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Peter J. Visclosky

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Congressional Record entries

Entry Title Date
Black History Month 2015 February 2, 2015
Peter Visclosky, D-IN
"Mr. Speaker, it is with great respect and sincere admiration that I rise today to celebrate Black History Month and its 2015 theme--A Century of Black Life, History, and Culture. This year's theme reflects on the extraordinary contributions of African Americans in the arts, literature, music, history, sports, science, and pop culture. In celebration of this year's theme, we reflect on several of the important milestones that helped form the cornerstone of African American culture and tradition. Part of the African American fight for freedom included the struggle to ensure that their ideas and talents mattered in American culture and history. In the 20th century, the rise of jazz music can be linked to African Americans of the post World War I generation. The Harlem Renaissance put the spotlight on African Americans writers and artists, making their names known nationwide. In the 1960s, African American museums opened across the nation, displaying and commemorating advances made by African Americans in art, history, and science. Also during this time of transformation, African American athletes excelled in individual and team sports, including baseball, track and field, football, boxing, and basketball. In addition, student activism in the 1960s led to the black studies movement, the creation of black professional organizations, and doctoral programs at American universities. This month and always, it is important that we honor and celebrate America's greatest advocates for equal rights and civil liberties. Along with this month's theme, we celebrate those who have contributed to the foundation of African American culture, arts, and entertainment, including Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes, Jackie Robinson, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Patricia Bath, and Thurgood Marshall, among many others. As we pay tribute to these heroes of American history, let us remember their profound perseverance, sacrifice, and struggle in the fight for freedom and equality, and the remarkable impact their contributions have had in shaping our great nation. Mr. Speaker, I ask that you and my distinguished colleagues join me in celebrating Black History Month and honoring those who fought, and continue to fight, for civil rights and justice. We honor the African American scholars, artists, athletes, and entertainers who have played such a critical role in changing the landscape of American society for the better."
Tribute To Major Jacob “Jake” A. Whiteside For Exceptional Service To The United States Army January 6, 2015
Peter Visclosky, D-IN
"Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to Major Jacob ``Jake'' A. Whiteside for his dedication to duty and service as a Defense Legislative Fellow. Major Whiteside will be transitioning from his present assignment with my office to serve as the Executive Officer for the 12th Aviation Battalion, United States Army."
Recognizing The 40Th Anniversary Of Edgewater Behavioral Health Services November 12, 2014
Peter Visclosky, D-IN
"Mr. Speaker, it is with great respect and admiration that I recognize Edgewater Behavioral Health Services as the organization celebrates its 40th anniversary. In honor of this momentous occasion, the organization is hosting a celebratory event on Friday, October 17, 2014, at the Radisson Hotel at Star Plaza, in Merrillville, Indiana. The growing need for quality mental health care in the United States led to Congress passing the Community Mental Health Act of 1963. The Gary Community Mental Health Center was one of the original facilities set up in Indiana after the passage of this bill. In 1974, due to the hard work of many leaders in Gary at the time, the center was incorporated as a not-for-profit organization. Over the years, the organization continued to grow, expanding its range of services and leadership. Under the direction of current president and chief executive officer, Dr. Danita Johnson Hughes, the center's name was changed to Edgewater Systems for Balanced Living, Inc. and, in 2014, began doing business under the name Edgewater Behavioral Health Services. Edgewater provides services ranging from crisis intervention and addiction services to day treatment, out-patient programs, and residential services, to name a few. Due to the outstanding leadership of Dr. Johnson Hughes and the entire staff, Edgewater currently provides services for over 30,000 clients each year. The organization also provides over $3 million in services to charity cases. Edgewater partners with other service providers, groups, and organizations in order to meet the needs of each person that walks through its doors. This year, Edgewater is honoring Dr. Daniel Lowery, Ph.D., president of Calumet College of Saint Joseph, with the Commonweal Award for Personal and Professional Leadership. This award recognizes distinctive contributions made by individuals who hold the value of the common good over personal gain. The Sojourner Truth House, a ministry for women and children in Gary, will be honored with the Commonweal Award for Institutional Leadership. This award recognizes institutional and organizational leadership that promotes the common good within communities faced with long-term, difficult challenges. For their exceptional commitment to the community of Northwest Indiana, and for touching the lives of countless individuals, each recipient is worthy of the honors bestowed upon them. Mr. Speaker, I ask that you and my distinguished colleagues join me in honoring Edgewater Behavioral Health Services as the organization celebrates its 40th anniversary. Edgewater has played an important role in enriching the quality of life in Northwest Indiana. As a community we are grateful and proud to have had its support during the past 40 years. For its remarkable leadership, devotion, and compassion shown in its service to so many in need, Edgewater is worthy of the highest praise. "
Recognizing The 2014 Distinguished Citizens Award Recipients November 12, 2014
Peter Visclosky, D-IN
