Senator Jeff Merkley
- Homepage: http://merkley.senate.gov/
May 2011: "Jeff Merkley is the son of a millwright and the first in his family to attend college. His policy education came first from his father, Darrell, who after work each day would read the newspaper, watch the evening news, and run a commentary on how we could improve our nation. From his mother he gained the advice “to do what’s right!” and “to do your best!”
Merkley’s public service began as a 19-year-old intern with Oregon’s former Senator, Mark O. Hatfield. Never in Merkley’s wildest dreams did he anticipate that he would return to the Senate 33 years later to represent Oregon in Hatfield’s former seat. He considers it a great honor and a great challenge.
Between Merkley’s college internship on Capitol Hill and his election to the U.S. Senate in 2008, Merkley immersed himself in public service. Pursuing an interest generated by his experience as an exchange student in Ghana, West Africa, Merkley studied international relations at Stanford and worked in India and Mexico, including a project to build and operate an environmental camp for Mexican children. After earning a graduate degree in Public Policy at Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Merkley worked as a national security analyst at the Pentagon and at the Congressional Budget Office, contributing, he hoped, to the dialogue on responsible management of nuclear weapons.
In 1991 Merkley returned to Oregon to lead Portland’s Habitat for Humanity, which works to empower low-income families through home ownership. He loved Habitat’s theology of the hammer: we can disagree on many things but we can all agree to pick up a hammer and help build this house. While at Habitat, Merkley led the neighborhood in shutting down Portland’s worst crack market, developed the Habitat Home Building Center, and launched a pilot project to establish Portland Youthbuilders, a program dedicated to helping gang-affected youth get back on their feet.
Merkley subsequently took his passion for affordable housing to Human Solutions. As Director of Housing Development, Merkley launched Oregon’s first individual development account program (IDA) which helped low-income families buy homes, start businesses and send their children to college. Merkley later served as President of the Oregon World Affairs Council, expanding the K-12 education program and launching an International Speakers Series that has brought dozens of distinguished leaders to Oregon such as Mikhail Gorbachev and the Dalai Lama.
Merkley’s interest in public office is an extension of his passion about building a better America. He likes to keep grounded by asking the simple question: “What is best for our children, our workers, our families, and our planet?” Merkley won his first campaign for State Representative in 1998. He was elected Democratic Leader in 2003 and Speaker in 2007.
As Oregon’s House Speaker, Merkley emphasized replacing bitter partisan warfare with a culture of bipartisan problem solving. The result was what many termed the most successful session in decades. The legislature increased education funding, expanded access to affordable prescription drugs, passed landmark environmental and energy legislation, established domestic partnerships, cracked down on predatory payday and title lending, and created Oregon’s first ever Rainy Day fund.
Merkley and his wife Mary Sorteberg have been married for eighteen years and have two children, Brynne and Jonathan."http://merkley.senate.gov/about/biography/
May 2011: 'Yesterday, we filed an amendment, along with Senator Merkley of Oregon and Senator Udall of New Mexico (the text of which is below) stating the Sense of Congress that: "United States Government officials should not secretly reinterpret public laws and statutes in a manner that is inconsistent with the public's understanding of these laws and should not describe the execution of these laws in ways that misinforms or misleads the public."'http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sen-ron-wyden/how-can-congress-debate-a_b_866920.html
Role Name Type Last Updated Member of (past or present) Democratic Party / Democratic National Committee (DNC) Organization May 31, 2011 Student/Trainee (past or present) Princeton University Organization May 31, 2011 Student/Trainee (past or present) Stanford University Organization May 31, 2011 Member of (past or present) US Senate Organization May 31, 2011 Student/Trainee (past or present) Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs (WWS) Organization May 31, 2011 Subordinate of (past or present) Sen. Mark O. Hatfield Person May 31, 2011
Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: May 25, 2011 How Can Congress Debate a Secret Law?
QUOTE: Legal scholars, law professors, advocacy groups, and the Congressional Research Service have all written interpretations of the Patriot Act and Americans can read any of these interpretations and decide whether they support or agree with them. But by far the most important interpretation of what the law means is the official interpretation used by the U.S. government and this interpretation is - stunningly -classified.
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