John Olver

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John Olver


John W. Olver was, until 2013, a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the 1st district of Massachusetts.

Congressman John W. Olver has represented the Congressional District spanning Berkshire, Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin, Worcester and Middlesex Counties—since June 1991.

Congressman Olver is currently the only member from the Massachusetts delegation serving on the House Appropriations Committee.

Background

Olver was born on September 3, 1936, in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, where he grew up on a farm with his brother and sister. Olver and his wife Rose Olver, a psychology and women's and gender studies professor at Amherst College, have lived in Amherst since 1963. They have one daughter, Martha.[1]

Congress

In 2007, his colleagues named him the Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and related agencies. This panel has jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation, including the Federal Aviation, Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit Administration, Federal Railroad Administration and Amtrak. The Subcommittee also is responsible for the annual budgets of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

In 2003, he was named to the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee. This panel has jurisdiction over the National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Forest Service, and all land conservation, habitat restoration and water management activities conducted by the Department of Interior. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the research programs promoting energy efficiency, renewable energy and alternative fuels and the Department of Energy, plus the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities, are also funded annually by the Interior Environment Subcommittee.

In 2007, John Olver was named to the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee. This panel has jurisdiction over the Department of Energy, the Army Corps of Engineers and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, among other agencies.[2]

Education

Olver earned his B.A. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, his M.A. from Tufts University, and his Ph.D. in chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[3]

Career

Olver's public service career began in 1969 in the Massachusetts State House representing a section of Hampshire County. Beginning in 1973, he served 18 years in the Massachusetts State Senate representing portions of Franklin, Hampshire, Hampden, and Berkshire Counties. On June 25, 1991, Olver was sworn in to the U.S. House of Representatives to complete the term of the late Rep. Silvio O. Conte.

Prior to his tenure in the Massachusetts State House, Olver was a chemistry professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.[4]

Hearing on Economic Insecurity

Democratic Left, May/June 1996, page 15

Boston Democratic Socialists of America was involved in the January 1996 Boston Hearing on Economic Insecurity. Participants included Joe Faherty, DSA member Elaine Bernard, John Kerry, Joe Moakley, Barney Frank, Joe Kennedy, John Olver, Marty Meehan.[5]

Boston DSA and its allies have formed the Committee on Economic Insecurity and are gearing up for Boston's public hearing on economic insecurity. The hearing will be held January 28 from 1-3 PM at historic Faneuil Hall, and Congress members Barney Frank and John Olver will participate. [6]

DSA endorsement

In July 1996, the Democratic Socialists of America Political Action Committee endorsed John Olver, Massachusetts 1 in that year's Congressional elections.[7]

Congressional Progressive Caucus

In 1998 John Olver Democrat was listed as a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.[8]

As of February 20 2009 John Olver was listed as a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.[9]

Supported by Council for a Livable World

The Council for a Livable World, founded in 1962 by long-time socialist activist and alleged Soviet agent, Leo Szilard, is a non-profit advocacy organization that seeks to "reduce the danger of nuclear weapons and increase national security", primarily through supporting progressive, congressional candidates who support their policies. The Council supported John Olver in his successful House of Representatives run as candidate for Massachusetts.[10]

Clinton/Pinochet letter

On October 21, 1998, many Members of Congress wrote a letter to President Bill Clinton, urging him to release information to a Spanish judge investigating former Chilean President Pinochet for alleged crimes committed during and after the overthrow of the Marxist Allende government.

Dear Mr. President:
The October 17 arrest of General Augusto Pinochet in London is a good example of how the goals you outlined in your anti-terrorism speech at the United Nations can be put into practice. Indeed, when the rule oflaw is applied to combat international lawlessness,humanity's agenda gains...we call upon you to ensure that the U.S. government provides Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzon material related to Pinochet's role in international terrorism -- material and testimony that the U.S. government has thus far withheld.

