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Rep. Charles B. RangelD-NY, Rep. of New York's 15th district
Charles Bernard Rangel has left an indelible imprint on history. He has served 20 terms in the House of Representatives, the last two as as chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee. The first African American to head that longstanding panel, Congressman Rangel currently serves as the Committee's senior member, wiedling influence over tax revenue legislation and oversight authority over the major issues of the day – economic policy, international trade, welfare, Social Security, Medicare, and health care. Congressman Rangel won his district – which includes his native Central Harlem, East Harlem, the Upper West Side, and Washington Heights – with 88 percent of the vote in November.
A high school dropout, Congressman Rangel recounts how he was transformed from wayward youth to public servant in his autobiography, "And I Haven't Had a Bad Day Since: From the Streets of Harlem to the Halls of Congress." In 1948, he volunteered for the Army and served in the Korean War, earning himself a Purple Heart and the Bronze Star for Valor in the process. With the aid of the G.I. bill, he received a college degree from New York University and a law degree from St. John's University Law School.
He began his public service career as an assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and was later elected to the New York State Assembly. He came to Washington in 1971, succeeding Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. in the House of Representatives and becoming a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus. Early in his tenure, Congressman Rangel served as a member of the House Judiciary Committee during hearings on the articles of impeachment of then-President Richard Nixon.
Over the past forty years, he has led the fight in Congress against drug abuse and trafficking, agitated for fairer sentencing, worked to limit the spread and use of illegal guns, and fought for affordable housing, urban renewal, and economic prosperity in his district and across the United States. He was the principal author of the five-billion-dollar Federal Empowerment Zone demonstration project to revitalize urban neighborhoods. He is the author of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, responsible for financing ninety percent of the affordable housing built in the United States in the last decade. He championed the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, which provided thousands of jobs for underprivileged youngsters, veterans, and ex-offenders.
Congressman Rangel has maintained a foreign policy record that keeps a keen eye on Africa and the developing world. He dealt a crippling blow to South African apartheid in 1987, successfully amending the tax code to deny foreign tax credits to U.S. companies investing in South Africa. Dubbed the "Rangel Amendment," it prompted the government's largest investors and several Fortune 500 companies to withdraw their funds. Congressman Rangel has also wielded his influence to open trading opportunities with struggling nations through the Caribbean Basin Initiative and the African Growth and Opportunity Act.
He has resided in a total of two places the whole of his life – the 132nd Street Harlem home in which he was born and raised, and his current apartment down the street on Lenox Avenue. He lives there with his wife Alma, a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus Spouses group. They together have two children.
Joe KyrillosNJ Senate Candidate
Senator Joseph M. Kyrillos, Jr. began serving New Jersey's 13th Legislative District in 1988 when he was elected to the General Assembly. After spending two terms in the Assembly he was elected to the Senate where he has served since 1993.
He was the Chairman of the New Jersey Republican State Party from 2001-2004 and New Jersey Chairman for Mitt Romney's 2008 presidential campaign. In 2009, he served as the Chairman of Governor Chris Christie's successful campaign and was a member of his transition committee serving as the liaison to all transition sub-committees.Currently, he is sponsoring many of Governor Christie's "Tool Kit" initiatives to reform government and to allow localities to meet the state's new two percent property tax cap of which he was the prime co-sponsor
In addition to his official duties, the Senator is employed as Senior Managing Director of Colliers International, the commercial real estate services firm with offices in New York and Parsippany. He is also an advisor to Newport Capital Group, Red Bank, NJ. His past experiences include Special Assistant to the U.S. Secretary of the Interior, the Vice President's staff for the 1984 Reagan-Bush campaign, Director of Business Standards and Ethics for the Mid-Atlantic Health Group and an associate with the Beneficial Corporation
He has hosted a statewide cable television program Tour of New Jersey and other media appearances include Cavuto, Varney & Co., CNN Inside Politics, Paula Zahn Now, Hardball, Scarborough Country, Hannity & Colmes, At Large with Geraldo Rivera, Fox & Friends, News Forum with Gabe Pressman and numerous interviews on New York and Philadelphia network affiliate television and radio, and on the New Jersey Network
Senator Kyrillos, 51, graduated from the Lawrenceville School, Hobart College and holds a Master's degree from the Boston University School of Public Communication. He is married to Susan Doctorian Kyrillos and they live in Middletown with their children Max and Georgia.
Mary KisselEditorial board member, The Wall Street Journal
Mary Kissel is a member of The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board in New York. From 2005 to 2010, she was editorial page editor of The Wall Street Journal Asia, based in Hong Kong. She joined the Journal in Hong Kong in 2004 as writer of the Money & Investing section's Heard in Asia column. Previously, she worked for Goldman Sachs, an investment bank, in New York and London.
Ms. Kissel has a master's degree in international affairs from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a bachelor's in government from Harvard University. She is a native of south Florida.
Tara DowdellDemocratic Strategist, Founder and Principal of the Tara Dowdell Group
Tara Dowdell is a highly accomplished business and political strategist. She is the Founder and Principal of the Tara Dowdell Group, a strategic consulting and marketing firm focused on helping socially-conscious businesses and organizations grow. Propelled by Tara’s work ethic, passion, and extensive network in government, the private sector and the media, the Tara Dowdell Group has cultivated an impressive list of clients ranging from an award-winning “green” real estate development firm to a local government agency that offers programs to help small business owners.
