Congresswoman Betty McCollum's eNewsletter
This week Congresswoman Betty McCollum addressed three audiences on a diverse array of topics including Native American issues, historic preservation and infrastructure investments in St. Paul, and national energy policy, including energy efficiency and innovation. At each of these events Congresswoman McCollum emphasized the importance of the federal government working in partnership to keep communities strong and our economy growing.
Midwest Alliance of Sovereign Tribes
Kicking off the week, Congresswoman McCollum spoke before the Midwest Alliance of Sovereign Tribes (MAST) and emphasized the need for more Native Americans to run for office and work within the government. When she addressed the tribal leaders, she spoke about recent successes under Democratic leadership, including the permanent reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act and the $50 million secured for Bureau of Indian Education schools in the Education Jobs Fund. She also highlighted the effort to get a comprehensive Native budget to examine spending on Native programs across the federal budget.
At the Congresswoman's request, the Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Interior are making this budget public for the first time.
Preservation Alliance of Minnesota
At the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota's annual benefit event held at St. Paul's historic Union Depot, Congresswoman McCollum spoke about the importance of historic preservation and the significance of Union Depot's rennovation to become Minnesota's multi-modal transit hub. Scheduled to reopen in September 2012, this project will accelerate the revitalization downtown St. Paul and establish a major transportation and transit hub for the Twin Cities and all of Minnesota. Union Depot will service Amtrak, local and interstate buses, and the Central Corridor light rail line. Later, the Depot will service commuter rail and high speed rail to Chicago.
"This Depot will show that investments in multi-modal transportation create jobs, modernize the economy and chart a course toward environmental sustainability," said Congresswoman McCollum. "And we won't need to wait for the benefits of this project. The next two years of construction and renovation will create as many as 3,000 jobs at a time when our community needs them greatly!"
Earlier this year, the Union Depot restoration project was awarded a $35 million "TIGER grant" through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Save Energy Now LEADERS Conference
Hosted at 3M headquarters and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, Congresswoman McCollum addressed over 150 private sector leaders at the Save Energy Now LEADERS Conference.
"Smart business leaders know that energy efficiency is about the bottom line. Money saved on energy costs means more money that can be invested in hiring new workers, and investing in research and development," said Congresswoman McCollum. "In today's global economy, energy efficiency isn't just a competitive advantage, it's a competitive necessity."
Representatives from Nissan, Xcel Energy, Cargill and many other companies heard how the Save Energy Now program offers a model public-private partnership so that industrial businesses can save energy and money.
3M was the first company in the United States to become a Save Energy Now LEADER. They voluntarily accepted the Department of Energy's challenge to reduce energy consumption by 25 percent within the next decade.