Signatories included Rep. John Olver.[11]

Clinton/Chile letter

February 24, 2000, 31 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have sent a letter to President Clinton requesting full U.S. cooperation with the Spanish case against former Chilean General Augusto Pinochet, a thorough investigation into the car-bomb assassination of Orlando Letelier and American citizen Ronni Moffitt, and the release of all U.S. documents pertaining to human rights abuses in Chile.

Dear President Clinton,
We would like to take this opportunity to commend your Administration's recent activity concerning the ongoing investigation into former Chilean General Augusto Pinochet's role in the 1976 car bombing of Orlando Letelier and Ronni Moffitt in Washington D.C. We also appreciate your efforts to release documents pertaining to human rights abuses in Chile.

Signatories were George Miller (D-CA), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sam Gejdenson (D-CT), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Neil Abercrombie (D-HI), Cynthia McKinney (D-GA), Jim McGovern (D-MA), John Conyers (D-MI), Barney Frank (D-MA), Pete Stark (D-CA), Henry Waxman (D-CA), Lane Evans (D-IL), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Maxine Waters (D-CA), Tim Roemer (D- IN), Howard Berman (D-CA), John Olver (D-MA), Mel Watt (D- NC), Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Patsy Mink (D-HI), Marcy Kaptur (D- OH), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), John Tierney (D-MA), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Martin Sabo (D-MN), and Bob Filner (D-CA).[12]

Health Care Access resolution

John Conyers promoted House Concurrent Resolution 99 (H. Con Res. 99) Directing Congress to enact legislation by October 2004 that provides access to comprehensive health care for all Americans. IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES April 4, 2001.

Sponsors:John Conyers (for himself), Jan Schakowsky, John Tierney, Barbara Lee, Donna Christensen, David Bonior, Dennis Kucinich, Earl Hilliard, Maurice Hinchey, Jerry Nadler, Donald Payne Chaka Fattah, Peter DeFazio, John Lewis Tammy Baldwin, Stephanie Tubbs Jones, Barney Frank, Henry Waxman, Cynthia McKinney, Jim Langevin, George Miller Alcee Hastings, Patsy Mink, John Olver , Bennie Thompson, Pete Stark, Julia Carson, and Mike Capuano submitted the following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce;[13]

Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), that the Congress shall enact legislation by October 2004 to guarantee that every person in the United States, regardless of income, age, or employment or health status, has access to health care..

Progressive Majority Advisory Committee

In 2003 Rep. John Olver served on the Progressive Majority Advisory Committee.[14]

Supporting HR 676

According to Boston Democratic Socialists of America member Rand Wilson, On Sept. 1 2005 Congressmen John Tierney and Maurice Hinchey heard testimony in Boston, in support of a “Medicare for All” solution to the health care crisis. Lobbyists at the meeting included members of Democratic Socialists of America and Sandy Eaton of Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism.

The growing severity of this crisis brought together over 40 grassroots organizations for an impressive—and unusual—showing of political unity for health care reform based on extending Medicare to everyone.

According to Wilson Reps Barney Frank, Jim McGovern, John Olver and John Tierney were sponsoring legislation in the House, John Conyers' —HR 676—that would implement this approach.

“When we started organizing the hearing, only one member of the Massachusetts Congressional delegation had signed on. Now we have four out of the ten,” said Paul Cannon, President of Teamsters Local 122 and co-chair of Jobs with Justice’s Health Care Action Committee. “We’ve got our work cut out for us. It’s time to step-up the pressure on our policymakers for comprehensive reforms that cover everyone.”[15]

Colombia Support Network letter

CCSN.JPG

In 2002, the Colombia Support Network organized a :dear colleague" letter to President Andres Pastrana Arango, of Colombia, through Ned Steiner, a staffer in Rep. Sam Farr's office.

The letter called on President Pastrana to end a military blockade on the Colombian town of San Jose de Apartado, a sister community of Madison Wisconsin, where the Colombia Support Network is based.

