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Blumenauer, Democrats launch ‘Livable Communities Task Force’

Posted by on October 19th, 2009 at 9:57 am

Blumenauer fundraiser ride-shindig-7

Earl Blumenauer speaking on the
Hawthorne Bridge back in August.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and the House Democratic Caucus have announced the formation of the Livable Communities Task Force (LCTF). Blumenauer has been named Chairman of the Task Force, which has a mission to,

“…identify the ways in which the federal government affects community livability as well as the means by which the federal government can be a better partner in enhancing quality of life.”

Among the ways Blumenauer plans to tackle this mission is to reduce the nation’s dependence on oil, protect the environment, improve public health, and invest in housing and transportation projects that “create jobs and give people more commuting choices.”

In a statement released this morning about the LCTF, Blumenauer said,

“When I first came to Congress thirteen years ago, people looked at me curiously whenever I used the term livability. Today, not only are policymakers talking about how to make our communities more livable, but we have an administration that has established a Partnership for Sustainable Communities… this new Democratic Task Force will play a vital role in coordinating with the administration to improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in communities big and small, urban and rural.”

The graphic for the LCTF includes Portland’s light rail and a man on a bike.

The Task Force has 20 members and they plan to work with the Obama Administration by holding briefings and strategy sessions on a variety of issues from climate change and energy legislation to the pending re-authorization of the transportation bill.

For more information, visit the LCTF’s website and read a a guest post from Blumenauer published this morning on Streetsblog.

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  • Joe Rowe October 19, 2009 at 10:20 am

    “taskforce” is a code name whenever a monopoly of power wishes to placate a minority.

    The best way to make our community livable is to stop cutting education budgets 20% and start cutting the wars. Our nation’s budget is about 50% defense spending when you do the right math.

    When Earl starts talking truth, we should listen. If bikeportland is gonna be the lap dog of Earl, we need some balance to the perspective.

    Saving part of $1.5 billion would create a lot safer streets for bikes, and lower our dependence on oil.

    We can talk about safe streets, or we can stop the budget waste that renders our ideals impossible.


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  • peejay October 19, 2009 at 10:28 am

    Thanks, Joe, but we need some perspective here. How is Earl any more accountable than 90% of all elected Democrats in getting out of the two stupid wars we’re in? Yes, lean on these people to fulfill their promise to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan, but don’t put it all on Earl, please. He’s doing something good here, and should be praised for that. You want to hold his feet to the fire for defense spending, do so when it’s topical.

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  • peejay October 19, 2009 at 10:47 am

    Also, the picture is terrible as a symbol of livability. It should be filled with people — walking around, shopping, socializing, etc. That image has a train, one person standing around, some parked cars, a huge swath of shrubbery, and a couple of stupid “olde tyme” lampposts. And a bike squeezed into the edge of the frame. Most people would not see this as an upgrade from their comfy cars.

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  • Joe Rowe October 19, 2009 at 10:49 am

    I don’t buy the game that we should give Earl a break because 90% of democrats share the same ineffectiveness.

    This is on topic, he’s our PDX rep.

    Anytime your dad promises to take you to Disneyland, it is on topic to remind him that we’re broke, and why we’re broke.

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  • peejay October 19, 2009 at 11:10 am

    Joe, I don’t disagree with you, but I don’t see anything productive from this. People will tune you out like people tune out Vance’s “nanny state” talk if you bring this up every time Earl is mentioned.

    The number one reason we’re broke is because a certain drunken sailor masquerading as president for eight years gave trillions in tax breaks to the rich, and created the political environment we have right now, where talk of getting them to give it back is electoral suicide. A lot of people are to blame for that — many more so than Mr Blumenauer.

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  • Joe Walsh October 19, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    Joe Rowe is correct; there is a direct connection between livability and what congress does with our money. To blame just the republicans is naive at best and lying at its worst. To say let’s pat our congressional representative on the back for his new task-force and not recognize what he has not championed is ludicrous.

    Single Payer—- he will not endorse because it would take out the insurance companies from health-care. What he will vote for is going to screw you big time, better be careful on your bike.

    Impeachment of Bush/dick— he says no, would cause too much confusion

    Defense of Marriage Act–DOMA—voted for it

    Funding for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—yes

    Peru Trade Deal—voted for it and bragged as farmers in Lima were protesting in the streets—livability?

    Al Capone set up soup kitchens and fed the starving during the time they most needed help. Should we only talk about that one good thing or that he was a murdered, bootlegger, head of a criminal family.

    Blumenauer has been in politics all his adult life, he is a multimillionaire?

    Keep sending the same people back to DC and expect things to change is a sign of insanity.

    Profiling a politician because he is heading up a task-force is laughable.

    Joe Walsh
    Individuals for Justice
    Veterans Against Torture
    VVAW, constituent 3rd district.

    PS Did you know that the author of “Common Sense” Thomas Paine, the father of the Founding Fathers, only had six people go to his funeral?

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  • Iris October 19, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    I agree with the Joes.
    I won’t repeat what has been well- said above. I strongly feel it’s time for a real change and Earl does not represent that in the least. He continues to talk from both sides of his mouth on all the issues mentioned. Never takes a strong, moral stance. Signs the declaration of Peace, but votes for war-funding 2 months later is just one small example of his MO.

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  • Joe Rowe October 19, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    Some people tune out anything, like the the Vietnam war, or the Iraq war.

    It’s productive to have aspirations as a society, but more important to remind each other that our dreams are just dreams, unless we can fund them.

    It’s not just what Earl does, it is what he neglects to do, and has neglected, and how we’re bankrupt from that.

    Earl’s duty was to keep any drunken sailor in check. He and the other democrats were silent to the bad news because they did not want to sound soft on terrorists or lose any seats. The treasure is gone, it’s gonna take more than hope to get it back.

    It’s gonna take people not tuning out, even if they don’t like the message or messenger.

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