Rep. Schwartz To Be Awarded Honorary Doctor of Laws

By Purnell T. Cropper | May 18, 2010

U.S. Rep Allyson Y. Schwartz will be awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws at the Arcadia University Graduate Commencement at 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 20. Schwartz is serving her third term representing Pennsylvania’s 13th Congressional District, which includes Northeast Philadelphia and some northern suburbs of Montgomery County.

Schwartz is a member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee and, in only her second term in Congress, was named Vice Chair of the House Budget Committee. She is a member of the centrist New Democratic Coalition and is considered a champion for business development, particularly in areas of biotechnology and technological innovations. Schwartz’s first Congressional legislative proposal, which passed as part of the business tax reduction bill in 2007, offers tax credits to businesses that hire veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Appointed to serve as a member of the House Democracy Assistance Commission, whose mission is to strengthen democratic institutions by assisting parliaments in emerging democracies, she has traveled to Asia and Eastern Europe to assist foreign parliaments with both legislative processes and institution building.

Prior to her service in Congress, Schwartz was a leading health-care executive in Philadelphia. From 1990 to 2004, she served in the Pennsylvania State Senate, where she was known and respected as an accomplished legislator with an ability to forge bipartisan partnerships.

Long considered a leading advocate for children, Schwartz spearheaded Pennsylvania’s legislative efforts to provide health-care coverage to the children of middle-class families. Her leadership led to the creation of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) in 1992, which served as the model for the Federal plan that now provides health insurance to millions of children. In Congress, Schwartz has continued to focus on health care, including working for the expansion of federal SCHIP to cover all eligible children. In her continued efforts to reform our nation’s health-care system, Schwartz was instrumental in drafting the new health-care reform law that President Obama signed into law in March. She played a key role in expanding access to primary care doctors, ensuring that children with pre-existing conditions are not denied insurance coverage, ensuring that young adults can remain on their parents’ health plan until their 26th birthday, and eliminating co-payments for preventive services for seniors.

She also has been instrumental in legislative efforts redirecting the nation’s environmental and energy policies toward energy independence and the reduction of global warming. Her legislative accomplishments include creating incentives for businesses to build energy-efficient buildings and securing funding to enable communities throughout the 13th District to revitalize commercial business districts and develop new greenways.

Schwartz cites the influences of her father, a Korean War veteran, and her mother, a Holocaust survivor, as the source of her commitment to public service. These personal family experiences compel Schwartz to be a strong advocate for veterans and their families and to fight for foreign and domestic policies that build democracy, security, and opportunity for all people.

Schwartz earned a B.A. in Sociology from Simmons College and a Master of Social Work from Bryn Mawr College. She is married and has two grown sons.