Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA)
Representative Charles Rangel (D-NY)
John Podesta, President and CEO of the Center for American Progress
Angela Glover Blackwell, co-chair, Task Force on Poverty and President and CEO, PolicyLink
Peter Edelman, co-chair, Task Force on Poverty and Professor of Law, Georgetown University
Mark Greenberg, Executive Director, Center for American Progress Task Force on Poverty
In February of 2006, the Center for American Progress convened a diverse group of national experts and leaders to examine the causes and consequences of poverty in America and make recommendations for national action. Thirty-seven million Americans live below the official poverty line. Millions more struggle each month to pay for basic necessities or run out of savings when they lose their jobs or face health emergencies. And as a recent Center for American Progress report showed, poverty imposes enormous costs on society — costs that undermine our economic competitiveness and tear at our social fabric.
The Center for American Progress invites you to the release of the Task Force report “From Poverty to Prosperity: A National Strategy to Cut Poverty in Half.” In this report, the Task Force calls for a national goal of cutting poverty in half in the next 10 years and proposes a strategy to reach the goal.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Program: 8:45am to 10:30am
Admission is free.
A light breakfast will be served.
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Senator Edward M. Kennedy has represented Massachusetts in the United States Senate for 43 years. He was elected in 1962 to finish the final two years of the Senate term of his brother, Senator John F. Kennedy, who was elected President in 1960. Since then, Kennedy has been re-elected to seven full terms and is now the second most senior member of the Senate.
Throughout his career, Kennedy has fought for issues that benefit the citizens of Massachusetts and the nation. His effort to make quality health care accessible and affordable to every American is a battle that Kennedy has been waging ever since he arrived in the Senate. In addition, Kennedy is active on a wide range of other issues, including education reform and immigration reform, raising the minimum wage, defending the rights of workers and their families, strengthening civil rights, assisting individuals with disabilities, fighting for cleaner water and cleaner air, and protecting and strengthening Social Security and Medicare.
Kennedy is currently the senior Democrat on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee in the Senate. He also serves on the Judiciary Committee, where he is the senior Democrat on the Immigration Subcommittee, and on the Armed Services Committee, where he is the senior Democrat on the Seapower Subcommittee. He is also a member of the Congressional Joint Economic Committee and the Congressional Friends of Ireland, and a trustee of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
Kennedy is the youngest of nine children of Joseph P. Kennedy and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, and is a graduate of Harvard University and the University of Virginia Law School. Kennedy lives in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, with his wife Victoria Reggie Kennedy. Together, they have five children – Kara, Edward Jr., and Patrick Kennedy, and Curran and Caroline Raclin. They also have four grandchildren.
Congressman Charles B. Rangel is serving his 19th term as the representative from the 15th congressional district comprising east and central Harlem, the Upper West Side, and Washington Heights/Inwood. He is the Chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means and the Dean of the New York State Congressional Delegation.
Rangel is the principal author of the five billion-dollar Federal Empowerment Zone demonstration project to revitalize urban neighborhoods throughout America. He is also the author of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, which is responsible for financing 90 percent of the affordable housing built in the United States in the last 10 years. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit, which Rangel also championed, has provided thousands of jobs for underprivileged young people, veterans, and ex-offenders.
As the former chairman of the Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control, Rangel continues to lead the nation’s fight against drug abuse and trafficking. In his efforts to reduce the flow of drugs into the United States and to solve the nation’s continuing drug abuse crisis, Rangel serves as chairman of the Congressional Narcotics Abuse and Control Caucus.
Rangel is a founding member and former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus. He was also chairman of the New York State Council of Black Elected Democrats and a member of the House Judiciary Committee during the hearings on the articles of impeachment of President Richard Nixon.
Rangel served in the U.S. Army from 1948-52, during which time he fought in Korea and was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star. Rangel has authored several pieces of legislation to benefit minority and women veterans, including a successful bill that established the Office of Minority Affairs within the Department of Veterans Affairs.
In 1987, at the height of the battle against apartheid, Rangel led the effort to include in the Internal Revenue Code one of the most effective anti-apartheid measures, denial of tax credits for taxes paid to South Africa. This measure resulted in several Fortune 500 companies leaving South Africa. In addition, Rangel played a vital role in restoring the democratic government in Haiti.
Rangel is a graduate of New York University and St. John’s University School of Law. He has spent his entire career in public service, first as an assistant U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York and later in the New York State Assembly. He was elected to the 92nd Congress on November 3, 1970, and has been re-elected to each succeeding Congress.
The congressman’s memoir, And I Haven’t Had a Bad Day Since: From the Streets of Harlem to the Halls of Congress, was released on April 3, 2007. The book is a captivating story of Rangel’s life growing up in the streets of Harlem, his service in the Korean War, and his rise from high-school dropout to the chairmanship of the most powerful committee in Congress.
President and CEO, Center for American Progress
John Podesta is the president and CEO of the Center for American Progress and visiting professor of law at the Georgetown University Law Center. Podesta served as chief of staff to President William J. Clinton from October 1998 until January 2001, where he was responsible for directing, managing, and overseeing all policy development, daily operations, congressional relations, and staff activities of the White House. He coordinated the work of cabinet agencies with a particular emphasis on the development of federal budget and tax policy, and served in the president’s cabinet and as a principal on the National Security Council.
