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As mayors, county chairs and regional leaders, we see it throughout our region's communities. Our constituents feel it when they wait in traffic for an hour - just to move a few miles. They feel it when they have to apologize for being late to work ... again. They feel it when they worry about loved ones making it home. They even feel it when local businesses wait longer for products to arrive in stores, and families pay more for those products.

COURTESY METRO - Metro Chair Tom HughesEvery road, transit line and bridge we use today exists because Oregonians made a choice to take action and invest in transportation.

Getting around easily has long been a part of what makes Oregon a great place to live — a source of pride and prosperity. We've long enjoyed the reliability of getting to work on time, getting home to our families quickly and safely, and getting out of town for the weekend.

Lately, it feels different. Getting around is increasingly frustrating.

As mayors, county chairs and regional leaders, we see it throughout our region's communities.

Our constituents feel it when they wait in traffic for an hour — just to move a few miles. They feel it when they have to apologize for being late to work ... again. They feel it when they worry about loved ones making it home. They even feel it when local businesses wait longer for products to arrive in stores, and families pay more for those products.

We have two choices to preserve our quality of life: We can take action now, or let the challenges deepen as the fixes get more expensive.

This is bigger than any one city, county or metro area. This affects us all, which is why we must all work together.

We want to let it be known: We are united and ready to move forward.

We support our lawmakers working on a statewide transportation package that makes strategic investments that keep people safe and serve our communities. By taking this action together, we succeed together.

Let's act now to fight the congestion, help our families live better, help our employers stay competitive, and get us all where we want to be.

Tom Hughes is the Metro Chair. This statement was also signed by leaders from throughout the Portland metro area, including:

• Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler

• Clackamas County Chair Jim Bernard

•Washington County Chair Andy Duyck

• Gresham Mayor Shane Bemis

• Hillsboro Mayor Steve Callaway

• Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle

• Tigard Mayor John Cook

• Lake Oswego Mayor Kent Studebaker

• Oregon City Mayor Dan Holladay

• Tualatin Mayor Lou Ogden

• West Linn Mayor Russ Axelrod

• Forest Grove Mayor Pete Truax

• Wilsonville Mayor Tim Knapp

• Milwaukie Mayor Mark Gamba

• Sherwood Mayor Krisanna Clark

• Happy Valley Mayor Lori DeRemer

• Cornelius Mayor Jeff Dalin

• Fairview Mayor Ted Tosterud

• Wood Village Mayor Tim Clark

• King City Mayor Ken Gibson

• Durham Mayor Gery Schirado

• Rivergrove Mayor Heather Kibbey

• TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane

• Port of Portland Deputy Executive Director Curtis Robinhold

• Troutdale Mayor Casey Ryan

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