|Livable Communities Task Force: Members|
Earl Blumenauer (OR): Chairman Elected to Congress from the 3rd District of Oregon in 1996, Blumenauer has created a unique role as Congress’ chief spokesperson for livable communities: places where people are safe, healthy and economically secure. From 1996 – 2003, he served on both the International Relations Committee and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, where he was a strong advocate for federal policies that address transportation alternatives, provide housing choices, support sustainable economies and improve the environment. Now a member of the Ways and Means Committee and the Budget Committee, Congressman Blumenauer also serves as Vice Chair of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. Blumenauer was named one of “The Top 25 Change Agents in Bicycling History,” from the League of American Bicyclists in 2005 and has received many awards for his work on livable communities, including American Planning Association’s Legislator of the Year award in 1999.
Lois Capps (CA): Congresswoman Capps has been representing several communities on California’s Central and South Coasts in Congress since 1998. As a member of the Energy and Commerce and Natural Resources committees, she has been at the forefront of efforts to protect the environment and advance smart growth planning and zoning policies. She has led efforts to stop new oil and gas drilling off our coasts, promote energy-efficient and renewable energy technologies, and protect consumers from shouldering the financial burden of cleaning up MTBE contamination in their water supplies. She also helped to enact legislation that will ensure the long term preservation of our nation’s most sensitive coastal areas – and the wildlife they support – from harmful development.
Russ Carnahan (MO): Congressman Carnahan, in his 3rd term in Congress, has used his membership on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to promote an efficient, multi-modal transportation system which is critical to the St. Louis region and the entire country. He has played a leadership role in reducing carbon emissions from transportation as well as helping homeowners preserve historic structures through the introduction of H.R. 3670, the Historic Homeowners Revitalization Act.
Andre Carson (IN): Congressman Carson has represented the 7th Congressional District of Indiana since 2008. He is a member of the Financial Services Committee, which has jurisdiction over Federal housing policy, an important aspect of livable communities. Carson’s agenda includes working to protect and create well-paying jobs for Hoosiers to securing millions of dollars in federal resources to fight the scourge of abandoned houses in our neighborhoods and cutting our nation’s dependence on foreign oil by building a clean energy economy.
Steve Cohen (TN): Congressman Cohen, elected to Congress in 2006, represents Tennessee’s 9th Congressional district and is a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. As a State Senator for more than two decades, Congressman Cohen worked to harness the unique intermodal opportunities of Memphis to improve the city’s livability. Now as a member of Congress, Congressman Cohen is working on a national level to create policies that promote livability such as the Enhancing Livability for All Americans Act (HR 4287), which establishes an Office of Livability within the Department of Transportation’s Office of the Secretary.
Gerald Connolly (VA): Gerry Connolly has represented Northern Virginia in Congress since January of 2009, spearheading initiatives to extend Metrorail, protect the Chesapeake Bay, and complete National Scenic Trails. He has won awards for his work on smart growth from organizations such as the Coalition for Smarter Growth, the National Capitol Region’s leading livability advocacy group. Prior to his election to Congress, Gerry served in local government for fourteen years, where he championed land use plans to focus development around Metro and made rail to Dulles the County’s top transportation priority.
Sam Farr (CA): As a member of Congress since 1993, Congressman Farr sits on the powerful Appropriations Committee. He has used his position to direct funding to numerous projects that improve livability on the Central Coast of California, including helping to establish a bike and pedestrian trail around the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, getting the Defense Department to clean up after itself so that it is a better partner to local communities, and supporting Transit Oriented Development. With Congressman Farr’s assistance, California’s Central Coast has become a national model for sustainable development.
Martin Heinrich (NM): In his 1st term representing New Mexico, Representative Martin Heinrich is a member of the Natural Resources and Armed Services Committees. As president of the Albuquerque City Council and as the state’s natural resources trustee, he worked to protect the state’s natural environment and clean up contaminated sites in impoverished areas, which allowed him to hit the ground running to promote sustainable development and clean energy in Congress. Heinrich introduced H.R. 2662, the Clean Energy Promotion Act, which will support renewable energy development on public lands.
James Himes (CT): Representing southwest Connecticut, Congressman Himes in his first term has quickly immersed himself in a range of initiatives to benefit commuters, their communities, and the natural resources they depend on. Prior to serving in Congress, Jim ran the New York office of Enterprise Community Partners, one of the nation’s leading developers of affordable housing. Drawing upon lessons learned at Enterprise, the first legislative provision Jim authored in Congress (later included in the Waxman-Markey clean energy legislation) will create a loan guarantee program to help homebuyers finance energy-efficiency improvements as part of a new mortgage. He has worked closely with colleagues such as Reps. Perlmutter and Welch to advance legislation to green America’s housing stock, has teamed with Reps. Connolly and Blumenauer to form the first-ever “Commuter Working Group” to advance policies important to commuters, and will be working on the Housing Subcommittee of the Financial Services Committee to achieve similar progress on the affordable housing front in the months ahead.
