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Senator Mike Gravel

After serving four years in the Alaskan State legislature, the latter two as Speaker of the House, Mike Gravel represented Alaska in the U.S. Senate from 1969-1981.

Senator Gravel served on the Finance, Interior, and the Environment and Public Works committees, chairing the Energy, Water Resources, and the Environmental Pollution subcommittees, and was a prime mover in many of the critical issues of the day, including:

Cannikin Nuclear Tests
The Peaceful Atom
Peacetime Draft
The Pentagon Papers
A Greek Relationship
Law Of The Sea
Red China
Native Claims Settlement Act
The Alaska Pipeline
Satellite Communications
Circumpolar Conference
Like many entering public service, Senator Gravel was idealistically committed to improving society. Holding public office, he soon learned the real requirements for political survival in our representative system of government. In this system, as a matter of necessity, the people's interests are subordinated to those of powerful special interests. During his years in office, Senator Gravel increasingly came to understand that fundamental solutions can only be brought about by the people. It is the confluence of this realization, his experience as an elected representative, and his idealism that has equipped Senator Gravel to craft a process that will empower the people. In the early 1990's, Senator Gravel founded Philadelphia II, the nonprofit entity whose mission is to bring this process to fruition. He has also founded other nonprofits including The Democracy Foundation to promote democracy and citizen empowerment worldwide.

Senator Gravel's approach is rooted in a simple and complete faith in the people's ability to play a constructive legislative role in their own self-governance. He does not naively dismiss the negative elements of human nature, but is convinced that an improved structure for governance - direct democracy - will call forth the better side of our nature.

Senator Gravelís business activities have encompassed real estate, finance, and energy. He enlisted in the U.S. Army (1951-54) and served as an adjutant in the Communications Intelligence Services and as a Special Agent in the Counter Intelligence Corps.

Mike Gravel received a B.S. in Economics at Columbia University, New York, and holds four honorary degrees in law and public affairs. He lectures and writes about governance, capitalism, energy, environmental issues, and direct democracy. He is married to Whitney Stewart Gravel and has two grown children and three grand children.

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