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Peter J. Visclosky

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Congressional Record entries

Entry Title Date
Recognizing Northwest Indiana’S Newly Naturalized Citizens February 2, 2016
Peter Visclosky, D-IN
"Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure and sincerity that I take this time to congratulate thirty individuals who will take their oath of citizenship on Friday, February 5, 2016. This memorable occasion, which will be presided over by Magistrate Judge John E. Martin, will be held at the United States Courthouse and Federal Building in Hammond, Indiana. America is a country founded by immigrants. From its beginning, settlers have come from countries around the world to the United States in search of better lives for their families. Oath ceremonies are a shining example of what is so great about the United States of America--that people from all over the world can come together and unite as members of a free, democratic nation. These individuals realize that nowhere else in the world offers a better opportunity for success than here in America. On February 5, 2016, the following people, representing many nations throughout the world, will take their oaths of citizenship in Hammond, Indiana: Gemma Ramos Laberge, Araceli Ambriz, Ozkan Akkaya, Syed Muhammad Shan Ul Islam, Fernando Romo Vera, Patricia Caroline Njoki Singleton, Clifton Seaford Wade, Aldar Odin Escamilla Velasco, Nastaran Saramaghan, Milad Sohrab, Ali Abdelkadre Mahamat, Julio Cesar Carmona, Sylvia Iliff, Miriam Muthoni Kirori, Henry Irungu Kirori, Abayomi Eyitayo Oloyede, Ivete Baldo Wahlen, Annamaria Mittiga, Ljupcho Todoroski, Monica Cordeiro Ramey, Juan Manuel Almonte, KB Chhoeun, Chunlan Jin Chung, Lucila Diaz, Auribel Mileddy Lester Perez, Yue Min Li, Omkalthoum Hassan Muhamat, Sunisa Phongpichit-Alexander, Aqeela Yasmin Sheikh, and Sergey Gennadyvich Shylin. Although each individual has sought to become a citizen of the United States for his or her own reasons, be it for education, occupation, or to offer their loved ones better lives, each is inspired by the fact that the United States of America is, as Abraham Lincoln described it, a country ``. . . of the people, by the people, and for the people.'' They realize that the United States is truly a free nation. By seeking American citizenship, they have made the decision that they want to live in a place where, as guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution, they can practice religion as they choose, speak their minds without fear of punishment, and assemble in peaceful protest should they choose to do so. Mr. Speaker, I respectfully ask you and my other distinguished colleagues to join me in congratulating these individuals who will become citizens of the United States of America on February 5, 2016. They, too, will be American citizens, and they, too, will be guaranteed the inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We, as a free and democratic nation, congratulate them and welcome them."
Recognizing Black History Month February 1, 2016
Peter Visclosky, D-IN
"Mr. Speaker, it is with great respect and admiration that I rise in honor of Black History Month and its 2016 theme--Hallowed Grounds: Sites of African American Memories. This year's theme reflects on locations across the United States that are remembered for the important role each has played in pursuit of civil rights and justice. As Americans, it is important that we honor and celebrate our nation's greatest advocates for freedom and equal rights for all. During this month and always, we pay tribute to the heroes of American history as we recall the tremendous sacrifice and the immense struggle of those who fought, and continue to fight, for equality, and the remarkable impact their contributions have had in shaping our great nation. From generation to generation, from those who have experienced or witnessed events that have led to change to the young children who listen to stories of their grandparents or the lessons taught in school, locations, much like the names of those who have toiled in hopes of a better society, are forever engrained in the hearts and minds of the American people. From the birthplaces of our greatest African American leaders to stops along the Underground Railroad, from sites of tragic events that brought about change to the churches that have inspired hope among communities for generations, each is a reminder of the past and the progress we have made, while recognizing there is much more work to be done. As a lifelong resident of Northwest Indiana, born and raised in Gary, Indiana, I had the opportunity to witness a truly historic moment. In November 1967, residents of Gary went to the polls and elected Richard Gordon Hatcher, a civil rights leader who spoke alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., mayor of the city. His election, along with the election of Carl Burton Stokes of Cleveland, Ohio, marked the first time in our nation's history that American cities with more than 100,000 residents would be led by African American mayors. In January 1968, Mayor Hatcher was sworn into office, a position in which he proudly served for the next twenty years. Mr. Speaker, I ask that you and my distinguished colleagues join me in celebrating Black History Month and honoring those who persevered in the name of equality and social justice. As we reflect on the many historic sites throughout America that have played such a critical role in changing our nation's landscape, let us never forget the struggle of our predecessors while continuing the pursuit of the betterment of society for all."
Iran Terror Finance Transparency Act January 13, 2016
Peter Visclosky, D-IN
"Mr. Speaker, on January 13, 2016, I regret that I was otherwise detained and unable to cast a vote on rollcall vote No. 44, on passage of H.R. 3662, the Iran Terror Finance Transparency Act. Had I been present, I would have voted ``no.''"
