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Occurrences in the Congressional Record

Entry Title Date
Washington “Redskins” Debate: You Can Use Caps, Change Will Prevail September 17, 2014
Eni Faleomavaega, D-AS
"In 1933 George Preston Marshall renamed his team the Washington Redskins, previously known as the Washington Braves, to avoid confusion with the Boston Braves. He did not seek federal trademark protection for the name until 1967, when students were trying to rid Oklahoma, Dartmouth, Stanford and other schools of their race-based stereotypes and were using the example of the Washington team name as the worst in the country. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) wrongly granted him and later owners six trademark licenses for this racial slur. Some suggest this action was in violation of the Trademark Act of 1946, or the Lanham Act, which directs the USPTO to refuse to register trademarks that “may disparage … persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt, or disrepute.” In 1999 and again this year, the USPTO’s trademark judges canceled the existing federal trademarks, pending appeal, and its examining attorneys have denied a dozen requests for new trademarks. While pundits on both sides of the argument dispute its origins, the term “redskins” is reminiscent of colonial times when, by governmental decree, Native Americans were hunted, killed, and scalped for bounty. The struggle to rid the sports world of this disgusting term is about that heinous history of commodifying native skins. In June of this year, the USPTO responded favorably to a petition filed by five young Native Americans, holding that the offending trademarks, owned by Pro-Football, Inc, (the entity that owns and operates the Washington franchise) were “disparaging to Native Americans at the respective times they were registered.” We applaud the USPTO’s cancellation of the six federal trademark registrations that use this disparaging term. Foreseeing that current owner Dan Snyder would appeal the USPTO decision just like he did in 1999, historic legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives that would permanently clarify the Lanham Act to ensure that the derogatory term will never receive federal trademark protection again. H.R. 1278, the Non-Disparagement of Native American Persons or Peoples in Trademark Registration Act of 2013, now has more than 20 co-sponsors. As early as May 13, 2013, 10 members of the House also sent a joint letter to Snyder and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell expressing the necessity for H.R. 1278 and urging a name change for the Washington franchise. Members of the Senate later solidified support by sending a similar letter to the NFL on May 24, 2014. The clarion call by Native American tribal leaders and organizations to end the shameful legacy of this despicable term can no longer be ignored. Members of the House and Senate have spoken. President Obama thinks the name should be changed. So does U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte held: “the Court will refrain from using the team name unless reference is made to a direct quote where the name appears.” Bob Costas, Christine Brennan and other notable journalists, athletes and political figures have joined the effort to rid the NFL of this denigrating word. The Washington Post will no longer use the offensive word in its editorials. The New York Daily News refuses to acknowledge the word in its publications. Even an entire network—CBS—has decided not to dictate the use of this term on the air, allowing its announcers to stop using the term during NFL broadcasts this season. You can use caps. Change will prevail. Until it does, we call upon the NFL to stop perpetuating racism against Native Americans."
50Th Anniversary Of Freedom Summer And Civil Rights Act Of 1964 June 26, 2014
Benjamin Cardin, D-MD
"In particular I want to thank the Brennan Center for Justice, the ACLU, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and the NAACP for their work on this legislation."
