Thursday, December 19, 2013

Conyers & Scott Praise President Obama’s Sentence Reductions, Call for Further Sentencing Reform

(DETROIT) – Today, President Obama commuted the sentences of eight federal inmates serving lengthy time behind bars for nonviolent offenses related to crack cocaine under an older sentencing regime. This decision follows the implementation in 2011 of the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, landmark criminal justice legislation that reduced mandatory minimum sentences for crack offenses and minimized the arbitrary disparity between crack and powder cocaine. Ranking Member of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-Va.), were both the primary sponsors of this legislation in the House of Representatives. In addition, they wrote to President Obama in May of 2012 about the mishandling of Clarence Aaron’s application for clemency by the U.S. Pardon Attorney’s office and pointed out the injustice of his situation. Clarence Aaron is one of the eight individuals whose sentence was commuted today. Reps. Conyers and Scott issued the following statement in response to the news:

U.S. Representative
John Conyers, Jr.
Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.): “After decades of criminal and racial injustice in our drug sentencing policies, Congress took action in 2010 to counter these regressive trends by passing the Fair Sentencing Act. This legislation reduced the arbitrary disparity between harsh sentences for crack cocaine offenders versus those sentenced for powder cocaine offenses. However, many individuals sentenced prior to the Fair Sentencing Act being signed into law remain unfairly behind bars today. Today, President Obama commuted the sentences of eight such individuals serving excessive sentences. As we work in Congress to bring fairness and justice back into our criminal justice laws, I welcome this step by the President. ”

Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-Va.): “Today, President Obama commuted the prison terms of eight men and women who were sentenced under unfair sentencing laws. Commuting these sentences was the right thing to do.  But eight commutations does not fix a broken system. Congress must enact sentencing reform measures such as H.R. 3382, the Smarter Sentencing Act, which would allow courts to make individualized assessments in nonviolent drug cases by allowing courts to resentence defendants consistent with the bipartisan Fair Sentencing Act, and H.R. 1695, the Justice Safety Valve Act, which would give judges authority to sentence offenders below the mandatory minimums if those mandatory sentences would be unjust.  Congress should pass these bills next year so we can begin to fix the failed sentencing system.”

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Conyers & Progressive Caucus Laud NSA Review, Urges President Obama to Swiftly Undertake Necessary Reforms

(DETROIT) – Today, Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) Co-Chairs Reps. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) joined Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), CPC member and Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, to urge the president to take swift action on 46 recommendations made by a presidential taskforce to reform the surveillance program at the National Security Agency (NSA) to protect Americans’ civil liberties:

U.S. Representative
John Conyers, Jr.
Rep. John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich): “The panel’s lengthy report is a good first step towards meaningful reform. Perhaps most importantly, the panel explicitly rejects the false choice between security and liberty that has dominated the public debate for far too long. I welcome this report as a starting point in our work towards comprehensive surveillance reform.”

Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.): “As I’ve said before, Senator Obama would not have supported this program under President Bush. A secretive intelligence agency gathering millions of communications records and using them as it sees fit is the kind of excess many of us warned about after the Patriot Act became law. Continuing this program indefinitely gives the impression of being under constant siege and needing to know everything at all times to keep us safe. I find that a very troubling view of American security policy. We’re being assured that this is limited, supervised and no big deal. When we heard the same under President Bush, we weren’t comfortable taking his word for it and moving on. I feel the same today.”

Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.): “The report released yesterday demonstrates that the White House and the National Security Agency must make meaningful changes to safeguard the privacy of Americans. I hope the President takes the recommendations in the report seriously and requires the intelligence community to respect Americans’ right to privacy.  Our national security should not compromise the freedom guaranteed to each citizen in our constitution.”

Protecting Civil Liberties is a key component of the CPC’s mission. This report, as well as constitutional questions raised by a recent federal court ruling, highlights the need for more robust oversight of any and all domestic spying programs that infringe on American’s civil liberties.

