Congressman Steve Cohen has confirmed as our October 15th morning Keynote Speaker. Congressman Cohen is a fourth-generation Memphian who has dedicated his life to public service. As a child, he was stricken with polio, but through hard work, he was able to beat this debilitating disease. The challenges of living with polio as a youngster taught him early in life how to overcome obstacles through persistence and determination, values which would shape his career as a legislator. Filing to run for office on the same day he first registered to vote, Congressman Cohen stepped onto the path that has defined his life and affected the lives of people in Memphis, across Tennessee and now across America throughout his career in national, state and local politics.
Upon election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2006, Congressman Cohen immediately distinguished himself on the Hill for his thoughtful legislation and quick wit. Speaker Nancy Pelosi even referred to him as the “conscience of the freshman class” in 2008. In August of 2008, he was instrumental in passing a House resolution apologizing for the enslavement and racial segregation of African Americans. This historic legislation marked the first time the United States government has ever apologized for these past injustices. He has remained a steadfast leader on issues of importance to the people of the 9th District, leading the policy debate on issues like infant mortality, universal health care, the economy, crime and criminal rehabilitation, transportation and infrastructure, and of course, education.