Campus & Community

Two former politicians to address concerns surrounding Congress at PBSC

Two former U.S. House of Representatives members, Martin Lancaster (D-N.C.) and Tom Petri (R-Wis.), will address negative perceptions of Congress during a bipartisan presentation titled “Congress and Gridlock” at Palm Beach State College’s Palm Beach Gardens campus.

The forum will be at 7 p.m. Feb. 9 in room SC127 in the Bioscience Technology Complex. The event is free and open to the public and is co-sponsored by the PBSC chapter of the Association of Florida Colleges.

During the presentation, the former politicians will explain how Congress works (or doesn’t work) without debate and what the public can do about it. They will also answer questions from the audience.

Lancaster represented North Carolina as a Democrat from 1987 to 1995. In 1997, he became president of the North Carolina Community College System. He sought to increase state and private funding for facilities, equipment, faculty salaries and instruction and to strengthen the system’s essential role in workforce and economic development. He led community college participation in the successful Higher Education Bond referendum of 2000, which included $600 million for community college construction, repair and renovation. In 2003, he was elected chair of the National Council of State Directors of Community Colleges, and was named president emeritus of the Community College System upon his retirement in 2008.

Petri represented Wisconsin’s 6th congressional district from 1979 to 2015. During his congressional tenure, he served on the committee on education and labor, and on the committee on transportation and infrastructure, where he was chair of the subcommittee on highways and transit. When he retired in 2014, he was the third-most-senior Republican representative.

The event is part of the “Congress to Campus” program, which is an initiative of the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress that brings pairs of former members – one Democrat and one Republican – to college campuses. The goal is to inspire students to consider careers in public service and deepen their understanding of the important role that Congress plays in our democracy. For more information, call 561-207-5416.

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