Tuesday, February 23, 1999 at Rayburn House Office Building

Our February, 1999 meeting was an evening with Congressman Rick Lazio in his congressional office; a no holds barred discussion of the nation*s hottest issues with an inside perspective.

Congressman Lazio (R-NY) is known for his independent moderate thinking, vision, leadership, knowledge of issues, and strong family ties. Rick is admired by his colleagues on both sides in the House for his leadership, communication and coalition building skills. After only two years in Congress, Rick*s leadership skills earned him the Chairmanship of the House Banking Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity. Rick has introduced innovative, ground-breaking housing legislation including his landmark public housing reform legislation replacing America*s depression-era housing laws with community-based programs that will give public housing residents hope and opportunity to improve their family*s overall quality of life. Health care issues are especially important to Rick, and he has introduced several innovative health reform measures for senior citizens, cancer victims and women.

Rick was first elected to Congress in 1992 by defeating an eighteen-year incumbent in an upset victory with national significance. Rick is a graduate of the Washington College of Law at American University School. He earned a bachelor*s degree in Political Science from Vassar College and, and until leaving his seat in 2000 to run for the U.S. Senate, was the only Vassar graduate elected to Congress.

Rick has been described by The Washington Times as "a man who has had his eye on this chance since he got his degree in political science from Vassar College in 1980." While at Vassar, he worked as a campaign volunteer for U.S. Sen. James Buckley, who served from 1970 to 1976. Rick also was active in student government, someone "who had mature plans for himself," said Colton Johnson, dean of Vassar College and dean of studies when Mr. Lazio was a student. "He would give you the impression of someone who had plans for himself," Mr. Johnson said. "He looks and sounds today as he did then."