Senator Ron Wyden to receive Intellectual Freedom Champion award, host net neutrality discussion May 28 at Portland’s Central Library

PORTLAND, Ore. — May 27, 2014 — On Wednesday, United States Senator Ron Wyden will be presented with the Oregon Library Association’s 2014 Intellectual Freedom Champion of the Year Award. Following that, Senator Wyden will host a roundtable discussion on the subject of net neutrality with members of the local technology start-up community and public library leaders. Members of the media are invited to attend.

Proceedings will begin at 2 pm in the US Bank Room at Central Library, 801 SW 10th Ave. with the presentation of the award. The award is granted by the Intellectual Freedom Committee of the Oregon Library Association to recognize “the contribution made by an individual or institution that has actively promoted or defended intellectual freedom in Oregon.” The Oregon Library Association selected Senator Wyden in recognition of his “forceful and sustained campaign to protect the privacy rights of Americans and others around the world in relationship to government surveillance.”

Following the award, Senator Wyden will host a roundtable discussion on the subject of net neutrality, the idea that all Internet traffic travels at the same speed. Senator Wyden’s position is that Big Cable companies want to end net neutrality by dividing the Internet into fast and slow lanes, harming individuals and businesses alike. Joining Senator Wyden for the discussion will be Multnomah County Library Director Vailey Oehlke (on behalf of the Public Library Association); Michael Sherrod, Director, TCU/Coleman Entrepreneurship Fellows Program at Texas Christian University and member of the Executive Board of the Urban Libraries Council; Puppet Labs CEO/Founder Luke Kanies; and Antony Falco, Founder at

“As the son of a librarian, I know that libraries play a vital role in promoting a thriving marketplace of free speech and free thought,” said Senator Wyden. “The Oregon Library Association has an especially distinguished record of championing privacy and intellectual freedom, which is why this award really is a special honor. I am proud to stand with the Oregon Library Association to continue fighting against overreaching government surveillance, plans to end a competitive, open Internet, and other threats to our freedom.”