May 18, 2023 — Press Release — League Executive Director John Brenner Joins Local Leaders, U. S. Senator Cantwell on Capitol Hill to Call for Passage of Railway Safety Act

May 18, 2023
Contact: Debbie Bitting,, 717-236-9469, ext. *223

League Executive Director John Brenner Joins Local Leaders, U. S. Senator Cantwell on Capitol Hill to Call for Passage of Railway Safety Act
Bipartisan safety legislation would keep rail moving safely through Pennsylvania.

WASHINGTON, DC – On Wednesday, May 17, Pennsylvania Municipal League Executive Director John Brenner joined a press conference hosted by the National League of Cities and U.S. Senate Commerce Committee Chair Maria Cantwell (WA) on the need for Congress to act on rail safety.

Local leaders and state municipal league executive directors highlighted their communities’ and state rail concerns and urged the Senate to pass the bipartisan Railway Safety Act of 2023. You can watch the press conference here.

Around 140,000 miles of track in the U.S. cross directly through many of the nation’s 19,000 cities, towns and villages. The unfortunate derailment and environmental contamination in East Palestine is not unprecedented, with more than 1,000 trains derailing last year in multiple states. More than 500 cities, towns and villages signed letters urging Congress to act on rail safety.

“The League supports this bipartisan effort to enhance rail safety,” said Executive Director John Brenner.

“The bipartisan Railway Safety Act is trying to prevent disasters like East Palestine from happening in any other town in America again,” said Senator Marie Cantwell (WA), Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. “We took the lessons of East Palestine and turned them into legislation.”

The bipartisan Railway Safety Act passed the Senate Commerce Committee last week. The legislation must now pass the full Senate. A summary of its key provisions can be found here.

Executive Director John Brenner of the Pennsylvania Municipal League, is in DC for the National League of Cities State Municipal League leadership fly-in. They met with key congressional staff to discuss municipal priorities and advocate on behalf of residents. On Thursday, the group visited the White House to meet with key staff and discuss investments in infrastructure, the debt ceiling, and other local priorities.


The National League of Cities (NLC) is the voice of America’s cities, towns and villages, representing more than 200 million people. NLC works to strengthen local leadership, influence federal policy and drive innovative solutions. Stay connected with NLC on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram.

The mission of the Pennsylvania Municipal League is to strengthen, empower and advocate for effective local government. The League is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization established in 1900 as an advocate for Pennsylvania’s 3rd class cities. Today, The League represents Pennsylvania cities, boroughs, townships, and home rule communities that all share their municipal policy interests. The Board of Directors oversees the administration of a wide array of municipal services including legislative advocacy, publications, education/training, consulting-based programs, and group insurance trusts. For more information, please visit Join the conversation on Twitter @PAMunicipalLeag and – #StrengthThroughEngagement.