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After Federal Ruling, Conyers Renews Calls for Legislative Hearings on Surveillance Reform

(DETROIT) – Today, U.S. House Judiciary Chairman Ranking Member John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) responded to U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon’s ruling yesterday that the National Surveillance Agency’s (NSA) bulk metadata collection program, which collects information on virtually all telephone calls in the United States, is likely unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition of unreasonable searches and seizures. Specifically, Judge Leon, who is an appointee of President George W. Bush, wrote that the plaintiffs “have a very significant expectation of privacy in an aggregated collection of their telephone metadata covering the last five years, and the NSA’s Bulk Telephony Metadata Program significantly intrudes on that explanation.” Following this ruling, Rep. Conyers issued the following statement:

U.S. Representative
John Conyers, Jr. 
“United States District Court Judge Leon’s ruling yesterday that this program is ‘likely unconstitutional’ marks a turning point in our efforts to restore the civil liberties that have eroded since the early days of the Bush Administration. Judge Leon has laid bare the questionable constitutional underpinnings of bulk collection and warrantless mass surveillance. Congress must now intensify its examination of the NSA’s telephone metadata program and other surveillance programs like it, and hold legislative hearings aimed at curing their constitutional defects,” said Conyers.

“Together, former Judiciary Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.) and I introduced the USA FREEDOM Act to end bulk collection, increase transparency, and provide an advocate to argue on behalf of the public in the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.  As the Judiciary Committee continues its work on surveillance reform, I call on Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) to hold legislative hearings on this bill at the beginning of the 2014 session, with the goal of moving legislation thereafter.

“This past summer, Congressman Justin Amash (R-Mich.) and I offered an amendment to a Defense Department funding bill that would have ended the NSA’s metadata collection program. The amendment fell just 12 votes shy of passing—by far, the closest we have come to rolling back these programs since their enactment—and the bipartisan coalition we led last July has only grown in number and determination.  The more comprehensive USA FREEDOM Act has 115 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives, among them more than half of members of the House Judiciary Committee.”

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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Conyers Votes Against Budget Deal, Calls for Congress to Immediately Pass Extension of Jobless Aid

(WASHINGTON) – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 332 to 94 to pass H.J. Res. 59, the “Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013.” This two year budget agreement is the result of negotiations between Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.). Following his vote against the budget deal, Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) issued the following statement:

U.S. Representative
John Conyers, Jr.
“Unfortunately, I was unable to support this legislation as the ‘Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013’ does not address the sequester for fiscal years 2016-2018, and the deal reduces the cost of living adjustment for new service members in our armed forces. Worst of all, this legislation does not include an extension of Emergency Unemployment Compensation, that will expire for 1.3 million Americans this December 28th, and for 1.9 million more individuals in the first half of 2014. The Emergency Unemployment Compensation is a lifeline for millions of hardworking Americans seeking work, and it is unthinkable that Congress would leave millions out in the cold in the middle of the holiday season. Congress should not leave until an extension is considered,” said Conyers.

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Conyers Calls for Congress to Immediately Pass Extension of Jobless Aid

(WASHINGTON) – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 332 to 94 to pass H.J. Res. 59, the “Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013.” This two year budget agreement is the result of weeks of negotiations between Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) following the fallout of the government shutdown and near-default in October. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 sets overall discretionary spending for the current fiscal year at $1.012 trillion; about halfway between the Senate budget level of $1.058 trillion and the House budget level of $967 billion.Following his vote in support of the budget deal, Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) issued the following statement:

U.S. Representative
John Conyers, Jr.
"For the past three years, Congress has coasted from one artificial budget crisis to another, ultimately resulting in the government shutdown - and near-default - that brought Washington to a standstill this past October. While the ‘Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013’ is imperfect, I applaud the bipartisan spirit that produced this deal, returning our budget process to regular order, providing stability to working families, and ending the nonsensical sequester that imperiled public priorities. It is for these reasons that I believe the good outweighs the bad budgetary items, and I cast a vote in favor of the comprehensive measure,” said Conyers.

