Congressman Fattah Undertakes Ambitious National Travel for Speeches, Tours on Scientific Research, Education Reform

Jul 16, 2011, 15:21 ET from Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah

WASHINGTON, July 16, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Congressman Chaka Fattah (D-PA), a senior House appropriator for research, innovation and technology programs as well as a leading advocate for education reform, has embarked on a quick, ambitious cross-country tour that focuses on these disparate issues.

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The two-day speaking and fact-finding trip will take Fattah to San Francisco Sunday for education events, then to the Chicago area on Monday for an oceanographers' symposium, tours of two national laboratories and a meeting with high school students.

The Philadelphia Congressman is Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) and related agencies, and a member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development. He has been a leader in education reform and opportunity throughout his career.

In San Francisco on Sunday July 17 Fattah addresses the annual conference of the National Council for Community and Education Partnerships, a gathering of 2,000 education professionals, business leaders and students involved in GEAR UP nationwide. Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP), which Fattah created and guided to passage in Congress, is the nation's largest and most successful effort to prepare low income, minority and underserved students for the opportunities and rigors of higher education.

(Fattah speaks at 4:30 p.m. PT Sunday at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square).

Fattah will address the conference on the future, the challenges and potential of GEAR UP. The U.S. Department of Education estimates that the federally-funded effort currently is providing proven benefits to more than 730,000 low income children in 46 states, five territories and the District of Columbia. After his address Fattah will meet with Youth Leadership Summit students and Student Track participants from the San Francisco area.

"I look forward to briefing and congratulating these dedicated professionals at NCCEP who have made GEAR UP a three billion dollar, coast-to-coast success story since its enactment in 1998. Thanks to them, young people who had not even dreamed of attending college have had the dramatic opportunity to improve their life chances," Fattah said.

"I'm especially pleased that I will be meeting some of these talented young people in both San Francisco and Chicago," Fattah said. "Whenever I travel I visit with high school and middle school students who benefit from this critical program, and these are always inspiring, energizing sessions."

On Monday July 18 in Chicago, Congressman Fattah will begin his day with an address to the Coastal Zone 2011 Conference. The CZ conference is a biennial symposium hosted by the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), other federal and state agencies and nonprofits including the Nature Conservancy. CZ is the largest international gathering of oceanographic and coastal management professionals with nearly 1,000 attendees.    

(Fattah speaks at 8:25 a.m. CDT Monday at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Chicago).

"NOAA continues its critical scientific work with our oceans, our atmosphere and our weather, under the brilliant leadership of its Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco. I am committed, through our Appropriations subcommittee that oversees its funding, that NOAA will continue to have the resources it needs to maintain our nation's world leadership in these fields," Fattah said.

Fattah said he has been familiar with oceanographic study and initiatives through the work of the Lenfest Ocean Program, funded by Philadelphia-based Lenfest Foundation and Philadelphia philanthropist H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest.

Later on Monday Fattah will tour the Argonne National Laboratory and FermiLab, both in the Greater Chicagoland region.

These lab visits continue Fattah's outreach and inspection of national laboratories that deal in scientific and applied research, technology transfer and nuclear energy. Earlier this year Fattah toured Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico, where much of the nation's nuclear energy research and development is conducted. And on Thursday July 14, Fattah participated in the Aerospace Industries Association program in Washington on the Critical Nature of National Security Investment.

"Argonne is the home of the Energy Storage/Battery Lab and a transportation technology R&D center," Fattah said. "The advanced batteries that can power electric cars and other futuristic modes of transportation will be commercial applications flowing from places like the Argonne labs.

"Our nation's future as the world's leading manufacturer depends on federally funded innovation and incubator work at places like Argonne and FermiLab."

At FermiLab the Congressman will tour the Large Hadron Collider remote operations center, an underground neutrino facility and the Superconducting Radio Frequency test facility.

Congressman Fattah caps his whirlwind tour by meeting a group of Chicago GEAR UP students at School of Social Justice High School.

SOURCE Office of Congressman Chaka Fattah