with sound judgment and a stake in Nashua’s success. That’s why I’m proud to stand with my friend and fellow Nashuan, Dan Weeks, in his campaign for Executive Council against Dave Wheeler. Dan has already fought hard to support the Capitol Rail Corridor by lobbying the state legislature, educating the public, and recruiting fellow citizens to do the same.”
- Hon. Peggy Gilmour: "Dan Weeks has the vision, integrity, and tenacity that New Hampshire needs on the Executive Council. Dan is entering public service for the right reasons. He cares about people and making our democratic system work for everyone. He listens, whether you're a Republican or a Democrat. I trust him to put the public's interest above political party or special interests. Dan supports common sense solutions to bring new jobs to New Hampshire: investing in commuter rail and renewable energy."