“Specifically, this bipartisan budget agreement will replace the indiscriminate budgetary sequester, by providing $63 billion in sequester relief over two years, which will replace nearly two-thirds of the cuts to vital domestic programs. This is achieved through multiple progressive revenue pieces that increase fees on banks and increase revenue from oil and gas development in the Caribbean. Further, the ‘Bipartisan Budget Act’ does not make any cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, or Social Security, preserving these essential safety nets. In addition, the agreement patches the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate – the so-called ‘doc fix’ – that reimburses doctors for treating patients on Medicare. This 3 month patch will allow the House and Senate to negotiate a permanent fix to the reimbursement problem.

“Unfortunately, this bill does not address the sequester for fiscal years 2016-2018, and the deal reduces the cost of living adjustment for new service members in our armed forces. Worst of all, this legislation does not include an extension of Emergency Unemployment Compensation, that will expire for 1.3 million Americans this December 28th, and for 1.9 million more individuals in the first half of 2014. The Emergency Unemployment Compensation is a lifeline for millions of hardworking Americans seeking work, and it is unthinkable that Congress would leave millions out in the cold in the middle of the holiday season. Congress should not leave until an extension is considered.

“With these budgetary distractions behind us, it is my hope that Congress can get back to the people’s work - on unemployment, immigration, voting rights, and much more - that has languished due to Congress’s fiscal stalemate.”

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Upon Returning from South Africa, Conyers Reflects on Nelson Mandela’s Legacy of Justice

(WASHINGTON) – Late yesterday evening, Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) returned from Johannesburg, South Africa where he was attending former President Nelson Mandela’s memorial service. Upon returning to Washington, DC with the Congressional Delegation, Rep. Conyers issued the following statement:

"Nearly twenty years ago, in May of 1994, I traveled with President Clinton to South Africa for Nelson Mandela’s inauguration. Under different circumstances, I returned to South Africa this past week for Nelson Mandela’s memorial service. While the homecoming in South Africa was more somber, I will forever cherish the time we spent celebrating Mandela’s life, spirit, and historic work,” said Conyers.

“Following 27 years of exile on Robben Island, decades of campaigning for equality and justice in the face of hateful racial policies, Nelson Mandela changed the course of human history in his quest that ended apartheid. Like the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. before him, Nelson Mandela was a civil rights champion. Only through the strength of his character, and his distinctive blend of courage and compassion, was the oppressive apartheid regime brought to an end. For this, the people of South Africa – and people of all races, ethnicities, and nationalities across the globe – are forever grateful.

“As President Obama stated in his memorial address before the world, ‘a boy raised herding cattle and tutored by the elders of his Thembu tribe, Mandela would emerge as the last great liberator of the 20th century.’ I echo the President’s sentiments; there will never be another man as pure of heart and full of purpose as Nelson Mandela. The world has lost a giant, but his vision for justice will forever continue to instruct and inspire.”

Congressman John Conyers, Jr. alongside former South African President Nelson Mandela during a Congressional Black Caucus reception in Washington, DC.

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A Nearly 50-Year Liberal Legacy


A Nearly 50-Year Liberal Legacy

Rep. John Conyers has served long enough that he can point with pride to an endorsement from Martin Luther King Jr. But he's not done yet.

