The Antelope Valley Board of Trade and other participating local and regional organizations will bid farewell to retiring Congressman Howard P. “Buck” McKeon at a Friday, Sept. 26 reception in the Rancho Vista Golf Club (formerly Cascades) at Rancho Vista in Palmdale.
Reservations for the 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. event are available at $25 per person from the AV Board of Board of Trade office. Call the office at(661) 947-9033 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations and information.
Rep. McKeon, first elected to the House of Representatives in 1992, will complete his more than two decades of representation for the Antelope Valley and Santa Clarita Valley at the end of this year.
During his tenure in the House, McKeon steadily rose to increasingly important and influential positions of leadership, most recently in the 112th and 113th Congressional Sessions when he was twice selected to serve as Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. He was first named Ranking Member of the committee in June 2009.
Earlier in his congressional career, McKeon was the top Republican on the Education and Workforce Committee for close to three years, where he advanced conservative policies supporting school choice, teacher quality and accountability, and higher education access and affordability. In early 2006, McKeon ran the committee as chairman, replacing Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), who became House Majority Leader.
Before that, McKeon headed the House Subcommittee on 21st Century Competitiveness, which examined issues such as higher education, technology in education, teacher training, job training, and welfare reform. In this role, McKeon helped negotiate the formula that resulted in interest rates for the federal student loan program dropping to their lowest level in 38 years. McKeon still serves as a senior member of the Education and Labor Committee.
McKeon is also a member of the Congressional Unmanned Systems Caucus, which he founded to help educate members of Congress and the public on the strategic, tactical, and scientific value of UAVs. McKeon actively supports further development of UAV’s and hopes to more effectively engage the civilian aviation community on UAV use and safety.
In 2009, he co-founded the Republican New Media Caucus to help its members in sharing and discussing ideas about technology policy, and to encourage the use of new communications technologies to assist Members in reaching and providing important information to their constituents.
McKeon was born Sept. 9, 1938, in Los Angeles. He grew up in Tujunga and graduated from Verdugo Hills High School in 1956. After serving a two and a half year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, he attended Brigham Young University. After several semesters, McKeon took a hiatus from his studies, married his wife, Patricia, started a family, and began his career as a businessman in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Becoming involved in community organizations, McKeon served on the William S. Hart Union High School District Board of Trustees from 1978 to 1987. During that time, the city of Santa Clarita was incorporated and its citizens selected McKeon as a member of the City Council. He was also selected as Santa Clarita’s first mayor.
The McKeons have six children and 31 grandchildren and live in Santa Clarita.