Rush Holt (NJ): Congressman Holt has represented central New Jersey since 1999. Holt serves on the Committee on Education and Labor, the Committee on Natural Resources, and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. A long-time member of the Livable Communities Task Force and a strong environmental champion, he has fought to protect open space by funding the Land and Water Conservation Fund and has led efforts increase rail/transit security funding. He has recently introduced legislation, the National Transportation Objectives Act, to ensure that the country’s surface transportation system addresses economic, energy, and environmental challenges.
Jay Inslee (WA): Congressman Jay Inslee was elected by the people of Washington’s 1st district in 1998. He currently serves as a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Natural Resources Committee. Jay has been a leading voice on creating a new energy economy and reducing emissions that contribute to global warming, recently co-authoring Apollo’s Fire: Igniting America’s Clean Energy Economy. Jay worked alongside his colleagues in the House to introduce the National Transportation Objectives Act, legislation to set targets that address our nation’s economic, energy, and environmental challenges.
Hank Johnson (GA): Congressman Johnson is in his 2nd term representing Georgia’s Fourth Congressional District. Johnson sits on the Judiciary Committee, where he serves as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Courts and Competition Policy. Johnson is also a member of the Armed Services Committee, where he has proposed accelerating and expanding the use of electric vehicles, making buildings more energy efficient and increasing the use of alternative fuels in all branches of the U.S. military. He is a proponent of environmentally friendly products, having introduced legislation to encourage truck fleet operators to put tires made from recycled rubber on their trucks and to encourage the use of ecologically sensitive building materials.
Doris Matsui (CA): Congresswoman Doris Matsui is in her 3rd term representing the 5th district of California. As a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, she has been a leader in the fight against global warming. With rising gas prices driving more and more people to explore transportation alternatives, Matsui has worked to expand access to mass transit, and bring some of Sacramento's successful initiatives to the national dialogue. She is engaged in the planning and execution of an intermodal transportation center in Downtown Sacramento. This project will serve as a regional transit hub, and will improve air quality, ease roadway congestion, and strengthen Sacramento's Light Rail system. Matsui was recently awarded the 2009 National Bicycle Leadership Award and the American Planning Association’s 2009 Legislator of the Year Award for her dedication to public safety and her leadership on complete streets policies that will help make communities across the country as livable as Sacramento.
Jim McDermott (WA): Representing the livable community of Seattle, WA since 1998, Congressman McDermott has been a leader on energy and environmental issues on the Ways and Means Committee. As the Chairman of the Income Security and Family Support Subcommittee, he works to ensure that people at all income levels can live in a livable community. A physician, McDermott also brings an important health care perspective to the livability conversation.
George Miller (CA): Congressman Miller has been a member of Congress since 1975, representing the 7th district of California. A long-time champion and leader on environmental and energy issues, he is now the Chairman of the Education and Labor Committee and has shepherded legislation through Congress to green the nation’s schools. As Chairman of the Democratic Policy Committee, he helps bring livability issues to the attention of the Democratic leadership. Miller has fought to resolve conflicts over water in California, and the House recently passed his legislation, H.R. 2442, the Bay Area Regional Water Recycling Program Expansion Act.
Jim Moran (VA): Jim Moran has represented the 8th District of Virginia, encompassing many of DC’s suburbs, for 11 terms. As Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and the Environment, Moran has been a strong champion for funding for livability. His advocacy to reduce harmful emissions from the region’s antiquated coal-fired power plants, protect green space, promote green infrastructure and restore local streams to a more natural state has earned him high ratings from the League of Conservation Voters. He has also pushed to give Northern Virginians more transportation options, providing incentives for carpools, bikes, and public transportation to address traffic congestion, protect the environment, and help commuters save money on gas.
Richard Neal (MA): Congressman Neal has been representing the 2nd District of Massachusetts in Congress since 1989. As the Chairman of the Select Revenue Subcommittee of the Ways and Means Committee, Neal has helped promote livable communities through the tax code, including efforts to finance the highway trust fund. Nationally recognized for his accomplishments as Mayor of the city of Springfield, his local experience with successful downtown rehabilitation and neighborhood revitalization projects is a vital part of the livability conversation.
