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'Built by Bonds' campaign launched.

Municipal bond dealer James Lebenthal and Louis Coletti, president and CEO of the New York Building Congress, have announced an unprecedented new campaign, called "Built By Bonds," to educate the public and government about the dire need for massive investment in public works projects to create desperately needed jobs and rebuild the crumbling infrastructure of New York City and the nation.

"Built By Bonds" for the first time joins the immense power of the construction and design industry, including organized labor, with the Public Securities Association in order to make government officials and the public understand the need for, and tremendous benefits, of public works projects.

"We are in a state of emergency with 50 percent of our workers unemployed," said Louis Coletti. "This is a depression for our industry -- and just as during the Great Depression, we need dramatic action at all levels of government to creat the jobs that are the bedrock of the economy of our city and nation. It's time to invest in ourselves. Public works financed by municipal bonds give people a pay check to go out and buy cars, washing machines, and houses. Public works stimulate the economy, and rebuild our crumbling streets, highways, hospitals, schools and parks.

"With the strength of the financial communinity behind us, we intend to take our 'Built By Bonds' campaign to City Hall, to Albany, to State Houses around the country and to Washington."

As a first step, "Built By Bonds," which was launched at a breakfast forum of the Downtown-Lower Manhattan Association, a Manhattan business group, will call on New York city Mayor David N. Dinkins to support the call for more public works by mandating that the campaign's new red, white and blue "Built By Bonds" logo is placed on every completed City public construction project financed by public bonds.

"I love debt -- but only good debt that's used not for consumption, but for creating productive assets," said Jim Lebenthal, long an advocate for investment in public works as a remedy for the physical and spiritual ills plaguing America. "Investment in infrastructure equals roads, tunnels, bridges, equals improvement in productivity, equals increase in our standard of living and way of life.

"Infrastructure represents the World Trade Center, the Mackinac Bridge, Orlando International Airport, your library, high school, and alma mater. Real Wealth. Money you can touch. Public works do more that move cars over the bridge and effluvia through the hometown sewer system. They generate and regenerate the revenues and national incomes to pay for the social programs society cannot otherwise afford."

The Public Securities Association (PSA) is the international organization of banks, dealers and brokers that underwrite, trade and sell the securities of American state and local governments, mortgage securities, U. S. government and federal agency securities, and money market instruments. PSA's member firms collectively account for approximately 95 percent of the nation's municipal securities underwriting and trade activity.
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Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:need for public works investments
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Apr 22, 1992
Words:484
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