In addition to her consulting practice, Tara is a respected television commentator and speaker. She appears weekly on CNN, the Fox News Channel, and the Fox Business Network where she provides progressive insight and analysis on a range of political, government, and business topics. She can also be seen and heard regularly on MSNBC, Fox 5’s Good Day New York, WWOR-TV My9 News at 10pm and Hot 97 Street Soldiers. Tara’s proven expertise, unique insight, and engaging style have also made her a sought-after speaker. She has addressed several major conferences and organizations such as the Rutgers’ University Annual Women of Color Symposium, the National Urban League Conference, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Women in Science and Engineering, and the Center for American Women in Politics Ready to Run Conference to name a few.
Tara has an extensive background in government having previously served as the Senior Manager of Government and Community Relations for the international shipping arm of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. In this capacity, she was responsible for directing the government and public relations strategy for the multi-billion-dollar redevelopment of the Port of New York and New Jersey. Prior to joining the Port Authority, Tara served as Director of Appointments in the Office of the New Jersey Governor. She was appointed to this position at age 25, making her the youngest person and the first African American to serve in this high level role. As Director of Appointments to then Governor James E. McGreevey, Tara managed the selection, nomination and appointment of individuals to over 550 statewide boards and commissions. She began her career in government serving as a District Representative to Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr.
Aside from her work in government, Tara has a wealth of political experience. She has served in senior positions on several high profile federal, state, and local campaigns. Additionally, she managed an issue-advocacy campaign for Emily’s List, one of the largest Political Action Committee’s in the nation.
Tara’s accomplishments have not gone unnoticed. In 2005, after being selected out of over a million applicants, she had the distinction of competing for a job with real estate mogul Donald Trump on the third season NBC’s show, “The Apprentice.” In 2010, she was selected by the American Swiss Foundation to attend their prestigious Young Leaders Conference in Basel, Switzerland. Tara was only one of twenty-five Americans chosen to participate in the
conference, which was hosted by pharmaceutical giant, Novartis. Tara has also been honored by the NAACP, the New York Times, the Political Action Committee, BALLOT, and the child advocacy nonprofit organization, Project Re-Direct.
Tara is also very active in her community. She serves on the Steering Committee for the Center for American Women in Politics “Ready to Run” Conference and is a Trustee on Board of the Partnership for a Drug Free New Jersey. She is also a member of Bethany Baptist Church in Newark, New Jersey. Tara is a graduate of the University of Virginia where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government.
Brian O’ShaughnessyChief Co-Chair of the Coalition for a Prosperous America // Co-Chair for Manufacturing, Revere Copper Products, New York
Brian O’Shaughnessy is the Chairman of Revere Copper Products and served as President & CEO for almost twenty years until the end of 2007. His company was founded in 1801 by Paul Revere and may be the oldest manufacturing company in America. Revere does not make pots and pans anymore but makes copper and brass sheet, strip and coil as well as extruded products for shipment to other manufacturing companies. Brian did a leveraged buyout of Revere in 1989.
Brian is recognized as an expert on international trade, energy and environmental issues. He championed and chaired the world class, worldwide copper industry’s environmental program. In February of 2006, the Copper Club named Brian as its Copper Man of the Year—an international award considered the most prestigious in the copper industry.
Brian has chaired two industrial energy advocacy committees and serves on the board of directors of a third group. He also serves on the board of directors of a public utility with transmission and distribution operations for gas and electricity in New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
In 2005, Brian testified before the US Senate Committee on Energy and Resources and testified in 2006 before the US House of Representatives Committee on Government Reform regarding energy, trade and tax policy. In May, 2007, he testified before a triparte hearing on China Currency Issues before subcommittees of the House Ways and Means, Energy and Financial Services Committees. In July, 2007, he testified before a US Senate subcommittee hearing on the impact of China Trade on US manufacturing. Brian has appeared on BBC World News and been interviewed on Bloomberg On the Economy as well as PBS.
Brian also serves on the board of directors of the Manufacturers Association of Central New York (MACNY) and served on the BOD of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). At NAM, Brian is on its International Economic Policy Committee and its China Policy Subcommittee. Brian is a past Chairman of the US Copper & Brass Fabricators Council and currently a member of its BOD.Â He testified on its behalf before the International Trade Commission. Brian is currently Chairman of the Copper Development Association (CDA) and serves on the BOD of the Coalition for a Prosperous America (CPA).
Brian is a national leader of domestic manufacturing companies attempting to change US international trade and tax policy to help level the playing field for domestic manufacturing.
Prior to joining Revere, Brian spent twenty-one years in the international copper mining industry with seven years each in operations, marketing & corporate administration.
Brian is celebrating over 40 years of marriage with three sons and four grandchildren. In 2002, Mr. O’Shaughnessy rode his Harley Davidson on two-lane scenic roads from Moody Beach, Maine to Seattle, Washington stopping off in Sturgis, South Dakota. Mr. O’Shaughnessy is an avid snow-boarder and golfer but spends most of his time working!