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Associate Director of External Affairs | Cheryl Reitan | creitan@d.umn.edu | (218) 726-8996
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November 10, 2005
Susan Beasy Latto, Director of Public Relations 218 726-8830 slatto@d.umn.edu
Wy Spano, Director, UMD Center for Advocacy and Political Leadership 218 726-6658 wspano@d.umn.edu


OBERSTAR TO DEFEND FEDERAL TRANSPORTATION LAW
at UMD PUBLIC FORUM
NOVEMBER 12
Title of Speech "It Ain't Pork"


Minnesota's 8th District Congressman Jim Oberstar (D-Mn8) has had enough.
On Saturday, November 12, Oberstar will counter the negative campaign about the recently passed Federal Transportation Law ("it's all pork") by participating in the Public Affairs Lecture Series sponsored by the UMD Center for Advocacy and Political Leadership on the UMD campus. The title of the Oberstar talk is "It Ain't Pork!" In it, he will explain the new Federal Transportation Law. The time is 12 noon at the Griggs Center, 2nd floor of the UMD Kirby Student Center. The public is invited.

No member of Congress is better qualified to talk about the new federal law, called SAFETEA-LU, for Safe, Accountable, Flexible & Efficient Transportation Equity Act - a Legacy for Users. Oberstar is the longest serving Congressional member on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Prior to his election to Congress in 1974 he served as an aide to former 8th District Congressman John Blatnik and, for a time, as chief of the House Transportation and Infrastructure staff. He was a member of the conference committee which passed the final version of the bill to the Senate and House floors for approval and was present when President Bush signed the bill.

According to Wy Spano, Director of the UMD Center for Advocacy and Political Leadership, Oberstar was asked to deliver the lecture because, "Our students are interested in public policy--how it gets made, how it gets implemented."

Spano went on to say, "Congressman Oberstar has spoken previously to one of our classes about his role in putting bike trails on the national transportation agenda and about his new idea, called 'Safe Routes to Schools', which he maintains can undo our national obsession with bussing kids to schools instead of encouraging the healthier alternative of walking or biking. Our students thought 'Safe Routes to Schools' was a great idea, and when some of them found out that 'Safe Routes to Schools' money in the SAFETEA-LU bill was being called 'pork' they thought we should encourage the Congressman to talk about the whole subject."

Twin Cities Public Television (TPT) will record and edit the lecture and the questions afterward to produce a one-hour show for use on their Minnesota Channel. The Minnesota Channel is a new service of TPT which supports the co-production of programs with Minnesota's non-profit, educational and public service organizations. Minnesota Channel programming can be seen on TPT's analog, digital, cable, satellite and internet services, but most prominently each Saturday and Sunday night on TPT/17.




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Gina Katzmark, Director of External Affairs, 218-726-6141, katzmark@d.umn.edu
Cheryl Reitan, Associate Director of External Affairs, 218-726-8996, creitan@d.umn.edu
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