Washington, D.C. – In the closing days of the 113th Congress, both the House and Senate have now passed a bill by Rep. Aaron Schock to facilitate the designation of New Philadelphia, Ill., as a National Park. The original legislation, H.R. 930, previously passed the House by a unanimous vote on Apr. 28. In final negations between House and Senate leaders, a number of federal lands bills were rolled into H.R. 3979, the FY2015 National Defense Authorization Act that establishes defense priorities and funding for the year ahead. President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law within days.
“The designation of the New Philadelphia site as a National Park will provide an important economic benefit to the entire region. As we prepare to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the end of the Civil War, historians, researchers, and tourists will come to New Philadelphia to learn more about the immense contribution of freed slaves to the nation and their immense sacrifice to rebuild a torn union,” Schock said of the bill’s passage.
“The New Philadelphia Association has worked tirelessly to raise the profile of the town and the legacy of its founder, Frank McWorter. I’m pleased to join them in celebrating this significant milestone.”
Philip Bradshaw, president of the New Philadelphia Association, expressed appreciation for the work Congressman Schock has done to assist preservation of the historic site:
"The special resources study is an opportunity to confirm the extraordinary historical significance of New Philadelphia as the first town in our country founded and legally registered by an African American. Under stewardship of the National Park Service, New Philadelphia will be preserved and protected to inspire present and future generations with themes important to all Americans: the struggle for freedom and opportunity and the love of family."
New Philadelphia was the first town founded and built by a freed slave before the Civil War. The town’s founder, Frank McWorter, was born a slave in South Carolina in 1777. He later married his wife, Lucy, herself a slave on a Kentucky plantation, in 1799. By hiring out his own time, McWorter was able to save enough money to buy his own freedom and that of his wife. Over time, he bought the freedom of 16 other family members.
In 1830, the family moved to Illinois, where Frank McWorter bought a farm in Pike County. In 1836, he plotted the town of New Philadelphia and founded it as the first fully racially integrated community before the Civil War. By 1850, U.S. Census data showed both African-American and European settlers living in the town.
To read more about New Philadelphia, click here.
WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL-18) and Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI-2) today introduced H.Res. 761 to recognize #GivingTuesday. #GivingTuesday, the first Tuesday following Thanksgiving, kicks off the holiday giving season with a global day dedicated to charitable giving and volunteerism, to follow the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
The #GivingTuesday resolution, recognizes that philanthropy and charitable giving knows no party divide, as giving has the ability to transcend any differences of political ideologies and has the power to unite people across boundaries.
“According to the 2014 Millennial Impact Report, 73 percent of millennials gave to charity in 2013,” said Congressman Schock. “Generosity and philanthropy are important to our generation, and we are rising to do our part as previous generations have done. For some, it’s through financial support of a favorite charity, church, or synagogue. For others, it’s through acts of service in their communities, or even through our nation’s most important form of volunteer service in the United States Armed Forces. Whatever the avenue they choose, millennial are wholeheartedly following the great American tradition of giving back and paying it forward.”
“There are too many things that cause divisions within our communities, but one thing that can bring us together toward a common goal is that of giving to others, and making a positive impact on their lives,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. “We should always be looking for opportunities to serve others and give generously of our time and resources to worthy causes. ‘Giving Tuesday’ is a great way to raise awareness of our responsibility to serve others before ourselves, and give back to our communities. I encourage everyone to embrace these values and the spirit of Giving Tuesday.”
Now in its third year, #GivingTuesday is a worldwide movement with over 16,000 U.S.-based partners that celebrates the power of giving in all its forms. Launched by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation in 2012, this worldwide movement harnesses the power of social media and the generosity of people around the world to bring about real change in their communities and celebrates the power of giving in all its forms.
This resolution was co-sponsored by Reps. Rodney Davis (R-IL), Todd Young (R-IN), Juan Vargas (D-CA) and Cheri Bustos (D-IL).
For more information, including background, partner information, tools, and updates, please visit www.givingtuesday.org.
Background on #GivingTuesday
#GivingTuesday, December 2, 2014, follows the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, kicking off the holiday giving season with a global day dedicated to charitable giving, combining the power of social media and the generosity of people around the world to bring about real change in their communities. Now in its third year, #GivingTuesday is a worldwide movement that celebrates the power of giving in all its forms. This effort builds on the collective power of a unique blend of partners—charities, families, businesses and individuals—to transform how people think about, talk about and participate in the giving season. #GivingTuesday inspires people to take collaborative action to improve their local communities, give back in better, smarter ways to the charities and causes they celebrate and help create a better world. #GivingTuesday leverages the power of social media to create a global moment that is dedicated to giving around the world. #GivingTuesday was founded by 92nd Street Y and is spearheaded in tandem with the support of the United Nations Foundation.
