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International Conference on Asphalt and Traffic

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The Honorable David Koehler

Assistant Majority Leader

Illinois Senate

is presented with the 2020 Heartland Sustainability Award for his commitment to sustainability.

State Senator Dave Koehler, Peoria (District 46) has served in the Illinois State Senate since first getting elected in 2006. In the Senate he has been the committee chair of Local Government, Agriculture and Environment and Conservation. Prior to his election, he served as Executive Director of the Peoria Area Labor Management Council (PALM) for 21 years.

The Hon. Senator David Koehler was promoted to Assistant Majority Leader in the Illinois Senate in 2019 in recognition of his leadership in stewarding some of the most important bills and legislative initiatives in the Illinois government over the past decade. He is an exemplar of someone who is dedicated to developing long-term solutions – he has demonstrated this time and again in business and in his various roles as a public servant. More than 40 years ago, he worked with Cesar Chavez for six years with the United Farm Workers Union and that passion to serve has continued. His work on the Peoria City Council and as an Illinois Senator led to many breakthroughs in education, agriculture, environment, and sustainability areas with impressive contributions such as the $31 billion capital bill in 2009. He was a clear voice on the most recent the $45 billion capital bill in 2019. It is fair to say that after Hon Sen. Cullerton, Hon. Sen. Koehler played the most crucial role in the passage of the bill with bipartisan support.

As an outspoken advocate for health care reform, he sponsored initiatives to expand and improve health care, especially for Illinois' vulnerable citizens. Koehler also has worked tirelessly on behalf of green industry to ensure that Illinois is at the forefront of technological innovation and responsible agricultural programs. He believes that finding green alternatives will not only restore environmental health but also provide stable economic growth. He has successfully provided funding for renewable energy companies and encouraged the use of local food products. He is a strong champion for labor groups and workers and understands that management must be engaged in the conversation to help create win-win solutions.

I want to thank Dr. Amir Al-Khafaji and the ICAT executive board for the honor of being this year’s sustainability award winner. I also want to thank Mayor Jim Ardis for his inspiration behind the creation of this award. It is very humbling to be singled out in this way, especially when there are so many talented and committed people involved in ICAT. I’m especially honored to accept this award because of the reputation of ICAT as one of the premier conferences on transportation infrastructure not only in this country, but across the globe. Dr. AlKafaji‘s ability to bring together stakeholders and political leaders has truly been amazing and has been a catalyst in furthering the development of first class transportation systems and infrastructure in Illinois and beyond.

    Senator Koehler is a genuine public servant and is a true reflection of all that is good in our politics. He is a man of integrity, decency and unmatched dedication to social justice, economic development and environmental health. He is a sincere advocate for the less fortunate and a loyal friend. His legacy will long endure and his actions bring honor to this award.  Dr. Al-Khafaji