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Michael Dukakis to discuss high-speed rail, teach workshop, on Feb. 8 visit to UC Berkeley
04 February 2002

By Kathleen Maclay, Media Relations

Michael Dukakis
Michael Dukakis, acting chairman of Amtrak
 

Berkeley - Michael Dukakis, the former Massachusetts governor and presidential candidate who is acting chair of Amtrak's board of directors, will visit the University of California, Berkeley, on Friday (Feb. 8) to talk about "High-Speed Rail: The Critical Link."

The guest of UC Berkeley's Institute of Urban & Regional Development and University of California Transportation Center, Dukakis will hold a seminar about a first-class high-speed rail network that he says is the answer to the United States' transportation crisis. He will field questions after his 1:30 p.m.-3 p.m. presentation in Sibley Auditorium at the Bechtel Engineering Center.

The event is free and open to the public.

His talk follows on the heels of an announcement by Amtrak that it needs $1.2 billion in federal funds for fiscal year 2003 or the national passenger railroad may cut long-distance train service next fall. Dukakis has stumped for increased funding and public support for Amtrak and high-speed rail.

A veteran of the Massachusetts Legislature and three-term governor of Massachusetts, Dukakis was the 1988 Democratic candidate for president, running against George H. W. Bush.

As governor, he enacted a economic development policy and communication system analyzed by UC Berkeley planning graduate students Robert Smith and Eric Nakajima in a paper published last year by Northeastern University in Boston.

"It was basically smart growth policy, but they just didn't call it that back then," said Smith. The concept of "smart growth" is drawing attention from planners and politicians trying to guide development so as to minimize sprawl and congestion, and make more liveable, sustainable communities.

Also on Friday, Dukakis, who is a visiting professor at UCLA's School of Public Policy and Social Research, will lead a workshop of UC Berkeley planning students. They will examine the Massachusetts policy that relied on a development cabinet, regional coordinators who solicited local input, and a carefully organized communication system that assured local communities' voices were heard.

That workshop is not open to the public, but instead is offered as a tool for helping planning students understand how public policies can be translated from theory into practice.

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