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A sit down with Peter DeFazio

Posted by on March 14th, 2007 at 2:55 pm

Inside Congressman DeFazio’s office with the Oregon contingent in the Rayburn House Office Building

We just had our meeting with Peter DeFazio.

Usually we go to Capitol Hill tomorrow (which will still will do), but he couldn’t see us then so we did it today.

But, as is often the case, we first met with one of his staffers, Kathy Dedrick. She advises DeFazio on transportation issues.

National Bike Summit

Evan Manvel shakes hands
with DeFazio. Wilsonville
Mayor Charlotte Lehan looks on.

Scott Bricker got us started off by bringing up our major issues, the Conserve by Bike Program and the Bike Commuter Benefit. The discussion then turned to tourism.

Scott West with Travel Oregon is here with us (along with other Oregon tourism folks, more on them later). I cannot tell you how fantastic it is to have tourism people here on our team.

West brought up their main concern of “connectivity”. He is really interested in making sure trails connect up and offer quality experiences for potential tourists.

A few minutes later Mr. DeFazio joined us. He plopped down in his big leather chair, took of his glasses and rubbed his weary eyes.

To say he’s busy these days is a vast understatement. He’s on two committees, and Chairs yet another one. At our meeting, he was visibly tired and frazzled from yesterday, a day he called, “one of the most hectic” he’s ever had.

The meeting went well, even though as a group, we haven’t had our congressional meeting strategy session (we’re having that right now). No real bombshells. It’s pretty obvious that we can count on DeFazio for support of bicycle and smart transportation solutions.

The only small bit of news from the meeting is that DeFazio just signed on to the Bike Commuter Act. No big surprise there.

Before we left the office, we took the obligatory group photo with the Capitol in the background.

National Bike Summit

Tomorrow is the big day on Capitol Hill. We’ll start with the annual rousing speech by Mr. Bicycle, Congressman Jim Oberstar. Following that will be a press conference with Earl Blumenauer announcing the re-issue of the Bike Commuter Bill, and then we’ll split up and meet with each one of our Oregon congressional delegation.

Should be another interesting day.

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Jessica Roberts
Jessica Roberts

Oh, I’m so sorry to miss in on the fun! This event was the highlight of the last two years for me, and I wish I could be there with you all…

Susan Otcenas

I agree. The time I spent at the Summit the last two years really opened up my eyes to how important it is that our elected representatives in DC hear our voices.

An unavoidable scheduling conflict prevented my attendance this year, but I hope to be back again next year.

A big thanks to Jonathan and the rest of our Smmit delegates for the important work they are doing this week!

Curt Dewees
Curt Dewees

Peter DeFazio: Probably the only member of Congress who is also a former professional bicycle mechanic … !