Recognizing The 23Rd Annual Best Of Reston Awards For Community Service May 23, 2014
Gerald Connolly, D-VA
"Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize the recipients of the 23rd Annual Best of Reston Awards for Community Service. The Best of Reston Awards are the result of collaboration between Cornerstones (formerly Reston Interfaith) and the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and are presented to individuals, organizations and businesses whose extraordinary efforts make our community a better place. I am pleased to enter the names of the following recipients of the 2014 Best of Reston Awards into the Congressional Record: Individual Community Leader: Carol Ann Bradley. Ms. Bradley has dedicated herself to service both locally and globally. She has worked with Global Camps Africa, the Friends of the Reston Regional Library, the Embry Rucker Community Shelter, the Southgate Community Center, the Reston Community Center, the American Association of University Women, The Links, Inc. and Educators, Then, Now and Forever. Individual Community Leader: Jerry Ferguson. Mr. Feguson uses his broadcasting skills to highlight local nonprofits. He is the director of Development and Outreach for Fairfax Public Access, which provides television and radio cablecasting services to the region. As a volunteer he has filmed and produced videos for numerous nonprofits and civic groups. Individual Community Leader: Cate Fulkerson. Ms. Fulkerson began serving Reston as an entry-level clerk at the Reston Association and climbed the ladder to her present role there, Chief Executive Officer. She also serves as the chair for the Reston Character Counts! Coalition, chairs the annual Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce’s Ethics Day for South Lakes High School, and remains active in Leadership Fairfax. Individual Community Leader: Bonnie Haukness. Mrs. Haukness has given 40 years of service in many aspects of the Reston community. She is a board member of the Reston Historic Trust and Reston Museum, and she chairs its annual fundraiser, the Reston Homes Tour. She also co-chairs fundraisers for Cornerstones, helps organize the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival, and also has led the Friends of Reston’s fundraising event to send children to summer day camp. Individual Community Leader: Davida Luehrs. Ms. Luehrs is a champion for the visually impaired. She works with the Foundation Fighting Blindness, the American Council for the Blind, and Visually Impaired People of Reston. She has assisted 14 Lions Clubs with hearing and vision screening programs for pre-school children, founded VisionWalk, and chaired Dining in the Dark fundraisers. She is also active in the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, school band boards, Reston Swim Team Association, parent teacher associations, blood drives, and meals on wheels. Civic/Community Leader: HomeAid Northern Virginia. Members of the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association started HomeAid in 2001 to help the homeless gain stability by putting a roof over their head. It currently contributes resources to build and renovate homeless shelters as well as transitional and affordable housing. HomeAid has completed more than 70 projects and served more than 10,000 individuals, work valued at more than $10.5 million. Small Business Leader: Brennan & Waite, P.L.C. Founding members (and husband and wife) Matthew Brennan and Carol Waite have led their firm to support many local causes, including the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, Habitat For Humanity, Let’s Help Kids, the Mosaic Harmony Choir, FACETS, Cornerstones, and Leadership Fairfax. Mr. Brennan also developed a training program to help those interested in serving on county and nonprofit boards. Corporate Business Leader Cooley, LLP. This law firm encourages employees to give back to the community by offering paid leave time to volunteer and providing matching funds for money raised by employees to support local causes. Last year the firm contributed more than $1 million to nonprofits around the United States. The company’s pro bono efforts have led to contributions of more than 33,000 hours by 466 attorneys on more than 687 different pro bono projects per year. Mr. Speaker, I ask that my colleagues join me in congratulating the 2014 Best of Reston honorees for their continued commitment to our community. I express my sincere gratitude to these individuals, businesses, and organizations for contributing their time and energy to the betterment of our community."
Hire More Heroes Act Of 2014—Motion To Proceed May 8, 2014
Charles Grassley, R-IA
"It is impossible to overstate the importance of these materials to our consideration of Professor Barron’s nomination. The memos and whatever other materials Professor Barron drafted as the acting head of the Office of Legal Counsel provides the legal framework for the administration’s policies related to killing American citizens abroad. We know this because the administration itself has said so. In testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, CIA Director Brennan testified that advice from the Office of Legal Counsel on the drone program “establishes the legal boundaries in which we can operate.”"
Recognizing The 23Nd Annual Best Of Reston Awards For Community Service May 6, 2014
Gerald Connolly, D-VA
"Small Business Leader: Brennan & Waite, P.L.C. Founding members (and husband and wife) Matthew Brennan and Carol Waite have led their firm to support many local causes, including the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, Habitat For Humanity, Let’s Help Kids, the Mosaic Harmony Choir, FACETS, Cornerstones, and Leadership Fairfax. Mr. Brennan also developed a training program to help those interested in serving on county and nonprofit boards."

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