Honoring The Life Of Roosevelt D. Allen, Jr. January 12, 2016
Peter Visclosky, D-IN
"Mr. Speaker, it is with deep sadness and the utmost respect that I take this time to remember a dear friend and one of Indiana's most distinguished citizens, Roosevelt D. Allen, Jr., Lake County Commissioner. On Saturday, January 9, 2016, Roosevelt Allen passed away at the age of 68. Commissioner Allen devoted his life to serving the people of Northwest Indiana, and he will be greatly missed by his family, friends, co-workers, and the many grateful constituents throughout the community whose lives he touched. In 1965, Roosevelt Allen graduated from Roosevelt High School in Gary, Indiana, before continuing his studies at Howard University. From there, he graduated magna cum laude from Indiana University, receiving a bachelor's degree in accounting, before completing graduate classes at DePaul University. Roosevelt went on to become a successful and admired funeral director for the family business, Guy & Allen Funeral Directors, Inc., in Gary, which has served the community for eighty years. Public service was a way of life for Commissioner Allen. He served the community of Northwest Indiana because he wanted to make a difference, and he did so with passion and enthusiasm. Roosevelt served on the Calumet Township Advisory Board for twenty-seven years. In 2006, he was elected to serve as Lake County Commissioner for the first district. Commissioner Allen was in his third term, and was serving as President of the Board of Commissioners, at the time of his passing. Fellow officials remember him as a true gentleman, a mentor to all, and an exemplary government leader. During his time in office, Roosevelt also served as the commissioners' representative on the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission and was chairman of the Lake County Public Safety Communications Commission. Throughout his lifetime, Commissioner Allen also served in many capacities for numerous organizations. He was a life member of the NAACP, member of the Lake County Democratic Organization, a board member of Edgewater Systems for Balanced Living, and a board member of the Regional Bus Authority, among others. A faithful man, Roosevelt was a devout member of Saint Timothy Community Church in Gary, Indiana. Roosevelt Allen is survived by his beloved daughters: Lisa, LaTrice, and Olivia. He also leaves to cherish his memory seven beautiful grandchildren, many dear friends and family members, and a saddened but indebted community. Mr. Speaker, I respectfully ask that you and my other distinguished colleagues join me in paying tribute to my dear friend, and a true public servant, Roosevelt Allen. For his tremendous contributions to the people of Northwest Indiana, his lifetime of service is worthy of the highest praise. Roosevelt's selfless and lifelong commitment to the people of his community will be forever remembered, and his legacy serves as an inspiration to us all."
Recognizing The 37Th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Breakfast January 7, 2016
Peter Visclosky, D-IN
"Mr. Speaker, as we celebrate the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and reflect on his life and work, we are reminded of the challenges that democracy poses to us and the delicate nature of liberty. Dr. King's life and, unfortunately, his untimely death, remind us that we must continually work to secure and protect our freedoms. In his courage to act, his willingness to meet challenges, and his ability to achieve, Dr. King embodied all that is good and true in the battle for liberty. The spirit of Dr. King lives on in the citizens of communities throughout our nation. It lives on in the people whose actions reflect the spirit of resolve and achievement that will help move our country into the future. I am honored to rise today to recognize several individuals from Indiana's First Congressional District who will be recognized during the 37th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Breakfast on Saturday, January 16, 2016, at the Genesis Convention Center in Gary, Indiana. The Gary Frontiers Service Club, which was founded in 1952, sponsors this annual breakfast. The Gary Frontiers Service Club will pay tribute to local individuals who have for decades selflessly contributed to improving the quality of life for the people of Gary. This year, William ``Billy'' Foster and Mozell Hayman will be honored with the prestigious Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drum Major Award for 2016. Additionally, several individuals will be recognized as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Marchers at this year's breakfast, including Tammi Davis, Reverend Chet Johnson Sr., Danita Johnson Hughes, Ph.D., and Reverend Mathew Whittington. Finally, Reverend Curtis Whittaker, CPA, was selected as the 2015 Yokefellow of the Year. Though very different in nature, the achievements of each of these individuals reflect many of the same attributes that Dr. King possessed, as well as the values he advocated. Like Dr. King, these individuals saw challenges and faced them with unwavering strength and determination. Each one of the honored guests' greatness has been found in their willingness to serve with ``a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love.'' They set goals and work selflessly to make them a reality. Mr. Speaker, I urge you and my other distinguished colleagues to join me in commending these honorees, as well as the Gary Frontiers Service Club officers, President Oliver J. Gilliam, Vice President James Piggee, Recording Secretary Linnal Ford, Financial Secretary Sam Frazier, and Treasurer/Seventh District Director Floyd Donaldson, along with Clorius L. Lay, who has served as Breakfast Chairman for sixteen years, and all other members of the service club for their initiative, determination, and dedication to serving the people of Northwest Indiana."

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