• Congresswoman Debbie Lesko Speaks At DeVry University Hamfest

    From ARRL de WD1CKS@VERT/WLARB to QST on Fri Apr 14 19:50:04 2023
    04/14/2023

    U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Lesko (AZ-08) recently visited a hamfest and met with Amateur Radio operators at DeVry University campus in Phoenix, Arizona, on April 8.

    Congresswoman Lesko's visit was a highlight of the event, as she is a major supporter of Amateur Radio. Lesko arrived early and spoke with many Amateur Radio attendees and ARRL leadership representatives. She toured the emergency communications vehicles and explored with great interest the interrelationship of Amateur Radio's emergency responders with federal, state, and local agencies.

    Congresswoman Lesko spent a considerable amount of time listening to how radio amateurs integrate communications support with first responders and how Amateur Radio supports civic activities and community events. ARRL leadership shared how Hams support government programs and how favorable legislation strengthens the effectiveness of the Amateur Radio Service's mission of supporting the public.

    Lesko said: "It was wonderful to join ARRL and ARRL-Arizona and meet with amateur radio operators at Hamfest in Phoenix, Arizona. Amateur radio operators play such a critical role in emergency situations, and our communities are safer thanks to their information sharing. I will continue to be an advocate for amateur radio operators in Congress and highlight the important contributions they have made to our nation."

    Her talk in the University courtyard highlighted her legislative efforts on behalf of Amateur Radio and the substantial impact volunteer agencies, such as ARRL and the American Red Cross, have on the effectiveness of government in serving the public.

    The ARRL's appreciation for Congresswoman Lesko's continuing support and her attendance at the Hamfest was echoed by ARRL leadership. Southwestern Director Dick Norton commented: "I was pleased to see a Member of Congress engaging with the Amateur Radio community." Arizona Section Manager Rick Paquette, W7RAP, added that "She understands how we operate and knows the scope of the work we do."

    Members of ARRL and the coordinating agencies meeting the Congresswoman included Southwestern Division Director Dick Norton, N6AA, Southwestern Division Vice Director Ned Stearns, AA7A, Arizona Section Manager Rick Paquette, W7RAP, ARES¨ emergency operations coordinators, and four current and former Section Managers from California, Wyoming, and Nevada.

    The American Red Cross Communications Club, ARRL Arizona Section, the Amateur club coordination association for Arizona, Amateur Radio Council of Arizona (ARCA), and the Arizona Amateur Radio Club hold the Hamfest and Emergency Services Convention annually on the DeVry University campus in Phoenix, Arizona.

    Organizational support was provided by ARRL Legislative Advocacy Committee members West Gulf Division Director John Robert Stratton, N5AUS, and Fred Hopengarten, K1VR, and by Congresswoman Lesko's District Director Keith Forte and Deputy Chief of Staff Brendon Gallo.

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