Friday, February 19, 2010
Senator Bob Menendez
Bob Menendez’s story is a quintessential American story. He grew up the son of immigrants in a tenement building in Union City and has risen to become one of 100 United States Senators and a member of the Senate leadership. He has earned the reputation of a fighter for New Jersey families who puts their economic security and hometown security ahead of powerful special interests.
A product of New Jersey's public schools and a graduate of the state's universities, Bob learned early on the importance of standing up for what's right, no matter how powerful the opposition. He first entered public service as a 19-year-old college student when he witnessed shortcomings in the public education system and launched a successful petition drive to reform his local school board. He stood up to corruption in Union City as a witness against the political machine in a Federal trial.
He has served as a school board member, a mayor and a state legislator. Since 1993, he has been standing up for New Jersey families in Washington, where he rose to become the third-highest ranking Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives and has taken on a prominent leadership role in the U.S. Senate.
Bob was sworn in to the Senate on January 18, 2006, having been appointed by New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine to fill the remainder of his term. Later that year, New Jerseyans elected Bob to serve a full six-year term as United States Senator.
He currently serves on the Senate Committees on Finance; Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs; Energy and Natural Resources; Budget; and Foreign Relations. Bob is also the Chairman of the Banking Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation and Community Development; and the Foreign Relations Subcommittee on International Development and Foreign Assistance, Economic Affairs, and International Environmental Protection.
In November 2008, Bob was chosen to head the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, a top position of national leadership.
In Congress, Bob is working to make a real difference in the lives of New Jerseyans. That includes working to achieve economic security for families by creating jobs, promoting clean energy development, providing tax relief, investing in education, making health care more affordable and protecting consumers.
Siding with hard-working New Jerseyans against powerful interests, Bob has helped author and enact legislation to make credit card contracts fairer and make the products we use every day safer. He has also championed legislation to support the production of clean energy and energy efficiency. He has helped secure a federal commitment of $3 billion for a new Mass Transit Tunnel across the Hudson River and created a program that has delivered $3.2 billion to cities, towns and counties nationwide for energy efficiency projects.
Bob has delivered tax relief, authoring the economic recovery package provision that protected 1.6 million New Jerseyans from an unfair tax hike under the Alternative Minimum Tax and enacting property tax relief legislation. With health care too often a strain on family budgets and the national economy, he is using his Finance Committee seat to help craft reform legislation that makes quality health care more affordable for New Jersey families. Throughout his career, he has worked to improve schools so they prepare our children for a successful future and helped pass the law to make college more affordable for the next generation of leaders.
Bob has been widely recognized for his leadership on promoting safe and healthy families. He has championed legislation to support mothers suffering from postpartum depression, help families overcome the challenges of autism, and educate kids about Internet safety. In the face of a national housing crisis, he sponsored legislation to help keep families in their homes, and make it easier for children whose families face foreclosure to stay in their schools.
Bob believes we should honor our parents by making sure they can retire with dignity and has introduced legislation to make it easier for families to care for their aging loved ones. He has also led the fight to stop the privatization of Social Security.
After September 11, 2001, Bob earned national recognition for his leadership in reforming the country's intelligence and public health systems and for fighting to establish an independent commission to investigate the terrorist attacks on our country. He was a leader in the fight to successfully implement the 9/11 Commission’s national security recommendations, including the provision to ensure that high-risk states like New Jersey receive their fair share of security funding. He helped author legislative language that will ensure all cargo coming to U.S. ports is scanned. He led the successful drive to fully reopen the Statue of Liberty, and today, he is working to improve the security of our bus, rail and public transit systems.
Bob voted against authorizing President Bush to invade Iraq. He has an extensive record of supporting our troops by consistently voting to give them the equipment they need, along with the quality medical care and education benefits they deserve—and he has been a strong advocate of a responsible foreign policy that only sends our servicemen and women into harm’s way when absolutely necessary. He was proud to vote for the largest funding increase for veterans’ programs in history.
Bob's first book, Growing American Roots, was released in October 2009. It examines the deep influence of the Latino population on American society and, from his unique perspective as the only Latino member of the Senate, lays out his vision how for the Latino community can help America prosper.
Bob was born on New Year’s Day, 1954. He received his B.A. from St. Peter's College in Jersey City and his law degree from Rutgers University. He currently lives in Hoboken and has two children, Alicia and Robert.
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Date Received Awards/Honors
1994 Hispanic Leaders of the Year
Agency For International Development
9/17/1994 Gala Appreciation Award Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute
7/01/1995 Champion of Children Camden Children's Garden
10/26/1995 Distinguished Alumni Award The Rutgers Law School Alumni Association
10/27/1995 Appreciation Award Hudson County Community College
3/12/1996 Appreciation Gift President Bill Clinton
2/22/1997 Hellenic Heritage National Public Service Award American Hellenic Institute
1998 Cancer Advocacy Award The Cancer Institue of New Jersey
9/1999 Appreciation Award National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America
4/05/2001 Appreciation Award Port Authority of NY/NJ
5/04/2001 Good Guys Award National Women's Political Caucus
2003 Congressional Honoree Award American Council of Young Political Leaders
2/2003 Appreciation Award Cuban American National Council
5/20/2003 Appreciation Award National Capital Area Council, Boy Scouts of America
6/2003 Appreciation Award National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials
7/22/2003 Old Queens Award Rutgers University
10/2003 Ana G. Mendez Excellence in Education Award Ana G. Mendez University System
7/08/2004 Joseph Papp Racial Harmony Award The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding
2005 Distinguished Community Health Champion Award National Association of Community Health Centers, Inc.
4/19/2005 Appreciation Award Democratic Caucus
6/29/2005 Appreciation Gift President George W. Bush
2006 Appreciation Award NASPA
2006 Appreciation Award New York District US Corps of Army Engineers
2006 Komen Champion of Change Award The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation
2006 Citizen of the Year New Jersey Broadcasters Association
2/2006 Appreciation Award New Jersey Council of County Colleges
3/2006 Distinguished Community Health Defender Award National Association of Community Health Centers, Inc.
