A lifelong resident of Portland, Oregon, Congressman Earl Blumenauer has devoted his entire career to public service. As a student at Lewis and Clark College, he worked to lower the voting age both in Oregon and at the national level. He was elected to the Oregon Legislature in 1972, where he served three terms and Chaired the House Education and Revenue Committee. 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 innovative accomplishments in transportation, planning, environmental programs, and public participation. Such pushes 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 has created a role as Congress’ chief spokesperson for Livable Communities: places where people are safe, healthy and economically secure. From 1996 to 2007, he served on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, where he was a strong advocate for federal policies that address transportation alternatives, provide housing choices, support sustainable economies and improve the environment. He was a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee from 2001 to 2007 and vice-chair of the the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming from 2007 to 2010. He is also an avid supporter of biking to “burn calories not fossil fuel,” as he told The New York Times.