As state representative of the 146th District, I am fighting for Connecticut to join the Transportation and Climate Initiative program (TCI) to fund critical investments in our communities to improve infrastructure and public health. To legislate the program into action has been of the bigger debates at the Connecticut General Assembly. I believe in this program because the safety of my constituents is my priority as a leader. Some of my constituents have expressed concern about families leaving the Stamford area because young children have developed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma as a result of exposure to toxicity in the air. Stamford\u2019s South End population has been strained with constant construction, and heavy winds carrying pollutants through the streets. With TCI, we have the opportunity to take care of the emissions from public transportation and also bring more public transportation without increasing emissions. The most vulnerable do not have cars and for them and for the rest of the community this will signify a reduction of public health issues and other linked oppressive costs. Our cities most vulnerable communities need help, this institutionalized environmental racism needs to end. It is easy to imagine that everyone is impacted when we are talking about a coastal state, and air pollution. The most impacted are those who live next to the sources, and highest concentrations, of air pollutants. The life expectancy is the briefest in Stamford in the South End and the West Side, affluent neighborhoods with Black\/brown\/international communities, and below the national average life expectancy, while the rest of Stamford is above the national average, a 2019 Stamford Health Community Health Needs Assessment shows (source: DataHaven\u2019s analysis of CDC\u2019s National Center for Health Statistics data). The same report also shows that in Stamford, if you are Black or Hispanic and below the 30,000 annual income you are more likely to have asthma (source: 2018 DataHaven Community Wellbeing Survey). Further into that assessment it says, \u201cAs a result of limited public transportation, respondents noted that some residents of Stamford ... have difficulty accessing health and other social services in the city.\u201d Connecticut\u2019s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions comes from our transportation sector. Our state needs to encourage residents to use electric and low emission forms of transportation, such as electric vehicles, public transportation, and bikes. TCI-P would provide residents with incentives to adopt these forms of transportation. Environmental advocates, business leaders, and medical professionals have clearly communicated TCI would improve the health of Connecticut\u2019s residents, through its cap on emissions, thereby putting into place a declining amount of emissions credits allowed from the transportation sector. At least 50 percent of the TCI revenue raised would be invested in communities overburdened with air pollution, and under-served by the transportation sector. Accommodating access to public transportation, replacing old diesel vehicles with electric ones, and street safety prioritization are among the many solutions this bill can bring. The program will ensure fair public process and participation. The program will put into place an Equity and Environmental Justice Advisory Board comprised of people from communities overburdened by transportation pollution and under-served by the transportation system. The board representatives would regularly advise Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection and the Connecticut Department of Transportationon what clean transportation projects should be prioritized and funded through TCI. The fossil fuel lobby is regularly fear-mongering Connecticut residents at the gas pump; this in addition to some of our fellow legislators who deny there is a climate emergency, call TCI a \u201cgas tax.\u201d Some legislators are hesitant as gas prices could increase by up to 10 cents per gallon by 2032. For the average driver at 13,500 miles a year, the increase would amount to $4.50 a month in 2032. This cost is insignificant compared with the usual gas price fluctuations due to the supply and demand, and commodities trading. TCI would provide Connecticut with an opportunity to improve its infrastructure system, so it can adapt to climate change. Local governments do not have the resources to finance these necessary infrastructure projects. Stamford was hit hard by Hurricane Ida this past month, our city was practically underwater! I strongly encourage my colleagues the Connecticut General Assembly to vote to join the Transportation and Climate Initiative Program. We need these investments to make Connecticut a healthier place to live. State Rep. David Michel of Stamford is a member of the Environment, Planning & Development, and Transportation committees.