WASHINGTON – March 1, 2017 – America’s Public Television Stations (APTS) today presented the Champion of Public Broadcasting Award to Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), vice chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
The Champion of Public Broadcasting Award is given to political leaders and other individuals who safeguard the ability of local public television stations to provide education, public safety and civic leadership services to their communities.
“Senator Leahy has been a long-time supporter and friend to public broadcasting,” said Patrick Butler, president and CEO of APTS. “His support has been so steadfast and so strong for so long, it is easy to take it for granted. But we don’t, and we deeply appreciate the Senator’s leadership in securing our federal funding over the past four decades. We are particularly grateful for his championship of the Rural Digital Program that helped ensure the delivery of our programming and services to all the people of Vermont and to millions of rural Americans nationwide. We could ask for no more faithful or forceful friend than Senator Leahy, and it is our great honor to present him our Champion of Public Broadcasting Award.”
“Public television is a refreshing, high quality alternative to the lowest-common-denominator fare that dominates some of the television landscape,” said Senator Patrick Leahy. “Public broadcasting consistently produces television at its best. In states like Vermont, community-based public television knits our towns and people together. Public television touches us and appeals to our curiosity, and to the best in us. It informs, challenges, entertains, and even inspires us. And for all of that we are a better nation. I always have and always will proudly support that tradition and that vital mission.”
Patrick Leahy was elected to the United States Senate in 1974 and remains the only Democrat elected to this office from Vermont. At 34, he was the youngest U.S. Senator ever to be elected from the Green Mountain State.
Leahy was born in Montpelier and grew up across from the State House. A graduate of Saint Michael’s College in Colchester (1961), he received his Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center (1964). He served for eight years as State’s Attorney in Chittenden County where he gained a national reputation for his law enforcement activities and was selected as one of three outstanding prosecutors in the United States in 1974.
Leahy is the Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee. He is the senior-most member of the Senate Judiciary Committee and of the Senate Agriculture Committee. Leahy is the Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on State Department, Foreign Operations and Related Programs. He ranks first in seniority in the Senate.
Leahy has been married to Marcelle Pomerleau Leahy since 1962. They have a daughter, two sons and five grandchildren. The Leahys live on a tree farm in Middlesex, Vermont.
The Champion of Public Broadcasting Award was presented to Senator Patrick Leahy during The APTS Public Media Summit on Wednesday, March 1, 2017.
America’s Public Television Stations (APTS) is a nonprofit membership organization ensuring a strong and financially sound public television system that provides essential public services in education, public safety and civic leadership to the American people. For more information, visit www.apts.org.