The Leadership Conference is working diligently to see that Tom Perez is confirmed as U.S. Secretary of Labor. Perez is an eminently qualified public servant and consensus builder who has dedicated his career to ensuring that all individuals are treated fairly and have the opportunity to succeed. He has served with integrity and distinction at the local, state and national level, compiling an outstanding record of achievement.
Civil Rights Enforcement Agencies
Civil rights laws, once enacted by Congress, are meaningful only if they are duly enforced by the executive branch.
Various federal departments, agencies, and commissions are charged with investigating civil rights violations, redressing instances of discrimination, and providing guidance to individuals and businesses about their rights and responsibilities under the law. It's important that the individuals selected to lead these departments and agencies -- nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate -- are committed to fair and impartial enforcement of our nation's civil rights laws.
April 2, 2009 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
Katherine Sebelius, nominee to be the next Secretary for Health and Human Services, expressed support for swift congressional action on health care reform during a Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions hearing this week.
In her testimony, Sebelius said, "I think our current economic crisis presents the inevitability that we cannot wait. I believe, as the president has articulated over and over again, that we can't fix the economy of America without fixing the health care system." She added that overhauling the nation's health care system will require containing costs while also expanding coverage to more Americans.
The number of uninsured people has grown from 45 million in 2005 to 47 million in 2006 with nearly 11 percent of all Whites uninsured compared to more than 20 percent of all African Americans and 34 percent of all Hispanics, according to the Census Bureau.
The high number of uninsured people costs the U.S. billions every year, due to lost work time as well as many uninsured people's inability to take advantage of preventative health care services that would decrease the use of costly treatments later. An Institute of Medicine study estimates these losses at $65 billion to $130 billion each year.
Sebelius's confirmation hearing was today in the Senate Finance Committee. She must be confirmed by the full Senate before she assumes the post.
March 30, 2009 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
The commission was created with the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1957 as an independent fact-finding body charged with investigating and reporting on civil rights and making recommendations to the federal government on how to fix the problems it uncovers.
In this video, Wade Henderson, president and CEO of LCCR; John Payton, director-counsel of the NAACP LDF; Catherine Powell, professor of law at Fordham University; and Julie Fernandes, principal at the Raben Group, talk about the role the commission has played in advancing civil rights over the last 50 years and explain why they've decided to provide Congress with recommendations for improving the commission.
February 26, 2009 - Posted by Tyler Lewis
Yesterday, President Obama nominated former Washington Governor Gary Locke to be Secretary of Commerce.
February 24, 2009 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
A Black farmer plowing sweet potatoes in Laurel, Miss., in 1938. Black farmers in the South not only faced the normal hardships of a farmer's life, but also suffered discrimination from the USDA.
Tom Vilsack, secretary of Agriculture, said Saturday that he will make civil rights a primary focus at the Department of Agriculture (USDA).
February 18, 2009 - Posted by Tyler Lewis
Eric Holder, the new U.S. attorney general, gave a speech on race in America at a Department of Justice Black History Month event today.
Check out the video or read the full prepared speech.
February 3, 2009 - Posted by Corrine Yu
President Barack Obama has nominated Iraq War veteran L. Tammy Duckworth to serve as the assistant secretary of public and intergovernmental affairs in the Department of Veterans Affairs.
In 2007, Duckworth received the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights' Hubert H. Humphrey Civil Rights Award for her work on behalf of veterans and health care reform.
Duckworth, who currently serves as director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, lost both of her legs in a 2004 helicopter accident while serving in Iraq. She received a Purple Heart and was promoted to the rank of major while still hospitalized at Walter Reed Medical Hospital.
In 2006, Duckworth ran for an Illinois congressional seat, on a platform calling for equal access to health care, common-sense immigration reform, mandatory funding of veterans' health care, and improvements in transition assistance for those returning to civilian life, particularly for those with disabilities.
"Tammy Duckworth made the health and welfare of returning veterans a priority in her public service work," said LCCR President and CEO Wade Henderson in announcing the award. "Her tireless efforts on behalf of children, families, and veterans embody the true spirit of civil rights and we are honored to celebrate her work."
The Hubert H. Humphrey Civil Rights Award was named for the former United States vice president, senator, and civil rights pioneer whose years of public service, leadership, and dedication to equal opportunity changed the face of America.
February 2, 2009 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder
Today, Eric Holder was confirmed by the Senate to be attorney general (75-21), becoming the first African American to hold this position.
January 27, 2009 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner
Tim Geithner was sworn in as treasury secretary yesterday evening having been confirmed earlier that day by the Senate in a 60 to 34 vote. As treasury secretary, Geithner will serve as the principle economic advisor to President Obama, advising him on how best to manage the federal government's economic policy, at a time when the nation is dealing with a mortgage crisis and a recession.
January 21, 2009 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
Eric Holder with President Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton at a Dec. 1 Obama-Biden press conference to announce national security nominees. Photo credit: Obama-Biden Transition Project under a Creative Commons Attribution license.
Attorney General-designate Eric Holder Jr. vowed to end the politicization of the Civil Rights Division within the Justice Department if confirmed by the U.S. Senate. "The attempt to politicize the department will not be tolerated should I become attorney general of the United States," he told the Senate Judiciary Committee during his January 15 confirmation hearing.
For civil rights advocates, Holder's statements came as a welcome contrast to the recent politicization of the division, documented in a new report detailing how some of President Bush's appointees violated the law by hiring employees based on political affiliations for nonpolitical civil service jobs.
January 12, 2009 - Posted by The Leadership Conference
The Senate started confirmation hearings on Thursday for Obama cabinet nominees. Each nominee has a hearing before the Senate committee relating to the position - for example, attorney general nominee Eric Holder will be heard by the Judiciary Committee, and education secretary nominee Arne Duncan will go before the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
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