The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition of more than 200 national organizations that works to build an America that’s as good as its ideals, recently sent a letter to Congress outlining its legislative priorities for the 112th Congress.
While the priorities are not meant to cover every issue of import to the civil and human rights community, the coalition called the priorities “achievable steps that will immediately help our nation move ever closer to its ideals” and “key components of our long-range civil and human rights agenda for the 21st century.” The Leadership Conference expects it may also have to devote extensive energy in opposition to some other proposals, such as efforts to repeal last year’s financial reform law, as well as a proposal by Rep. Steve King, R. Iowa, to undermine the citizenship clause of the 14th Amendment.
Among the many priorities are:
- Reauthorization and full funding of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (last reauthorized in 2001 as the No Child Left Behind);
- Passage of a new Federal Surface Transportation Authorization bill that ensures equal opportunity and equitable distribution of resources;
- Passage of the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act;
- Ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and Reform of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights; and
- Passage of the End Racial Profiling Act and the National Criminal Justice Commission Act.
The coalition has also reconfirmed its commitment to several of its unrealized priorities from the 111th Congress, including passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act and The DREAM Act and the swift confirmation of highly qualified judicial and executive nominees.