We write to you to bring your attention to the humanitarian crisis facing the civilian population of the Peace Community San Jose de Apartadó and its outlying settlements.
We urge the appropriate authorities of your government to dismantle the paramilitary checkpoint on the road between San Jose and Apartadó, ensure the continued safety of the road, and fully investigate recent threats and attacks on the Peace Community.
The Peace Community San Jose de Apartadó and its settlements, including the village of La Union, receive the permanent accompaniment of international organizations.

These include Peace Brigades International (PBI), as well as the U.S. Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR), which currently has two US citizens in La Union. We support the work of these two respected organizations as well as the Peace Community in its effort to build a non-violent alternative to the conflict.

Representatives who signed the Colombia Support Network inspired letter in 2001 included John Olver. [16]

2009 letter on Colombia

From November 6th through December 7th 2009, a letter calling for change in U.S. policy towards Colombia was circulated through the House of Representatives. This letter called for a decrease in U.S. aid for Colombia's military and an increase in support for human rights and humanitarian efforts. The initiators of this letter were —Representatives James McGovern, Jan Schakowsky, Donald Payne, and Mike Honda.

Dear Secretary of State Clinton,
The FY 2011 budget will contain the twelfth year of a major aid package to Colombia—an aid package originally slated to phase out after six years.
After eleven years, it is time to scale down assistance for Colombia's military and more systematically "Colombianize" such programs, within both the State Department and Defense Department budgets.

Signatories included John Olver.[17]

Posada letter

In 2005 several far left Congressmembers wrote to President Bush urging him to extradite alleged terrorist Luis Posada Carriles to Venezuela to face justice.

We are writing to urge you to oppose the application for asylum by Luis Posada Carriles, and to support the request for extradition to Venezuela, where he is a fugitive from justice.

Signatories were; Dennis Kucinich, Barbara Lee, Cynthia McKinney, John Olver, James McGovern, Donald Payne, Lane Evans, Carolyn Maloney, Tammy Baldwin, Lynn Woolsey, Jose Serrano, Raul Grijalva, Maurice Hinchey, Bobby Rush, Edolphus Towns, Sam Farr, Bennie Thompson, Ed Pastor, Sheila Jackson Lee, Maxine Waters.[18]

Voted against cutting funding for ACORN

In September 2009, following the lead of their Senate colleagues, the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to cut off funds to ACORN. the vote was 345-75. All of the 75 were Democrats, and included John Olver. [19]

Reception Honoring Martha Coakley

On Jan. 12, 2010 a reception honoring Martha Coakley was held at the Sonoma Restaurant, 223 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington D.C. Among those present were Senator John Kerry and Representatives, Ed Markey, Richard Neal, William Delahunt, John Tierney, Stephen Lynch, Barney Frank, John Olver, Jim McGovern, Michael Capuano and Niki Tsongas.

Hosts of the reception donated $10,000 and included Nick Allard, Thomas Hale Boggs Jr., the Boston Scientific Political Action Committee, Chuck Brain, Susan Brophy, Mary Beth Cahill, Steve Champlin, Licy Do Canto, Gerald S. J. Cassidy, David Castagnetti, Steve Elmendorf, Candy Ergen, Cahrlie Ergen, Shannon Finley, Larry Harris, Tom Hogan, Carol Kenner, Stephanie Markiewicz, Andy Miller, Heather Podesta, Tony Podesta, Robert Raben, Linda Singer and Bill Titelman.

Co-hosts of the reception donated $5,000 and included Marty Bienenstock, Sheryl Cohen, Chad Dale, Joe Eyer, Jamie Gorelick, Robin Leeds, Fred Liowther, Bernie Nash, Frank Purcell of the CRNA (Nurse Anesthetists) Political Action Committee and Melissa Schulman.

