Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Congressman Fattah to address economic recovery issues, field questions at Lutheran Seminary

Congressman Chaka Fattah - Official House PhotographCongressman to appear at 10 am Monday, February 22

What are the goals of the federal Economic Recovery program, and what progress is being made on the jobs and economic fronts both nationally and in the Philadelphia region? What is the impact on local neighborhoods, and how can those communities and their citizens both benefit from and be resources to the program and the people affected by it?

Those issues and more will be addressed by U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-PA2) at 10 am Monday February 22 in Benbow Hall on the campus of The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia (LTSP), 7301 Germantown Avenue in the Mt. Airy section of Philadelphia. The event is free and open to the public, and will feature a question and answer session at the conclusion of Fattah’s remarks.

The congressman is expected to share his perspective gleaned from chairing the bipartisan Congressional Urban Caucus, which advocates for issues of special concern to our cities and metropolitan areas, and where he has been in a position to review the economic climate and struggles unique to America’s urban poor.

Congressman Fattah is serving his eighth term representing the 2nd District of Pennsylvania, covering parts of Philadelphia and Montgomery County, including the city’s northwest neighborhoods.

In addition to the Urban Caucus, he is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and three of its subcommittees. He’s Philadelphia born and educated, and served 12 years as a State Representative and Senator before election to Congress in 1994. He is an outspoken advocate for public education, especially for leveling the playing field for underserved public school students and underfunded school systems.

Fattah was appointed to chair the Urban Caucus by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. In that role he has been charged with leadership to craft an urban agenda on public safety, employment, education, transportation, housing and health while working to strengthen the nation’s infrastructure. A key objective is to develop legislation to advance the development of strong, economically vibrant metropolitan areas.

As part of his advocacy for public education, he was the architect for GEAR UP (Giving Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs), aimed at providing equal opportunities for education for the disadvantaged. It is the largest pre-college awareness program in the nation’s history. Fattah has also spearheaded some $24 million in scholarship assistance for deserving students in the region.

The seminary invited Fattah to speak on its campus “because his concerns and priorities match the seminary’s mission to serve the community,” said the Rev. Dr. Philip D. W. Krey, LTSP’s president.

Among its community-based initiatives, LTSP, founded in 1864 to prepare professional church leaders, provides summer housing for people in need in connection with the Northwest Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network. The school also offers a graduate degree program in public leadership in consultation with Temple University, and hosts classes on its campus from the Community College of Philadelphia.

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