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spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer May 16, 2003
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Sen. Chuck Schumer to deliver RIT commencement address

United States Sen. Charles Schumer will deliver RIT’s Commencement Address during the 7:30 p.m. Academic Convocation on Friday, May 23.

Sen. Chuck Schumer

In the past 25 years, Schumer has become known as a leader on national issues and a tireless fighter for New York. The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle called him “an accomplished, far-sighted legislator,” while The New York Times wrote that he “is a more serious lawmaker with more rooted values, sounder policy positions and a deeper commitment to the common good.”

Throughout his 20 years in Congress, Schumer has been a pioneer in the fight against crime. He authored the Omnibus Crime Bill, which put 100,000 new police officers on the street, enforced the “three strikes and you’re out” sentencing, and created after-school programs for troubled teens.

A leading sponsor of the Brady Bill, with mandatory background checks for handgun purchases, Schumer co-wrote the Assault Weapons Ban and sponsored the Hate Crimes Statistics Act and Hate Crimes Prevention Act. He authored the Anti-Auto Theft Act requiring car manufacturers to mark vehicle parts with an indelible ID number.

Also an advocate for women’s rights, he authored the landmark Violence Against Women Act, the first federal legislation protecting women against domestic abuse. He sponsored legislation in the Senate that provided $125 million in funding for rape kit testing and $100 million for the Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners program.

Schumer has made New York’s economy a top priority with particular success in bringing affordable air service to Upstate and Western New York. The senator also established an Economic Development Initiative, a comprehensive effort to attract new businesses and financial resources to Upstate New York.

Improving access to quality education is another of Schumer’s long-term priorities. In that work, he led the charge in Congress to make college tuition tax deductible, for the first time in history.

Sen. Schumer has also been a staunch champion on behalf of RIT, helping to secure significant funding for the university’s research program in Defense Modernization and Sustainment over the past several years.

As the first New Yorker on the Energy Committee in 25 years, the senator has sponsored legislation to make SUVs and minivans more fuel efficient, which would lower gas prices and save over 1 million barrels of oil per day.

A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, Schumer was elected to the New York State Assembly at age 23, making him one of the youngest members since Theodore Roosevelt, and to Congress at 29. In 1998, he was elected to the United States Senate. New York’s senior senator, Schumer lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two daughters.

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