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Legislative Conference Focuses on Advocacy; FTA's Williams Among Opening Session Speakers

FTA Acting Administrator K. Jane Williams will present the keynote address at the March 19 Opening General Session of the 2018 APTA Legislative Conference, March 18-20 at the Grand Hyatt Washington, joining APTA President and CEO Paul P. Skoutelas and APTA Chair Nathaniel P. Ford Sr. The conference for public transportation professionals will focus on topics including the administration’s infrastructure proposal and other public transportation-related issues such as state of good repair and state safety oversight programs.

Conference activities begin with committee meetings the weekend of March 17-18, followed by a Sunday afternoon “Welcome to Washington” session led by Washington Post reporters Paul Kane, senior congressional correspondent and columnist, and Ashley Parker, White House reporter.

Ed Rendell, former governor of Pennsylvania and co-chair of Building America’s Future Educational Fund, will launch Monday’s activities at “The ‘Insider’ Perspective for the Transit Industry,” a sit-down breakfast sponsored by the APTA Business Member Activity Fund.

The Monday mid-morning General Session, “The Transit Coalition: Partners in Surface Transportation Advocacy,” brings together representatives of APTA’s coalition partners in surface transportation advocacy to discuss their goals regarding additional federal infrastructure investment. Speakers are Ed Mortimer, executive director, Americans for Transportation Mobility Coalition, and executive director, transportation infrastructure, U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Jim Tymon, chief operating officer/director of policy and management, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials; Sean O’Neill, vice president, congressional relations and infrastructure advancement, Associated General Contractors of America; Kevin McCarty, assistant executive director, U.S. Conference of Mayors; and Dean Franks, senior vice president, congressional relations, American Road and Transportation Builders Association.

Perennial favorite the Capitol Steps will present their musical political satire at the General Luncheon that day, followed by a General Session focusing on FTA efforts and the “View from the Hill” General Session, which brings together key congressional staff representing House and Senate committees responsible for public transportation authorizing, appropriations and rail legislation.

Members of Congress speaking at the “Get Started with Members of Congress” breakfast session Tuesday, March 20, include Reps. Peter DeFazio, ranking member, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (T&I), and Earl Blumenauer, a member of the House Ways and Means Committee (both D-OR); T&I member Rodney Davis (R-IL); Sam Graves (R-MO), chair of the T&I Subcommittee on Highways and Transit; and Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development.
The afternoon schedule is open to allow conference attendees to make visits to Capitol Hill, with a Capitol Hill Reception from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

APTA encourages its members to share information with their members of Congress that emphasizes the importance of federal public transportation in strengthening local and the national economies and advocate for transit’s continued growth and enhancement. Further, public transit must be part of any proposal to increase infrastructure investment.

Following the conference, APTA reminds members to maintain their contacts with elected officials in Washington, DC, and in their home districts.
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