Conyers says Democrats had it worse from the late 1940s through when he arrived in Congress in 1965, a period when many conservative Democrats splintered the party over civil rights.(Chet Susslin)
Rep. John Conyers, the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee and the only African-American to ever command the panel's gavel, speaks with obvious pride about his nearly 50 years of legislative achievement.
But the second-most-senior member of the House—only fellow Michigan Democrat John Dingell has served longer—can't hide his frustration at being back in the minority party.
"It's easier to be chairman than a former chairman," the courtly, 84-year-old Conyers deadpans, half-jokingly.
Conyers does not offer anything specifically negative about the current Judiciary chairman, Bob Goodlatte of Virginia. Rather, he says of Republicans on the committee generally: "These guys aren't uncivil or unfair. It's that we have a different perspective in what we're trying to get accomplished."
At the same time, there is no sympathy from Conyers for the turmoil Goodlatte, Speaker John Boehner, and other GOP leaders are experiencing because of pressure from conservatives in their party. He says Democrats had it worse from the late 1940s through when he arrived in Congress in 1965, a period when many conservative Democrats splintered the party over civil rights.
"When you consider turmoil—the folks around here now, they haven't seen anything," he said.
Conyers has always served on the Judiciary Committee—the first African-American to do so—since coming to the House in 1965 as a young lawyer representing a Detroit-area district.
From that committee, he has remained a fixture on the American political scene, spanning the era of civil-rights and voting-rights struggles through divisive presidential impeachment proceedings and the Iraq War. His ascension to Judiciary chairman occurred in 2007 after House Democrats were swept into the majority, only to see his gavel taken away when Republicans regained control in 2011.
"Given that committee's pivotal role in blocking major civil-rights measures for decades across the 20th century, I suspect that his chairmanship will be recognized as a key moment in congressional history," says Sarah Binder, a senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution and professor of political science at George Washington University.
While it may be too early to write the final chapter of Conyers's congressional legacy, his nearly half-century on Capitol Hill has left a long record of legislative activity. Conyers has sponsored bills and worked on issues involving voting-rights extensions, domestic violence, hate-crime prevention, fair sentencing, and increased access to health care.
Conyers holds the distinction of being the only member of Congress involved in the impeachment proceedings against two presidents. Conyers also was one of the 13 founding members of the Congressional Black Caucus. He proudly notes that he was the only African-American candidate ever endorsed by Martin Luther King Jr., and he employed civil-rights icon Rosa Parks on his congressional staff from 1965 to 1988.
"The legislation that I'm most pleased with—the King holiday bill—didn't come out of the [Judiciary] Committee," Conyers said of his 18-year battle to pass legislation commemorating King's life with a federal holiday, signed by President Reagan in 1983.
Conyers has led a number of notable congressional investigations, including one ending in a 2006 report based on hearings and documents that determined that President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and administration officials had misled Congress about the decision to go to war in Iraq. And as Judiciary chairman in 2007, Conyers led an investigation of U.S. attorney firings under Bush. His committee and the House held several administration officials in contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate.
Of course, there also have been setbacks. He ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Detroit twice, in 1989 and 1993. And in 2009, his wife, who was the Detroit City Council president pro tem, pleaded guilty to taking bribes and received a prison sentence.
Today, Conyers remains very much the same soft-spoken lawmaker he always has been, although he's still aggressively liberal. In National Journal's vote ratings for 2012, Conyers was ranked tied with 13 others as the most left-leaning members in the House. "I have never been attacked for being a conservative proponent of anything," he said.
But his aim has not always been trained on the opposition. For instance, he has been critical of President Obama for being too eager to placate congressional Republicans. "I think it's commonly understood … that White House lunches and dinners and outings will not get it with them [Republicans]. It will not advance his cause," Conyers said.
Conyers also has taken the administration to task for domestic-surveillance programs, and this year sponsored, with fellow Michigan Rep. Justin Amash, a Republican, a bill that would have barred the National Security Agency from spending money on surveillance of any citizen not already the subject of an investigation.
Democrats don't always agree with him, either. In fact, many on his committee broke with the ranking member and joined Republicans to advance a patent-litigation bill just last week.
But Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., a freshman member of the committee, says he regards Conyers as "a legendary member of the House of Representatives whose presence will always be important and relevant to whatever issues may be on the table before the Judiciary Committee." Another committee Democrat, Rep. Hank Johnson of Georgia, says Conyers is "a man of great conscience and conviction."
Nevertheless, Binder and others say it's simply hard to be influential as a member of the minority party in the House, especially in a period of great polarization and starkly contrasting policy agendas.
But fellow Michigan Democrat Sander Levin, the ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee, says Conyers does his best. "He wouldn't want you to say he's simply riding along on his past accomplishments," Levin said. "He's active. Influential."