"Mr. Speaker, it is with great respect that I take this time to recognize the 2014 Distinguished Citizen Award recipients, presented annually by the Boy Scouts of America Calumet Council. To commemorate this special occasion, the organization hosted a celebratory event on Monday, November 3, 2014, at the Center for Visual and Performing Arts in Munster, Indiana. Since 1992, the Boy Scouts of America Calumet Council has presented the Distinguished Citizen Award to individuals who have made a significant positive impact on the community in Northwest Indiana and across the state. This year, the Boy Scouts of America Calumet Council honored Michael and Jill Schrage. Michael Schrage, president and chief executive officer of Centier Bank, is a truly innovative business leader. Mike became the fourth generation of his family to own and operate the First Bank of Whiting, which was renamed Centier Bank years later. This family-owned bank has grown throughout the years, and today Centier includes over fifty branches in Indiana. Under Mr. Schrage's leadership, an award winning lender division was established, a financial literacy program was introduced, and the company has been named one of Indiana's best places to work for the past eight years. This is unquestionably due to Mike's value-based work ethic, and the importance he places on Centier's most important resource: its employees. Additionally, Mike gives much of his time and efforts to charitable endeavors, including the Saint Jude House, the American Red Cross, the YMCA, and the Boy Scouts of America, to name a few. Jill Schrage is a true humanitarian in every sense of the word. She gives selflessly and passionately of her time and efforts to various organizations and civic activities throughout Northwest Indiana and beyond, including the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, TradeWinds, Speaking of Women's Health, the Girl Scouts of America, the Women's Association of the Northwest Indiana Symphony, Opportunity Enterprises, and the Valparaiso Art Advisory Committee, among others. For her truly exceptional devotion to such worthy causes, Jill serves as an inspiration to us all. Mr. Speaker, I ask that you and my other distinguished colleagues join me in honoring the Boy Scouts of America Calumet Council and its 2014 Distinguished Citizen Award recipients, Michael and Jill Schrage. For their lifetime of leadership and outstanding dedication to serving those in need, Mike and Jill are worthy of the highest praise. "
Honoring Jerry Hanas November 12, 2014
Peter Visclosky, D-IN
"Mr. Speaker, it is with great pleasure that I stand before you today to honor Jerry Hanas and to wish him well upon his retirement as General Manager of the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District. Mr. Hanas's many years of service and expertise in his field have been a remarkable asset to the community of Northwest Indiana and beyond. In honor of Jerry's retirement, a celebratory reception was held on Wednesday, November 5, 2014, at Sand Creek Country Club in Chesterton, Indiana. Northwest Indiana's extensive transportation network earns this region's reputation for being the crossroads of America. Interstates 80, 94, 90, and 65 traverse our landscape, as do the railroad tracks servicing the Norfolk Southern, Canadian National, and CSX rail lines, connecting travelers and business interests alike from the East to West Coasts. Most notably, the South Shore Rail Line, a passenger rail service offered by the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District (NICTD), provides riders access to the environs of Chicago and its $500 billion economy. Under Mr. Hanas's direction, NICTD and the South Shore Rail Line have flourished. Established in 1908, the South Shore Rail Line provided passenger service to the city of Chicago as well as to the recreational opportunities found in Northwest Indiana, given its proximity to Lake Michigan and South Bend. With the advent of the interstate system, and the newfound ability to travel between neighboring communities with ease, ridership along the South Shore Rail Line began to decline. In order to prevent the complete loss of this asset, the state of Indiana created NICTD for the sole purpose of maintaining and operating the passenger line. Jerry Hanas was hired as the General Manager of NICTD upon its creation in June 1977, and it is here where he has served the railroad for 37 years. NICTD's success is due to Jerry's competence, hard work, and dedication to a long-term vision in which passenger rail service is improved and expanded throughout the region. He effectively coordinated NICTD's purchase of the South Shore railroad and passenger assets, resulting in a stable and reliable relationship between the passenger and freight services. This acquisition required a steadfast commitment to a series of strategic investments to ensure the line's continuation. To that end, under Jerry's leadership, since 1977, over $500 million has been dedicated to upgrading the rolling stock, stations, track, catenary, bridges, and signals associated with the line in order to enhance safety and to make much needed capacity-related track improvements. Currently, NICTD is in the process of conducting the appropriate environmental studies as part of its effort to expand services to the suburban areas in Northwest Indiana. This expansion is a key component to capitalizing upon our region's transportation network and maximizing economic development opportunities. Although Jerry Hanas retires this fall, he leaves a completely rebuilt and vibrant South Shore Rail Line to serve as his legacy and a well-established corporate vision to keep the momentum going for future generations. Jerry's commitment to his career and to the community of Northwest Indiana is exceeded only by his devotion to his family. He and his wonderful wife, Nancy, have a daughter, Melissa, son-in-law, Tom, and one beloved grandson, Donovan. They also have one son, Roger, whose fiancee, Annie, will be joining Jerry's exceptional family. Mr. Speaker, I ask that you and my other distinguished colleagues join me in commending Jerry Hanas for his lifetime of leadership, service, and dedication to the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District. Jerry's impact on the region will be evident for generations to come, and he is worthy of the highest praise. I ask that you join me in wishing him well upon his retirement."

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