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Industry Supports Oberstar at Fundraiser

Published August 14, 2009

MADISON, WI (BRAIN)—A crowd of about 400 cycling advocates, suppliers and retailers, as well as Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle, gathered last night at a fundraiser for Congressman James Oberstar (D-MN) in Madison, Wisconsin.

Oberstar, a cyclist and longtime bike advocate, currently serves as chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

Guests paid $100 each to attend the fundraiser held at the Monona Terrace where Trek is holding its dealer product launch, which ends today.

“We call this a thank you. I know what he’s done and I don’t think we’ve said thank you,” said Trek president John Burke, who called Rep. Oberstar the “father of the modern-day bike movement.”

Burke credits Oberstar for challenging him to get involved in cycling advocacy. Back in 1997, Rep. Oberstar called Burke to help rally the industry’s support for a budget resolution that would establish firewalls to ensure that monies from the Highway Trust Fund allotted for cycling infrastructure get spent on cycling infrastructure.

Oberstar also authored the Safe Routes to Schools program and worked to get it written into the 2005 federal transportation bill. The program provides states with funds for projects to get children to walk and bike to school safely. Currently 5,400 SRTS projects are underway in the U.S.

More recently, he introduced a new federal transportation bill that if enacted doubles the funding for Safe Routes to School. The bill also includes language that would establish cyclists’ right to the road.

--Lynette Carpiet

PHOTO: Congressman Oberstar, flanked by Trek president John Burke (left) and Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle.

Topics associated with this article: Advocacy/Non-profits

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