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Progress Made Today, 8/3

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    Progress Made Today, 8/3

    I didn't want this to get lost in the discussion so here is what I have found out today:

    I placed a call to Mr. Oberstar's office in Washington DC, who is a representative from Minnesota. He is the Chairman of the Transportation Committee. First of all I apologized for calling about something that would seem trivial with respect to the bridge collapse. But when I said what I was calling about the person immediately transferred me to the Coast Guard Subcommittee, chaired by Mr. Cummings from Maryland.

    The gal I spoke with, who only worked in that office, but kept saying "we" when she was telling me how unsafe the DELTA QUEEN was - because she had a wood superstructure was very defensive of the committee decision not to add the exemption to the Coast Guard Reauthorization Bill. She did say that the company (MAL) had representatives that had to been to Washington and spoke in favor of the exemption. She did not come right out and say the Union had been against the exemption. But her remark (and I can't recall what it was) implied that the union had been against it when I brought up the fact that the present owners of the DELTA QUEEN had broken the union last year and put their members out of work.

    She did give me a fax number to send letters to Mr. Cummings. Here it is 202-226-8668. Now then as you'll see below, we might need to wait until after their summer recess to bombard that office with faxes. And when I relay the following information we might not want to send faxes to Mr. Cummings at all. This is something that our educated posters need to discuss.

    Next, I finally was able to get ahold of my local Representative's office, John Yarmuth. He had a very nice helpful young man, who found out all kinds of information and phoned me back with helpful hints and suggestions.

    His words were "it will come down to a Representative will have to "go behind the subcommittee's back" and sponsor legislation to save the DELTA QUEEN".

    He said there is plenty of time. He had done his homework as he knew we had until November, 2008. He said to go ahead and for each of us to write the Congressmen from the list we had from MAL again and to also write our own Congressman. He said we will need to find a sympathic member on the Transportation Committee to sponsor the legislation as it would be much easier that way.

    He sent me a list of the 75 Representatives on the Transporation Committee by email, but I don't know how to paste it here. I have sent it to other posters, so hopefully they will be able to help out.

    He said to write letters, make phone calls, send emails and faxes. He said to bombard both the offices in the district and the Washington office of our reps as well, as it was surprising what a small number of advocates could do.

    So looks to me like with the eyes that read this website hopefully, one of us has a representative in our home district that is on the Transportation Committee that they can make contact with to "be our friend" and sponsor this legislation.

    One other helpful hint was to get the media involved. But he said to certainly wait until after the summer recess. The lawmakers will be back in DC on September 3rd.

    Hope that helps and we have a poster who knows just the person who can be the savior.

    Bye now. I'll be off the board until Monday morning.