The administration for the reception was organized by Julia Hoffman.[20]

Calling on Israeli Govt. to lift Gaza Travel Ban

On Dec. 22, 2009, thirty-three U.S. Representatives wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, calling on her to request that the Israeli Government end the ban on student travel from Gaza to the West Bank. John Olver was one of the signatories of the letter.[21] The entire letter together with a complete list of signatories can be read by clicking here.

Supported Lifting the Gaza Blockade

On Jan. 27, 2010, U.S. Representatives Keith Ellison and Jim McDermott led 52 other members of Congress in signing a letter addressed to President Barack Obama, calling for him to use diplomatic pressure to resolve the blockade affecting Gaza. John Olver was one of the signatories of the letter. [22] The entire letter together with a complete list of signatories can be read by clicking here.

Sudan protest

March 16, 2012, Washington, DC: Today at the Sudanese Embassy, 2210 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, TransAfrica Forum President Nicole Lee joined actor and activist George Clooney who just returned from a trip to Sudan and NAACP President Benjamin Jealous, human rights advocate Martin Luther King III and Representative Al Green to demand immediate action to stop Sudan’s use of food as a weapon. All were arrested.

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir is blocking food and humanitarian aid from reaching half a million people in the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile regions where they are at grave risk of starvation.

Hundreds of activists are demonstrating at the Sudanese Embassy this morning starting at 10am

Also at the protest were Tom Andrews, President, United to End Genocide, Nick Clooney, Journalist, Bishop Andudu Adam Elnail, Anglican Bishop of Kadugli, South Kordofan, Rabbi Steve Gutow, President, Jewish Council for Public Affairs, Fred Kramer, Executive Director, Jewish World Watch, Congressman Jim McGovern, Congressman James Moran, Dr. E. Faye Williams, national chair of the National Congress of Black Women, Inc., Rabbi David Saperstein, Dick Gregory, and Rep. John Olver.[23][24]

External links

References

  1. official Congressional bio, accessed August 11, 2011
  2. official Congressional bio, accessed August 11, 2011
  3. official Congressional bio, accessed August 11, 2011
  4. official Congressional bio, accessed August 11, 2011
  5. Dem. Left May/June 1996
  6. Dem.Left Jan./Feb. 1996, page 16
  7. Democratic Left, July/August 1996, page 21
  8. DSA website: Members of the Progressive Caucus (archived on the Web Archive website)
  9. Congressional Progressive Caucus website: Caucus Member List
  10. CLW website: Meet Our Candidates
  11. October 21, 1998, Members Of Congress Call On Clinton To Release Key Information On Gen. Pinochet To Spanish Judge
  12. US REPRESENTATIVES SEND LETTER TO CLINTON
  13. Dem. Left, Summer 2002
  14. MAJORITY BACKGROUNDER September 2003
  15. TYR Nov. 2005
  16. DEAR COLLEAGUE LETTER CSN-MADISON, MAY 15, 2002
  17. Latin America Working Group, Get Your Representative to Sign a Letter Supporting Human Rights in Colombia
  18. Green Left discussion Restricted Group, 990 members Letter from US Congress Members for extraditing Posada to Venezuela May 20, 2005
  19. [http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/09/the_75_democrats_who_are_prose.html American Thinker, September 18, 2009 The 75 Democrats who are pro-sex slave ACORN defenders By Ethel C. Fenig]
  20. Invitation to Reception Honoring Martha Coakley, Jan. 12, 2010
  21. John Dingell's House website: Letter to Hillary Clinton, Dec. 22, 2009
  22. The Minnesota Independent: Ellison, McCollum and Oberstar urge Obama to lift Gaza blockade, Jan. 26, 2010 (accessed on March 14, 2011)
  23. TransAfrica FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 16, 2012 PROTEST AT SUDANESE EMBASSY TO STOP SUDAN’S WEAPONS OF MASS STARVATION
  24. Daytona Times, Locked up with George Clooney March 31, 2012