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Claudine Schneider papers

Biographical note

Claudine (Cmarado) Schneider served Rhode Island's second congressional district for five consecutive terms (1981-1991). She was born on March 25, 1947 in Clairton, Pennsylvania, and was the eldest of three children. She attended Catholic schools in the Pittsburgh area, and continued her education at Rosemont College, PA; Windham College, VT (BA in languages 1969); the University of Barcelona, Spain and the University of Rhode Island's School of Community Planning.

In 1969, Cmarado moved to Washington D.C. to take a job as executive administrator for Concern, Inc., a national environmental education organization. In 1970 Cmarado married Eric Schneider and when Eric became a research scientist at the University of Rhode Island's Center for Ocean Management Studies, the couple moved to Narragansett, Rhode Island.

In 1973, Schneider founded the Rhode Island Committee on Energy, a citizen's group which successfully stopped the construction of a nuclear reactor in Charlestown. That year Schneider also founded the Conservation Law Foundation, an organization that represented citizens in environmental disputes. She continued as the foundation's executive director until 1978. In 1977, Schneider assumed the position of federal coordinator of the Rhode Island Coastal Zone Management Program and in 1978 Republican nominee for Rhode Island's second district U.S. representative seat. She lost the election to Democratic incumbent Edward Beard. From 1978-80, Schneider was producer and host of the Public Affairs program for WJAR-TV, Providence.

In 1980, Schneider again challenged Representative Beard for his congressional seat and defeated the Democrat with 56% of the vote. She was the first woman elected to Congress from Rhode Island and the first Republican to represent the second district since 1938. In 1982 Schneider became one of two first term representatives to introduce legislation that became law.

Schneider was active on the Science, Space and Technology Committee, the Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee, and the Select Committee on Aging. Her numerous organizational memberships included the Northeast-Midwest Congressional Coalition (treasurer), Congressional Competitiveness Caucus (co-chair), Congressional Caucus on Women's Issues (executive committee member) and the Republican Labor Council (co-founder). Schneider was also active in environmental issues concerning global warming and ocean dumping.

She also worked on issues concerning civil rights, the elderly, women's issues, health care and American competitiveness. She was a leader in the successful opposition to the Clinch River Nuclear Reactor Project and an active supporter of the Civil Rights Restoration Act. In addition, she worked to improve U.S. Soviet relations through appearances on the Congress-Bridge program carried on ABC's Nightline news show. Schneider also participated in the first live unedited satellite TV transmissions between the U.S. Congress and the Supreme Soviet of the USSR.

In 1990, Schneider gave up her seat in the House of Representatives in order to challenge Senator Claiborne Pell for his senate seat. After her defeat, Schneider moved to Boulder, Colorado and became director of the The Artemis Project. Schneider now works as an independent consultant and the Corporate Social Responsibility Advisor to the Board of National Grid. She also works with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on enlisting corporations to pursue strategies for reducing their carbon emissions.