Takoma Park Mayor Kathy Porter was awarded the 2005 Outstanding Elected Official Award by the national Association of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (AMPO) for her work in transportation planning in the metropolitan Washington area. She has represented Takoma Park for 12 years on the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board.
Porter was recognized for advocating regional transportation funding solutions, pedestrian safety, and improved transit information as well as actively working with populations that lack access to transportation such as minority communities, low-income residents, and people with disabilities. Last October, she championed Disability Awareness Day, an event where TPB members accompanied people with disabilities from Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia and a member of the media to highlight the important role accessible transportation plays on their trips to work.
“Transportation and pedestrian safety are important issues for local governments,” Porter said. “I am honored to receive this award and especially pleased to lead the effort to include the voices of minorities, low-income residents and people with disabilities.”
In 2000, as TPB Chair, Porter brought together congressional and state lawmakers in a high-profile public forum to raise awareness of the region’s transportation funding crisis. Under her leadership, the TPB also created an Access for All Advisory Committee to ensure dialogue between area leaders and communities that can sometimes get left out of transportation planning process.
“I have a great respect for Kathy Porter and her ability to grasp the issues involved in addressing the transportation needs of a number of chronically underserved populations,” said Access for All Advisory Committee Member, Dr. Raymond Keith. “Her sincerity and commitment provides AFA members hope that we can accomplish something.”
Current TPB Chair Phil Mendelson received the award on Porter’s behalf during an AMPO conference in Denver last week and presented her with the honor at today’s monthly TPB meeting at the Council of Governments. AMPO is nonprofit, national organization serving the needs and interests of metropolitan planning organizations, such as this area’s TPB.