John Olver (MA): Congressman Olver has represented the 1st Congressional District of Massachusetts since June 1991. Olver is a member of the powerful Appropriations Committee and has consistently supported projects that improve the environment and increase alternative energy. As Chairman of the Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development, which has jurisdiction over the Department of Transportation and Department of Housing and Urban Development, he has made it a priority to support public transportation, bike, and pedestrian projects as well as to help make sustainable building practices a core component of federal affordable housing programs.
Ed Perlmutter (CO): Ed Perlmutter represents the 7th District of Colorado encompassing the east, west and northern suburban areas of metro Denver including the rural sections of Adams County. First elected to Congress in 2006, he is a member of the Rules and Financial Services Committee. Perlmutter has long been a staunch supporter of renewable energy and smart growth policies and the district includes world-class energy research institutions such as the Colorado School of Mines and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Additionally, Perlmutter was appointed Chair of the bipartisan Energy Efficiency Task Force in the Financial Services Committee in 2007 which authored the G.R.E.E.N. Act (Green Resources for Energy Efficiency Neighborhoods) which would provide a series of incentives to HUD and the private sector to make energy efficiency and renewable upgrades to their properties. He is also the sponsor of the Livable Communities Act of 2010, legislation that would create grant opportunities and promote federal interagency cooperation to help local communities implement sustainable, smart growth and multi-modal transportation plans.
Mike Quigley (IL): Congressman Quigley is in his 1st term representing the 5th District of Illinois, which includes parts of Chicago’s North Side and nearby suburbs. During his time on the Cook County Board of Commissioners, Quigley sponsored every piece of major environmental legislation adopted by the Cook County government, and still regularly participates in local clean-up and restoration efforts, earning him awards from the Audubon Society and the Sierra Club. Once called “the greenest elected official in Chicago,” Quigley often rides his bike to meetings around Washington.
Tim Ryan (OH): Congressman Ryan was elected to Congress from Ohio’s 17th district in 2003, and was appointed to the powerful Appropriations Committee in 2006. He has used his position to direct funding to sustainable projects in Ohio and around the country and to help bring high quality green jobs to communities impacted by a loss of traditional manufacturing jobs. Ryan is a leader in urban infrastructure renewal, having introduced H.R. 932, the Community Regeneration, Sustainability, and Innovation Act.
Jan Schakowsky (IL): Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky has represented the 9th Congressional District of Illinois since 1999. She currently serves as a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where she has been a strong supporter of legislation that addresses climate change while also creating a new, green energy economy. Schakowsky is proud that the 9th District of Illinois is a leader in the sustainable community movement, with some of the world’s greatest research universities, a burgeoning nano-tech corridor, and access to renewable energy sources like wind and biofuels.
Allyson Schwartz (PA): Congresswoman Schwartz, elected to Congress in 2004, represents Pennsylvania’s 13th Congressional district. A member of the Ways and Means Committee, she is a leader in promoting green policies that enhance the livability of dense urban areas, bring new, green-collar jobs to local communities, and improve water and air quality, including revitalizing the North Delaware Riverfront by securing federal funding for bike trails. She has worked with the City of Philadelphia on its Greenworks initiative, and has introduced several pieces of legislation to assist cities in planning, designing, and implementing green infrastructure strategies.
Albio Sires (NJ): Congresman Sires is in his 3rd term representing the 13th district of New Jersey. As a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Congressman Sires has focused on reauthorizing the Surface Transportation bill, supporting increased transit and commuting options, safer streets, and more efficient goods movement. As a former mayor, Sires understands livability at the local level, and has introduced legislation to provide communities with the tools they need to provide transportation and housing options that improve quality of life.
Paul Tonko (NY): Congressman Tonko is serving his 1st term in Congress representing the 21st District of New York, which includes the state's capital city, Albany. A nationally recognized expert on energy and an advocate for a green economy, Congressman Tonko has promoted wind development in Upstate New York and successfully lobbied GE to locate their growing GE Wind operations in Schenectady, NY. His strong ties to local government and his experience working for the NY Department of Transportation bring an important perspective to his work on livable communities.
Peter Welch (VT): Congressman Welch was elected to his 1st term as Vermont's lone U.S. Representative in 2006. As a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, he played an important role in the passage of the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) and focused particularly on energy efficiency. On the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Welch has pushed the federal government to lead by example on sustainability issues. He has introduced legislation, which was included in ACES, to provide financial incentives to homeowners and business owners to encourage them to retrofit existing buildings and make them more energy efficient.