Blumenauer joins Transportation Summit lineup

Cycling, transit advocate to speak on Nov. 6

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One of New Urbanism’s most celebrated Congressmen, Rep. Earl Blumenauer, will speak at CNU’s Transportation Summit 2009, Nov. 4-6, in his hometown, Portland, Ore.

Blumenauer, a forceful advocate in Congress of livable communities and transportation reform – including strong support for cycling, streetcars, and passenger rail – will speak on the Summit’s final day, Friday, Nov. 6. Check the Summit’s draft agenda (PDF) for updates and details of his speech, and for additional speakers as CNU confirms their participation.

He is a co-sponsor of the pending CLEAN TEA amendment to the climate bill, which now includes CNU-backed language designating network connectivity enhancements as a proposed component of clean transportation funding eligibility.

His Bicycle Commuter Act, signed into law in 2008, allows employers to offer a tax-exempt $20 per month benefit to employees for the purchase, storage, and maintenance of bicycles. Interestingly, Portland's Office of Transportation just announced that based upon the Census Bureau's 2008 American Community Survey, Portland is now the nation's top cycling city.

Blumenauer, 61, was first elected to Oregon’s House of Representatives in 1972, serving until 1979. He served as a Multnomah County commissioner from 1979 to 1987, and as a Portland alderman from 1987 to 1996. That year, he won a special Congressional election to fill the remaining term of Ron Wyden, who had just won election to the U.S. Senate.

Blumenauer served on the House International Relations and Transportation and Infrastructure committees from 1996 to 2007. He currently sits on the House Ways and Means and Budget committees, and is vice chair of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. He also co-chairs the Passenger Rail and Trails caucuses, and is a member of the Open Spaces and Land Trust caucus.

He has won myriad honors including being named an Honored Citizen by the Architectural Foundation of Oregon in 2007, and one of the “Top 25 Change Agents in Bicycling History” by the League of American Bicyclists in 2005. He also won Global Sustainability Award from the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy in 2005, and a National Distinguished Service Award from the American Public Transit Association in 2004; He was the American Planning Association’s legislator of the year in 1999.

For more information about Blumenauer, see his House web site.