FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 22, 2008
Contact: K.E. Schwab
SRU's Laurel Dagnon tapped for DNC platform committee
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. -- When the gavel is pounded at this summer's Democratic National Convention in Denver and the call is made to approve the Democratic Party National Platform for 2008, Slippery Rock University's Laurel Dagnon, director of programming for the Institute for Community Service-Learning and Nonprofit Leadership, will breathe a sigh of relief and accomplishment. Dagnon is one of three Pennsylvanians named by Gov. Edward Rendell to serve on the party's platform committee.
The platform committee is responsible for drafting and recommending a National Platform for approval at the convention. After conducting hearings and forums to collect testimony on issues and policies to potentially include in the platform, the committee is expected to meet later this month to begin setting the platform planks. The platform serves as the basic outline for where the party - and its presidential candidate - believe the nation should head in the coming years.
Dagnon, who is also director of the Pennsylvania Film Institute, has attended every Democratic National Convention in some capacity since serving as a delegate at the 1968 meeting in Chicago. "At the time, I was the youngest delegate at the convention," she said. Dagnon represented Florida at her first convention.
Dagnon said this year she ran for a delegate's seat backing North Carolina Sen. John Edwards in his unsuccessful bid for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination. The Aug. 25-28 convention is expected to nominate Sen. Barack Obama to lead the party in the November presidential election.
"I am really excited to have been selected to serve on the platform committee. The committee is headed by some very heavy hitters, and it will be a privilege to work with them in developing our party's national platform," Dagnon said.
The platform committee is chaired by Patricia Madrid, Judith McHale and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick.
Madrid, who served two terms as the attorney general of New Mexico, is the state's first woman attorney general and the nation's first Latina in that position. She also served as the chairperson of the Western Conference of Attorneys General, which focuses on energy, environment and Indian gaming issues.
McHale is former president and chief executive officer of Discovery Communications Inc. - the company that operates the popular Discovery Channel on cable television. She is known for her work in establishing generous parental leave and flexible work options for employees and establishing a fund that delivered free educational programming to thousands of students around the world. She spearheaded acquisitions of TLC and the Travel Channel and also was a prime force behind the partnership in the late 1990s that led to the launch of BBC America.
Patrick who was elected in 2006 as the state's first African-American governor, is the first member of his family to attend college, graduating from Harvard and Harvard Law School. He was named as assistant attorney general for civil rights by President Bill Clinton. He has also served on numerous charitable and corporate boards, as well as the Federal Election Reform Commission under Presidents Carter and Ford.
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.