It’s one thing to rub elbows with officials and researchers working at the cutting edge of transportation solutions.
But meeting Congressman Earl Blumenauer, a leader in urban livability policies? That was more than Joe McAndrew and Jessica Bloomfield could have hoped for.
McAndrew and Bloomfield, both GTFs and members of the UO’s Community and Regional Planning program, recently attended the annual conference of the Transportation Research Board. The Washington, D.C.-based organization provides professionals worldwide with information to address the transportation challenges of the 21st century, and the conference is an excellent networking venue for soon-to-be-graduates such as McAndrew and Bloomfield.
McAndrew is president of LiveMove, an interdisciplinary student group focused on issues surrounding livability and alternative transportation. Bloomfield, a GTF with the Sustainable Cities Initiative or SCI, is pursuing a dual degree in Law and Community and Regional Planning.
McAndrew and Bloomfield met with numerous senior agency officials, scholars, advocates, elected officials and others, including staff for Rep. Peter DeFazio, whose fourth district includes the university.
They also joined with students from Portland State University for a meeting with Blumenauer, representative for Oregon’s third district and long an advocate for federal policies that address transportation alternatives.
Blumenauer met with the students for more than an hour and provided his vision for Congressional work and Oregon’s transportation and livability needs. He urged the students to push for change and help transform the urban landscape.
“Not only did this trip provide inspiration and motivation to follow our career goals, but it will likely lead to unexpected job opportunities in Washington, D.C., and other cities around the U.S. after graduating in June,” Bloomfield said.
“We are bringing the lessons we learned back to the UO community where we hope to further the discussion about enhancing livable, healthy communities,” McAndrew added. “We learned. We networked. And we are continuing to educate.”
- by Matt Cooper, UO Office of Strategic Communications