On May 2, the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee passed H. Res. 352, supporting the ideals and goals of National Public Works Week (NPWW). Instituted as a public education campaign by the American Public Works Association (APWA) in 1960, NPWW calls attention to the importance of public works in community life.
The resolution "urges citizens and communities throughout the U.S. to join with representatives of the federal government in activities and ceremonies designed to pay tribute to the public works professionals of the nation and to recognize the substantial contributions that public works professionals make to the nation."
Introduced by Chairman James L. Oberstar (D-Minn.) and co-sponsored by Ranking Member John Mica (R-Fla.) and 19 additional congressional leaders, H. Res. 352 passed the committee by a voice vote. A vote is expected by the full House in the next few weeks.
"We applaud Chairman Oberstar and the T&I Committee for recognizing the key role of public works and the professionals who serve their communities on a daily basis," said Bill Verkest, APWA president. "We encourage the full House to join us in honoring the professionals who provide and maintain our transportation and water systems, utilities, emergency response operations and other essential infrastructure."
NPWW 2007, celebrated May 20-26, honors public works professionals who are "moving life forward."
Over the years, NPWW observances have taken many forms--from parades and displays of public works equipment to high school essay contests, open houses and programs for civic organizations. The occasion is marked with scores of resolutions and proclamations from mayors and governors. In 1960, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution affirming the first NPWW. Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson and George W. Bush sent letters of acknowledgement and a Presidential Proclamation was signed by John F. Kennedy in 1962.