BY JAMES L.J. NUZZO (H ’71) AND KATHERINE ABBOTT (H ‘02) / HOUSE PAGE RESTORATION COMMITTEE
The McKeon Group, a leading Washington lobbying firm, headed by former Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, has agreed to work with the U.S. Capitol Page Alumni Association on a pro bono basis.
McKeon remembers the Pages well, and his family had teenagers serve in the House, before the program was shut down. He said that even he, as someone in leadership, chairman of a House Appropriations Subcommittee, had no idea the shutdown was coming prior to the decision being announced. He said that now is a good opportunity to right a wrong.
The second piece of news is that the election, while not changing party control in the House, resulted in the smallest majority since World War II. Many issues will need consensus across the aisle to move forward, and restoration of the Page program may be something that finds consensus, especially in the 50th anniversary year of the first female pages, McKeon said. McKeon’s long history of working with both sides of the House may offer a unique opportunity to restore the program.
We have worked diligently with the Senate side, especially the leadership of the Senate Page School to provide “best practices” that the House could adopt to restore the program. Once the final makeup of the House is established (at press time several races were outstanding), we will sit down with the McKeon Group in order to map our strategy.
What is clear is that nothing will be accomplished without your help. We will reach out to you in the months ahead, and will want to use the Homecoming as an occasion to advance our agenda. In short, the Committee is excited at the prospects of bringing back the House Page program.
We still need to find a pro bono public relations firm that can join our leadership team. If anyone has contacts that they can use to help us bring such a firm on board, please let us know as soon as possible at Alumni@CapitolPageAlumni.org.