A team of recognized experts, influencers, and founding partners originally spearheaded this effort. The founding partners include Blackbaud, CECP, charity: water, GlobalGiving, Groupon, Kiva, Microsoft, Pvblic Foundation, (RED), Unilever, United Nations Development Programme and Univision among many others. The movement includes signature media partner MSNBC, who will help spotlight the innovative ways that people are giving back in their communities and the world.Read More
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Aaron Schock received the 2014 Lewis-Houghton Leadership Award at last evening’s Fall Gala, hosted by the Faith and Politics Institute. The award recognizes leaders who have “exhibited conscience, courage, and compassion in their roles as public servants.” Named for Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) and former Rep. Amo Houghton (R-NY), the two founders and co-chairmen of the Faith and Politics Institute, the award is given annually to two members of Congress – one Republican and one Democrat who have demonstrated leadership and promoted racial reconciliation. Last year, Rep. Schock led the official delegation to the funeral of Nelson Mandela. In June, Schock hosted Rep. Lewis in Peoria for a celebration at Bradley University to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Bill. Schock was presented the award by Rep. Robin Kelly (IL-02).
Pictured L-R: Reps Robin Kelly, Aaron Schock, John Lewis, Joe Crowley, and Elizabeth McCloskey, President and CEO of the Faith and Politics Institute.
“I am humbled to receive the Lewis-Houghton Award and join a long line of public servants who have been inspired by the examples of my friend, John Lewis, and former Rep. Amo Houghton. The Faith and Politics Institute reflects much of what is right about our nation – bringing people together from across the partisan, racial, and regional divides to promote a thriving democracy,” Schock said.
The award was also given this year to Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY), who serves with Rep. Schock on the House Committee on Ways and Means.### Read More
Peoria, IL – Congressman Aaron Schock (IL-18) announced today that his nearly six year effort to find an alternative use for the shuttered ArcelorMittal steel plant in Hennepin, IL, has resulted in a new owner of the facility, a welcome report for the hard-hit community in Putnam County. IPS Steel, a Michigan-based industrial manufacturer, has acquired the 873 acres of land and nearly one million square feet of buildings at the former ArcelorMittal facility with the intention to turn the property back to productive use, creating good-paying jobs and generating much-needed revenue for the region.
“I’m pleased to announce that a new owner has been found with an alternative use for the facility. Given the current economic climate, we should all welcome IPS Steel to the region and be thankful for the jobs they plan to create,” Schock said of the purchase. “When I first came to Congress, news of the shutdown had shocked the community and their families. I’m glad today we have some good news to share with the region and some jobs for those still looking for work."
"We are very excited with the purchase of this facility and look forward to working with the local community and officials to bring back business and jobs to this area" said Kishan Sutariya, Project Manager at IPS Steel.
In 2009, Schock began spearheading meetings in Washington D.C. and in Putnam County with local, state and federal officials to discuss the closing of ArcelorMittal’s Hennepin plant and find solutions to save jobs in the area. His work with the United Steel Workers Local 7367 and continued efforts to push for the plant to be sold to a buyer who was willing to re-purpose the facility and create jobs has been successful.### Read More
WASHINGTON, IL -- Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL-18) and Congressman John Shimkus (R-IL-15) released the following statements on the one year anniversary of a series of deadly storms in Illinois. A total of 73 tornadoes were confirmed throughout the Midwest on November 17, 2013, claiming eight lives and inflicting much of their damage on areas represented by Congressmen Schock and Shimkus.
“The morning the tornadoes struck, I left church to go immediately to the disaster zone. When I arrived, people were still climbing out of the rubble, and helping loved ones get to safety,” Schock said. “Our first responders in the 18th District did an amazing job, as fireman, police, emergency personnel and volunteers worked to help families who had lost everything.”
“My office continues to monitor the progress of rebuilding and work closely with affected constituents to find the resources they need. Last year’s tornadoes put our local emergency response systems to the most challenging test, and Illinoisans pulled together as communities and come back stronger. Our thoughts and prayers continue on behalf of those who lost precious loved ones and personal property.”
“Some of the most destructive tornadoes in last year’s outbreak struck near Brookport, New Minden and Gifford in my district,” said Shimkus. “The day after the storms I went to see the damage in Brookport, where three lives were lost and New Minden, where two lives were lost. My staff assisted me in surveying the damage in other parts of the district in the following days, and I visited Gifford less than a week later.”
“A year later, I’m impressed by how these communities came together to rebuild and, in my recent visits, I’ve been pleased to see more recovery than not,” Shimkus continued. “I ask all my constituents to join me in keeping the loved ones of the lost in their thoughts and prayers today.”
Reps. Schock and Shimkus ordered five flags to be flown over the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. today, commemorating the anniversary of last year’s storms and honoring the men and women who have worked to rebuild affected communities. The flags will be given to the City of Washington, Tazewell County, Gifford, Brookport, and New Minden.
Eureka, Illinois – Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL) celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall at Eureka College on Friday, delivering a keynote address to a group of ceremony attendees at former President Ronald Reagan’s alma mater. Joining Schock in honoring the historic event was the Consul General of Ukraine, Andriy Pravdnyk, and U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Matthew Caulfield, a former military assistant to President Reagan.