WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats and Republicans have finalized appointments to the Senate Banking Committee, which is responsible for legislation affecting mass transit. Committee chairman is Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.).

 Democrats:

Tim Johnson (S.D.), chairman
Daniel Akaka (Hawaii)
Michael Bennet (Colo.)
Sherrod Brown (Ohio)
Kay Hagan (N.C.)

Herb Kohl (Wisc.)
Robert Menendez (N.J.)
Jeff Merkley (Ore.)
Jack Reed (R.I.)
Charles Schumer (N.Y.)

Jon Tester (Mont.)
Mark Warner (Va.)

 Republicans:

Richard Shelby (Ala.), ranking
Mike Crapo (Idaho)
Bob Corker (Tenn.)
Jim DeMint (S.C.)
Mike Johanns (Neb.)

Mark Kirk (Ill.)
Jerry Moran (Kans.)
Patrick Toomey (Pa.)
David Vitter (La.)
Roger Wicker (Miss.)

To view other Senate and House committee assignments of importance to UTU members, click on the following link:

https://smart-union.org/td/washington/

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats and Republicans have finalized appointments to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

Legislation affecting retirement, labor law and workplace issues are under the initial jurisdiction of this committee, which is chaired by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa).

Democrats:

Tom Harkin (Iowa), chairman
Michael Bennet (Colo.)
Jeff Bingaman (N.M.)
Richard Blumenthal (Conn.)
Robert Casey (Pa.)

Al Franken (Minn.)
Jeff Merkley (Ore.)
Barbara Mikulski (Md.)
Patty Murray (Wash.)
Bernard Sanders (Vt.)
Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.)

Republicans:

Michael Enzi (Wyo.), ranking
Lamar Alexander (Tenn.)
Richard Burr (N.C.)
Orrin Hatch (Utah)
Johnny Isakson (Ga.)

Mark Kirk (Ill.)
John McCain (Ariz.)
Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)
Rand Paul (Ky.)
Pat Roberts (Kans.)

To view other Senate and House committee assignments of importance to UTU members, click on the following link:

https://smart-union.org/td/washington/

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats and Republicans have finalized appointments to the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.

Most transportation legislation moving through the Senate affecting air, bus and rail safety and economic regulation is under the initial jurisdiction of the Commerce Committee, which is chaired by Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W. Va.).

Most transit legislation is the responsibility of the Senate Banking Committee.

Democrats

Jay Rockefeller (W. Va.), chairman
Mark Begich (Alaska)
Barbara Boxer (Calif.)
Maria Cantwell (Wash.)
Daniel Inoye (Hawaii)

John Kerry (Mass.)
Amy Klobucher (Minn.)
Frank Lautenberg (N.J.)
Claire McCaskill (Mo.)
Bill Nelson (Fla.)

Mark Pryor (Ark.)
Tom Udall (N.M.)
Mark Warner (Va.)

Republicans:

Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas), ranking
Kelly Ayotte (N.H.)
Roy Blunt (Mo.)
Jim DeMint (S.C.)
John Ensign (Nev.)

Johnny Isakson (Ga.)
Marko Rubio (Fla.)
Olympia Snowe (Maine)
John Thune (S.D.)
Patrick Toomey (Pa.)
Roger Wicker (Miss.)

To view Senate and other House committee assignments of importance to UTU members, click on the following link:

www.utu.org/worksite/washington/congress_2011.cfm

By Assistant President Arty Martin

For more than 40 years, the UTU has been instrumental in improving job security, wages, benefits and safe working conditions.

To achieve that success, the UTU has always relied on the membership to step forward to rebuild elected officers’ ranks — from the local through the UTU International president.

Every aspect of our society — from neighborhood associations, local school boards, Congress and the White House — relies on the same process to ensure our society continues to thrive, grow and be successful. We can neither forget this nor let “the rebuild from within” concept die, or we will lose control of our futures.

When President John F. Kennedy took his oath of office in 1961 — at age 43, succeeding 70-year-old Dwight Eisenhower — Kennedy noted, “The torch has been passed to a new generation.”

JFK and his new generation of leaders were prepared to lead because of mentoring they received early in their careers.

Each of today’s UTU leaders has a moral obligation to identify and mentor talented younger members, beginning with assisting them in running for local office. Not all will be successful. But this is the process by which we identify those who, in the future, will lead general committees, state legislative boards and the UTU International.

I’m not suggesting older leaders head for the exits. I’m among the oldest, and I assure you I have no intention of departing anytime soon. But depart I will at some date, and my duty — and the duty of our other higher ranking UTU officers — is to identify and mentor qualified successors.

Each of our UTU International officers can trace their rise to the day they took an oath of office at their local —  and each can name a mentor who helped bring them along. Representing our brothers and sisters can be some of the hardest work we perform — and certainly the most rewarding when we realize our efforts help to improve wages, benefits, job security and safe working conditions.

Successful officers at the local level demonstrate early whether they have the internal compass and fortitude to do right by their members, whether it is taking on an inexperienced trainmaster with an outsized ego or processing a difficult grievance against an aggressive carrier officer.

The future of the UTU — and more important, the future job and financial security of our members — rests with a seamless process that assures members continue to receive excellent representation when new officers succeed those who retire or move up in the organization.

Because new technology is evolving so quickly, special new challenges await tomorrow’s leaders. Most of us began our careers when a caboose trailed every train and computers were something we read about in Mechanix Illustrated. Tomorrow’s railroads and tomorrow’s buses will be chock-a-block with computer technology tied to orbiting satellites.

I urge each of our senior officers at the International, general committees and state legislative boards to ramp-up the process of identifying and mentoring younger members with potential to become successful officers. The future of the UTU depends on it.