APTS Presented Champion of Public Broadcasting Award to U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer

WASHINGTON—April 5, 2011—The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) presented a Champion of Public Broadcasting Award to Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). This award is given to Members of Congress and other individuals who have had a tremendous impact on the ability of local public broadcasting stations to meet the most critical needs of the communities they serve.

“As the founder and co-chair of the Public Broadcasting Caucus, Congressman Blumenauer has provided passionate and effective leadership for public broadcasting,” said Patrick Butler, President and CEO of APTS. “He is a well-informed, articulate spokesman for our cause, and he represents us with the same combination of civility and integrity with which we strive to serve the American people. We are proud to present Congressman Blumenauer with the Champion of Public Broadcasting Award.”

“I am proud to fight for the 21,000 men and women whose jobs are supported by public broadcasting,” said Congressman Earl Blumenauer. “Never before has their work been threatened by such transparent, political attacks as we are seeing now. These hardworking Americans provide an invaluable service to their local communities. From free educational shows like Sesame Street to news programming like PBS NewsHour, to in-depth and locally focused reporting, public television gives our communities a voice and a service that cannot be found on the hundreds of commercial stations across the dial. I will continue to push back against wrongheaded attempts to cut funding for public broadcasting.”

A lifelong resident of Portland, Oregon, Congressman Blumenauer has devoted his entire career to public service. He was elected to the Oregon Legislature in 1972, where he served three terms and Chaired the House Education and Revenue Committee in 1977-78. In 1978, he was elected to the Multnomah County Commission, where he served for eight years before being elected to the Portland City Council in 1986. There, his 10-year tenure as the Commissioner of Public Works demonstrated his leadership on the innovative accomplishments in transportation, planning, envirovnmental programs and public participation that have helped Portland earn an international reputation as one of America’s most livable cities. Elected to the US House of Representatives in 1996, Blumenauer represents Oregon’s 3rd District. He has created a unique role as Congress’ chief spokesperson for Livable Communities: places where people are safe, healthy and economically secure. He is currently a member of the Ways and Means Committee and the Budget Committee.

Congressman Blumenauer formed the Public Broadcasting Caucus (PBC) in April 2001, along with five other founding members. Members of the Caucus are committed to ensuring the continued services of local public television and radio stations. PBC members support a strong and financially sound noncommercial, universal, educational broadcasting service for the American people.

Congressman Blumenauer directly engages with public broadcasting stations, first and foremost in his home state of Oregon, but also with stations around the country to encourage them to continue their incredible work in local communities. Steve Bass, President and CEO of Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) said, “There is no more passionate supporter of public broadcasting in Congress than Earl Blumenauer. He values the role that public broadcasting plays across the nation and especially how OPB connects Oregonians to the world and to each other. His leadership on public broadcasting issues makes a huge difference in our ability to serve the citizens of our region.” 

About APTS
The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) is a nonprofit membership organization established in 1979. The mission of APTS is to conduct – in concert with member stations – advocacy, planning, research and communications activities in order to achieve strong and financially sound noncommercial television and advanced digital services for the American people. APTS provides consistent leadership and information that helps our members better accomplish their own missions and goals. APTS promotes the legislative and regulatory interests of noncommercial television stations at the national level through direct advocacy, and grasstops and grassroots campaigns designed to garner congressional support. For more information, visit www.apts.org.