CPB gave its top honor for individual service, the Ralph Lowell Award, to Rep. Earl Blumenauer, the bowtie-wearing, bike-riding Oregon Democrat who chaired and helped create the Public Broadcasting Caucus in Congress.
“Rep. Blumenauer is dedicated in his support of public media,” said CPB President Patricia Harrison in the announcement Nov. 18, timed for an evening ceremony in Washington, D.C. “He understands the value delivered to every American citizen through public service media, on air, online and in the community, and the important role that each public television and radio station – locally owned and operated – plays in strengthening our civil society.”
“Not only do our public broadcasting stations provide us with valuable information, but they also directly support 21,000 jobs in hundreds of communities across America," the representative said, making a point seldom heard in recent years. "I am honored to receive this award and will continue to fight for the future of this treasured institution in American media.”
The Portland resident served in the state legislature 1972-78, was elected to terms in local government 1978-96, and served in Congress since then. He is now a member of the House committees overseeing taxes and the federal budget.