|Keynote Speaker Robert A. Borski, Jr.|
Bob Borski was first elected to the United States House of Representatives in November 1982. He served ten terms representing Pennsylvania's Third Congressional District, comprising Northeast Philadelphia and the areas bordering the Delaware River in Philadelphia.
Since his retirement from Congress in 2003, Mr. Borski formed Borski Associates, LLC, a government relations firm specializing in transportation and economic development issues. His clients have included the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the City of Philadelphia, the Port of Corpus Christi, the Port of Philadelphia, and the Delaware River Port Authority, among others.
During his tenure in Congress, Representative Borski was a senior Member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, serving as the ranking Democrat on the Committee’s Highways and Transit Subcommittee and also the Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment. In these positions, he worked on issues relating to highways, mass transit, air travel, economic development, environmental restoration and brownfields redevelopment. He also served as Chairman of the Committee’s Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee from 1991 to 1995.
He was a vocal advocate for an improved national transportation system and a strong federal commitment to public infrastructure and mass transit programs. He worked consistently to defend public safety, authoring legislation which banned the expanded use of triple trailer trucks as well as legislation which prohibited the dangerous practice of backhauling – the custom of transporting chemicals one way and foods on the return trip in the same containers. His legislative efforts also resulted in millions of federal dollars for SEPTA, improvements to Philadelphia’s interstates, the Philadelphia International Airport, neighborhood roads, and other transportation needs which greatly benefited the Port of Philadelphia and the surrounding area.
For his efforts on the House Transportation Committee, Congressman Borski was awarded the American Public Transportation Association’s National Distinguished Service Award in 2002. He is also the recipient of the Silver Order of the de Fleury Medal from the Army Engineering Association.
In addition to his committee assignments, Congressman Borski represented the concerns and needs of his large senior citizen constituency and served on the Older Americans Caucus, the Diabetes Caucus, and the Prescription Drug Task Force. He also served on the Congressional Delegation to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the ad-hoc Committee on Irish Affairs.
Prior to his 1982 election to the United States Congress, Mr. Borski served three terms in the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives and was also a floor manager at the Philadelphia Stock Exchange.
Mr. Borski is a driving force behind efforts to revitalize the North Delaware riverfront, an area of abandoned industrial sites, into a center of residential and commercial activity. He has continued his commitment to redeveloping the North Delaware Riverfront by chairing the Delaware Riverfront Development Corporation, a non-profit organization tasked with coordinating public and private financing for the City of Philadelphia’s Comprehensive Plan for the North Delaware Riverfront.
In 2005, Mr. Borski was named Chairman of the Executive Board for the Jan Karski Institute for Tolerance and Dialogue. Named after a leader of the Polish Underground during World War II, the organization sponsors programs for young people advocating tolerance, dialogue and understanding. In 2003, the Ambassador of Poland to the United States, Przemyslaw Grudzinski, awarded him the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland for his commitment to improving U.S.-Polish relations.
Mr. Borski also served as a Commissioner on the Benjamin Franklin Tercentenary Commission, a federally sponsored effort to promote and celebrate the legacy of the national founding father. From 2004 to 2007, he also served on the Board of Directors for the Northeast-Midwest Institute, an organization promoting economic vitality, environmental quality, and regional equity for Northeast and Midwest states. He also served on the Boards of Directors for Pennoni Associates, a Philadelphia-based civil engineering firm.
Born in Philadelphia on October 20, 1948, he is a life-long resident of Philadelphia. In 1966, he graduated from Frankford High School where he captained the basketball and baseball teams. He attended the University of Baltimore on an athletic scholarship and, after graduating with a B.A. in 1971, served one year as the assistant basketball coach.
Mr. Borski lives in Northeast Philadelphia with his wife Karen and is the father of five children.
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