The unveiling of the new American-manufactured streetcar in Portland
today and the tour of the Oregon Iron Works plant afterward were
something to see.
Here's the video from the unveiling (note the nice job they did scrolling a welcome message across the streetcar):
I'm not sure I've ever seen a group of workers so proud of what they've
built together. If you look below at the picture of everyone unwrapping
the streetcar, I think you'll see what I mean.
"I know that this was a dream come true for many of you," I told them later at the streetcar assembly plant. What I didn't tell them is that an American-manufactured streetcar is something of a dream come true for all of us.
You know, it hasn't been easy to fund streetcars in this country. But, what I saw in Portland today has impressed me. As I told the folks at Oregon Iron Works, I'm committed to seeing that the streetcar program can be funded with federal dollars. A streetcar is a perfect fit for some communities--certainly Portland sees it as a fit for them--and suiting the needs and qualities of the local population is what livable communities are all about.
I want to thank Congressman Blumenauer for wearing a non-bow tie in my honor today--even if he claims he was "messing" with me. And a heartfelt thanks to everyone involved in today's events.