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Aspirations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

By John Conyers, Jr,. Co-authored by Gertrude Schaffner Goldberg and Sheila Collins
U.S. Representative
John Conyers, Jr,
On Tuesday, December 10 the world observed Human Rights Day, marking the 65th anniversary of the adoption by the United Nations of a Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is sometimes forgotten that this Universal Declaration has important roots in American soil. The Commission that framed the Universal Declaration was led by Eleanor Roosevelt who was deeply influenced by her husband, President Franklin Roosevelt's thinking, particularly regarding the interdependence of economic, political, and civil rights. As she observed at the time, President Roosevelt believed that freedom without bread was meaningless.
In his Annual Message to Congress in 1944, President Roosevelt went further in joining the vaunted American ideal of freedom and liberty to economic rights: by proposing an Economic or Second Bill of Rights. In this message, Roosevelt referred to the U.S. Constitution and invoked familiar words, phrases and ideals from the American Declaration of Independence:
This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under the protection of certain inalienable political rights.... They were our rights to life and liberty.

As our nation has grown in size and stature, however--as our industrial economy expanded--these political rights proved inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness.
We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence.....
In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all....
Roosevelt's Economic Bill of Rights began with the guarantee of what he subsequently referred to as the "paramount right" -- the right to useful work. It was to be living-wage work that would "earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation." The Universal Declaration, for its part, further elaborated this economic right, calling, in addition to the right to work, the right for just and favorable payment, for equal pay for equal work, and for the right to form and join trade unions.
Unfortunately, this paramount economic right has not been accepted as self-evident, either in the United States or elsewhere. The failure to guarantee this right is not simply a consequence of the worldwide Great Recession. Also at play, is the divergence between productivity growth and wage growth, where gains have gone almost exclusively to the top earners -- exacerbating income inequality. An estimated 18 million people in the United States are working poor, meaning they are employed full-time, year-round for less than the four-person poverty level -- around $22,000 in earnings per year. Meanwhile, 10.9 million Americans are unemployed and an additional 5.7 million "missing workers" have completely dropped out of the jobs search and are no longer counted in the monthly Jobs Reports.
The rise in poverty in America underscores that it is time for Congress to act, to pivot away from austerity, and focus on creating jobs and economic growth for everyone, as it has done historically. Today, millions of American families are struggling to satisfy their basic needs. Our solution to this poverty and unemployment crisis is the "Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment and Training Act" (H.R. 1000), a 21st Century New Deal proposal to put all Americans to work rebuilding and modernizing our communities.
The declared ideals of nations or united nations are important, for even though achievements fall short of aspirations, they can serve to urge humanity forward. Take the paradox of a Declaration by slaveholders that "all men are created equal." Even at the dark moment when too many of the gains of Civil War had been lost, the great African-American leader W.E.B. DuBois urged his people to "cling unwaveringly" to "those great words" of the Declaration. In observing Human Rights Day we must "cling unwaveringly" to the ideals of the Universal Declaration and its stirring American antecedents, but we must seize the opportunity to take stock of the gap between aspirations and achievements in order to urge ourselves forward.
Representative John Conyers, Jr. is the Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee, representing Southeast Michigan. Gertrude Schaffner Goldberg is Professor Emerita of Social Policy at Adelphi University. Sheila D. Collins is Professor Emerita of Political Science at William Paterson University. They are co-founders of the National Jobs for All Coalition, and editors/co-authors of the recently published, When Government Helped: Learning from the Successes and Failures of the New Deal (Oxford University Press, 2013).

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Conyers: 43,800 Michiganders Slated to Lose Jobless Aid on December 28th Without Congressional Action

(JOHANNESBURG) – Today, Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) highlighted a report prepared by the Democratic Staff of the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee showing that 43,800 people in Michigan would immediately lose all of their unemployment insurance on December 28th if Congress fails to extend the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program. Further, the report shows that an additional 86,500 Michiganders will lose access to unemployment insurance in the first six months of 2014 if Congress does not act. For reference: federal unemployment insurance took effect in 2008 and has been reauthorized several times since then as the United States continues to recover from the financial crisis and Great Recession. Failure to extend unemployment insurance will hurt job growth throughout the country, with the White House Council of Economic Advisors estimating that in Michigan alone, failure to extend the insurance program will cost the state 8,450 jobs. After the release of this report, Rep. Conyers issued the following statement:
U.S. Representative
John Conyers, Jr.