From 1997 to 1998 Podesta served as both an assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff. Earlier, from January 1993 to 1995, he was assistant to the president, staff secretary and a senior policy adviser on government information, privacy, telecommunications security, and regulatory policy. Podesta previously held a number of positions on Capitol Hill including: counselor to Democratic Leader Senator Thomas A. Daschle; chief counsel for the Senate Agriculture Committee; chief minority counsel for the Senate Judiciary Subcommittees on Patents, Copyrights, and Trademarks; Security and Terrorism; and Regulatory Reform; and counsel on the Majority Staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Podesta is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and Knox College.
Angela Glover Blackwell
Founder and CEO, PolicyLink
Angela Glover Blackwell is founder and CEO of PolicyLink, a national nonprofit research, communications, capacity-building, and advocacy organization. PolicyLink is committed to Lifting Up What Works, with a mission of advancing a new generation of policies to achieve economic and social equity based on the wisdom, voice, and experience of local leaders who are shaping successful solutions to national problems.
PolicyLink partners with a cross-section of stakeholders to ensure that questions of equity receive the highest priority in addressing major policy issues, including: urban sprawl and smart growth, reinvestment in low-income communities, bridging the digital divide, eliminating racial health disparities, and developing leaders for policy change. PolicyLink is a leading advocate of equitable development, a comprehensive approach that includes the fair distribution of affordable housing throughout regions and equitable public investment.
Blackwell is a co-author, with Stewart Kwoh and Manuel Pastor, of Searching for the Uncommon Common Ground: New Dimensions on Race in America (W.W. Norton, 2002). She is a frequent guest in the media and her appearances include ABC’s Nightline, NOW with Bill Moyers, and National Public Radio. She has been published in the opinion pages of The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The San Francisco Chronicle.
Prior to founding PolicyLink in 1999, Blackwell served as senior vice president for The Rockefeller Foundation, where she directed the Foundation’s domestic and cultural divisions and developed the Next Generation Leadership and Building Democracy programs, centered on issues of inclusion, race, and policy. In 1987 she founded the Urban Strategies Council in Oakland, California, and received national recognition for pioneering a community-building approach to social change through in-depth understanding of local conditions, community-driven systems reform, and an insistence on accountability. From 1977-1987, Blackwell served as a partner with Public Advocates, a nationally known public interest law firm representing the underrepresented. Blackwell earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Howard University and a law degree from the University of California at Berkeley.
Peter B. Edelman
Professor of Law, Georgetown University
Peter Edelman is a Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches constitutional law and poverty law. A member of the faculty since 1982, he has served in all three branches of government. He took leave during President Clinton’s first term to serve as counselor to Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala and then as assistant secretary for planning and evaluation.
Edelman has been associate dean of the Law Center, director of the New York State Division for Youth, and vice president of the University of Massachusetts. He was a legislative assistant to Sen. Robert F. Kennedy and was issues director for Sen. Edward Kennedy’s presidential campaign in 1980. Prior to working for Robert Kennedy, he was a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Arthur J. Goldberg and before that to Judge Henry J. Friendly on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He also worked in the U.S. Department of Justice as special assistant to Assistant Attorney General John Douglas in the Civil Division, and was a partner in the law firm of Foley & Lardner.
Edelman’s book, Searching for America’s Heart: RFK and the Renewal of Hope, is available in paperback from the Georgetown University Press. He has written extensively on poverty, constitutional law, and children and youth. His article in the Atlantic Monthly, entitled “The Worst Thing Bill Clinton Has Done,” received the Harry Chapin Media Award. With Harry Holzer and the late Paul Offner, he recently co-authored Reconnecting Disconnected Young Men, published by Urban Institute Press.
Edelman has chaired and been a board member of numerous organizations and foundations. He is chair of the recently created District of Columbia Access to Justice Commission, and is currently board president of the New Israel Fund and board chair of the National Center for Youth Law. In addition, he is a board member of the Public Welfare Foundation, the Center for Law and Social Policy, the American Progress Action Fund, and a number of other nonprofit organizations. He is currently a member of the American Bar Association Presidential Task Force on Access to Justice.
Edelman has been a United States-Japan Leadership Program Fellow, was the J. Skelly Wright Memorial Fellow at Yale Law School, and has received numerous honors and awards for his work, including the William J. Brennan, Jr. Award from the D.C. Bar in 2005. He grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School.
Executive Director, Task Force on Poverty
Mark H. Greenberg is the Executive Director of the Task Force on Poverty for the Center for American Progress. Over the past year, he has coordinated the Task Force’s research, consultations, meetings, and development of the Task Force’s report.
Greenberg is directing the Task Force while on leave from the Center for Law and Social Policy, where he is the Director of Policy. CLASP is a national nonprofit organization addressing issues of family poverty through research, policy analysis, technical assistance, and advocacy. Since coming to CLASP in 1988, Greenberg has focused on issues relating to federal and state welfare reform efforts; employment, training, and workforce issues affecting low-income families; child care and early education policy; and public benefits issues.
Greenberg has written extensively about a broad range of low-income policy issues. He has authored or co-authored articles for The American Prospect Magazine, the Brookings Review, the Future of Children Journal, the United Kingdom’s Department for Work and Pensions, and other publications. These and numerous other publications and legislative testimony can be accessed at www.clasp.org. Greenberg also frequently provides technical assistance to state and local governments regarding requirements, options, and policy alternatives under the U.S. welfare, workforce, and child care legislation.
The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan research and educational institute dedicated to promoting a strong, just and free America that ensures opportunity for all. We believe that Americans are bound together by a common commitment to these values and we aspire to ensure that our national policies reflect these values. We work to find progressive and pragmatic solutions to significant domestic and international problems and develop policy proposals that foster a government that is “of the people, by the people, and for the people.”