Role of Federal Government in Transportation Selected as 2013 High School Debate Topic

ARTBA to become major sponsor of National Association for Urban Debate Leagues initiative

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“Should the federal government substantially increase transportation infrastructure investment in the United States?” That’s the question that will be debated in schools across America in 2013 as part of the 2013 Urban Debate National Championship Tournament.
The Washington, D.C.-headquartered American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) is lending its support next year by becoming a major sponsor of the tournament held annually by the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues (NAUDL). The tournament is in its sixth year.

The NAUDL Urban Debate National Championship, which will bring together more than 75 high school students and their coaches from 19 cities to determine the top urban debaters in the U.S., takes place April 18-21 in the Nation’s Capital and includes events at Georgetown University.

ARTBA’s sponsorship will also allow its member firms and state chapters to build public awareness and participate as volunteers in the local tournaments that will ultimately determine which teams and coaches square off in the finals in Washington.

The association said it would be preparing an online information resource for students to access information about the historic role of federal government on transportation issues, along with data that shows the many impacts of infrastructure investment on U.S. mobility, economic development, job creation and quality of life.

“We’re grateful for the support from ARTBA. Ninety percent of urban debaters graduate from high school on time. Because they debate, urban debaters are three times more likely than non-debaters to graduate. We’re excited that ARTBA member firms and state chapter affiliates across the country will have a chance to learn about the impact of urban debate in their community and volunteer with local tournaments. And as debaters learn about this important industry, making a local connection may influence a future career choice. That’s a victory for everyone, debaters, their families and local business,” said Linda Listrom, executive director of the National Association for Urban Debate Leagues.

“This national competition provides an excellent platform to increase student and public understanding of public policy issues impacting U.S. transportation development, while also supporting educational opportunities for America’s future leaders,” ARTBA President & CEO Pete Ruane said. “We welcome the opportunity to work with the National Association for Urban Debate League on this project, and look forward to a lively and spirited discussion.”