“As we continue to recover from the aftermath of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, its critically important that Congress renew federal unemployment insurance that protect families as the holiday season approaches. Rather than treat unemployment insurance as a bargaining chip in budget negotiations, I urge my colleagues to consider the high financial stakes for thousands of families in Michigan and across the country. Failing to extend this vital program would cut off a lifeline for job seekers trying to get back on their feet. To strengthen these families and the American economy, Congress must act to extend this crucial program before leaving Washington.”
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Conyers Forum POSTPONED - “Employment: A Human Right”

(WASHINGTON) – Due to inclement weather, Congressman John Conyers, Jr.’s (D-Mich.) forum, “Employment: A Human Right,” has been postponed. Details on the new date and time for this forum will be announced when the information becomes available.
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Conyers Traveling to South Africa for Nelson Mandela’s Memorial Service

U.S. Representative
John Conyers, Jr.
(DETROIT) – Early this morning, Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) joined a Congressional Delegation headed to Johannesburg, South Africa to attend the funeral and memorial service of former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela, who passed away this past Thursday. As he departed for South Africa, Rep. Conyers reiterated the message he delivered Thursdayevening to the family of Nelson Mandela:

“While we mourn his passage, we know that Madiba’s legacy of fighting for freedom and independence will live on.”

Friday, December 6, 2013

Conyers Announces “Employment: A Human Right” Forum

(WASHINGTON) – In response to the ongoing jobs crisis in America, and on the 65th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights - which includes Article 23, the Right to Employment - Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) announced he will hold a forum on employment as a human right. The discussion will focus on the role government has historically played in direct job creation, how it should participate now, and how Rep. Conyers’ own legislative solution, H.R. 1000, the “Humphrey-Hawkins Full Employment and Training Act,” would address the unemployment crisis. The forum will be held on Capitol Hill in 2237 Rayburn House Office Building beginning at 3:30pm and will be moderated by acclaimed scholar and expert Carl LeVan. The panel will include an esteemed panel of economists, labor and social policy experts, and legal specialists.
U.S. Representative
John Conyers, Jr.
In announcing the forum, Rep. Conyers stated: “We must act now to curtail the currently horrific employment circumstances that have left 25 percent of the American population unemployed or underemployed and unable to support their basic needs.  Without action, these conditions will become entrenched and systemic. Expanding employment opportunities is the most effective means of addressing poverty and strengthening the economy.  The right to employment must be seen as a critical part of our democracy. During tough economic times, if the private sector cannot assure adequate opportunities for employment access, I believe the government has a special role to play to ensure employment opportunities for all.”
Further information about the event is detailed below:

Employment: A Human Right Forum 
Ø  Host – Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.)

Ø  Moderator – Carl LeVan – Professor, American University

Ø  Dean Baker, Co-Director and Co-Founder of Center for Economic and Policy Research
Ø  John Cavanagh, Director of the Institute of Policy Studies
Ø  Philip Harvey, Professor of Law and Economics at Rutgers University
Ø  Thea Lee, Deputy Chief of Staff, AFL-CIO
Ø  Lawrence Mishel, President, Economic Policy Institute
Tuesday, December 10th3:30-5:00 p.m.
2237 Rayburn House Office Building
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Conyers Honors the Life of Nelson Mandela, Champion of Peace & Equality

(WASHINGTON) – Today, following news of the passing of former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela, Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) delivered the following message to his family:
U.S. Representative
John Conyers, Jr.

“With the passing of Nelson Mandela, we have lost an individual who not only freed his home of South Africa from racial hatred, but inspired the world to peacefully resist injustice and intolerance. We will forever remember Nelson Mandela as the wonderful man and courageous leader who ended apartheid at home and changed the course of human history for all. Unbowed by racial animosity and decades behind bars, Nelson Mandela was a revolutionary force for nonviolence and justice,” said Conyers.

“I still remember the humble man that visited Detroit, just months following his release from prison, to organize for his political movement in South Africa and speak with Rosa Parks. And I will always treasure the memories I have, just four short years later, of the voyage I made with President Clinton and Harry Belafonte to attend Nelson Mandela’s installation as President of South Africa.

“While we mourn his passage, we know that Madiba’s legacy of fighting for freedom and independence will live on.”

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