3/09/2006 Capitol Champion National Stonewall Democrats
4/27/2006 President's Award of Honor Hispanic Organization of Students in Technology/Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers
5/07/2006 Keynote Speaker Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
6/12/2006 Supporter Rutgers Food Innovation Center
6/14/2006 Emma Lasarus Award for Excellency in Advocacy New Jersey Immigration Policy Network
6/25/2006 Keynote Speaker El Festival Puertorriqueno de NJ, Inc.
2007 El Cid Award Lambda Theta Phi Foundation
2007 Humane Champion The Humane Society of the United States
2007 TRPI Award for Public Service TRPI (The Tomas Rivera Policy Institute)
2007 Congressional Champion Award National Psoriasis Foundation
2007 Presiding for over 100 hours in the 100th Congress United States Senate
1/04/2007 Appreciation Award HPEA
3/30/2007 Appreciation for Support of Patient Navigation Act Community Health Workers of New Jersey
4/10/2007 Champion for Victims Rights Victims Awareness Organization of Rowan University
7/11/2007 Appreciation Award The Corporation for Supportive Housing New Jersey Program
7/11/2007 Appreciation Award New Jersey's Homeless Individuals and Families
8/03/2007 Healthcare Leadership Award Community Health Care, Inc.
10/12/2007 The Mahatma Gandhi Award for the Advancement of Religious Pluralism Hindu American Foundation
10/20/2007 Excellence in National Outreach Postpartum Support International
11/2007 Appreciation Award The Trust for Public Land
2008 Congressional Champion Award Association of Womens Health Obsteric and Neonatal Nurses
2008 Humanitarian Award Alzehimers Association
2008 Federal Legislator Award Jump Start: Financial Smarts for Students
2008 Capitol Award PAN Greek-American Teachers Federation and Cultural Associations
2008 Humane Champion The Humane Society of the United States
Outstanding leadership and unconditional support of AAPI's mission to healthcare in this country
AAPI Chapters of New Jersey
4/22/2008 Federal Mental Health Leadership Award New Jersey Mental Health Agencies
5/07/2008 Capitol Award Hispanic National Bar Association
5/09/2008 Chairman's Award Taskforce on Cancer Prevention, Early Detection, and Treatment
5/14/2008 Dominicans on the Hill Award Dominican American National Round Table
6/20/2008 Outstanding Federal Legislator of the Year Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of New Jersey
7/07/2008 Heroe De La Comunidad Award League of United Latin American Citizens
7/22/2008 Engagement Award VOTO Latino
7/30/2008 Champion for Increased Federal Support for Ending Homelessness in New Jersey Award The New Jersey Advocacy Network to End Homelessness
9/22/2008 The Michael Leggero Community Impact Staff Award United Way of Hudson County
10/17/2008 Appreciation Award Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey
10/17/2008 Community Health Champion Award New Jersey Primary Care Association
10/17/2008 Appreciation of Support Rutgers Food Innovation Center
12/2008 Legislator of the Year Award National Institute for People with Disabilities of New Jersey
12/04/2008 Distinguished Service Award The HCCC Foundation
2009 Champion of Children Award Garden City Garden Club
2009 Distinguished Community Health Defender Award National Association of Community Health Centers, Inc.
2/11/2009 President's Award League of United Latin American Citizens
3/17/2009 Recognition for untiring efforts and dedication to the Irish community especially for his work on behalf of Malachy McAllister, Inc. The National Board Ancient Order of Hiberians in America, Inc.
3/19/2009 Edward R. Roybal, Henry Gonzalez Award for Excellence in Public Service USHLI
3/23/2009 Advocate Award of Women Business Owners NOAWBO
5/01/2009 Friend of the Armenians Diocese of the Armenian Church of America
5/08/2009 Continued commitment and dedication to the Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Community Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy
5/09/2009 Leadership Award Metropolitan Family Health Network
5/14/2009 Leadership in Public Service Award Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute, Inc.
5/21/2009 Immigration Education Advocacy Award NJTESOL/NJBE, Inc.
6/2009 Appreciation Award Bread for the World
6/16/2009 Legislative Award AFL-CIO
6/26/2009 Certificate of Appreciation Paterson Task Force for Community Action
9/05/2009 HNBA Leadership Award HNBA
9/13/2009 Outstanding work on behalf of the Jewish communities in the State of New Jersey Agudath Israel of New Jersey
9/19/2009 Appreciation Gift Univision
9/22/2009 Hispanic Heritage Award Hispanic Heritage Foundation
9/24/2009 Congressional Legislator of the Year
NY NJ Asian American Law Enforcement Advisory Committee
10/21/2009 Certificate of Appreciation: 2009 School-Based Health Center Champion
National Assembly on School-Based Healthcare
Keynote Speaker Tri-County Community Action Partnership
Patient Navigator Award Rutgers University
Honorary Degree William Paterson University
Advocacy Award New Jersey Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages
Chairman's Award United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Appreciation Award American Cancer Society
Senator John Chafee Legislative Friend of Children and Youth with Special Needs Award Family Voices
Senate Defender Award National Association of Community Health Centers, Inc.