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Reid, Kennedy, Mikulski, Colleagues Call On President Bush To Renominate EEOC Commissioner Stuart Ishimaru

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC


Today, Senators Harry Reid, Edward Kennedy and Barbara Mikulski, joined by fellow Democratic members of the HELP Committee, sent the following letter in support of the renomination of Equal Employment Opportunity Commissioner Stuart Ishimaru. The White House has thus far failed to renominate Ishimaru, despite his groundbreaking work on discrimination, reputation of unimpeachable integrity, and strong track record on civil rights issues that have tremendously benefited the Commission.

"Stuart Ishimaru has been an invaluable asset to the EEOC, spearheading many bipartisan efforts to protect the rights of American workers," Senator Kennedy said. "He has devoted his life to fighting for fairness and justice in the workplace, and his experience and expertise is unparalleled. I strongly urge the Administration to return this extraordinary leader to the Commission."

"Stuart Ishimaru has been an effective advocate and an important voice on the EEOC, and he should be nominated for another term," said Senator Mikulski. "We must make sure the EEOC is fighting to keep the playing field level and ending discrimination at the workplace and it's time for us to work together to fix this once proud agency. Renominating Mr. Ishimaru is the right place to start."

The letter was signed by Senators Reid, Kennedy, Mikulski, Dodd, Harkin, Bingaman, Murray, Reed, Clinton, Obama, Sanders and Brown. The text of the letter is below and a PDF version with signatures is available upon request.

July 31, 2007

George W. Bush
President of the United States
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Bush:

We write to strongly urge you to nominate Stuart Ishimaru for another term on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

For the past two decades Mr. Ishimaru has been a tireless advocate for civil rights while serving at the EEOC, the Department of Justice, and on Capitol Hill. His impressive record of accomplishments in public service and his reputation of unimpeachable integrity clearly demonstrate that he is an invaluable asset to the EEOC, and has much to contribute to the future of this important agency.

Even before his service on the EEOC, Mr. Ishimaru's career exemplified his deep dedication to advancing civil rights for all Americans. As Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General, and, subsequently, Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice from 1994 through 2001, Ishimaru supervised cases involving employment discrimination, hate crimes, police misconduct prosecutions, and fair housing and fair lending. Before his tenure at the Department of Justice he worked in Congress providing oversight of the Civil Rights Division, the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Civil Rights Act of 1991. These experiences have helped Mr. Ishimaru to develop an unparalleled expertise on civil rights issues that has tremendously benefited the Commission.

Since joining the EEOC, Mr. Ishimaru has been one of the leading architects of the Commission's new bipartisan initiative on systemic employment discrimination, and has joined with Chairwoman Naomi Earp in refocusing the Commission on race discrimination. He also pushed the Commission to adopt groundbreaking rules on discrimination against parents and other workers who have caregiving responsibilities, and led efforts to improve the discrimination complaint process for federal employees. Throughout his tenure on the Commission, Mr. Ishimaru has undertaken extraordinary efforts to remain in close contact with the front line staff at the EEOC's field offices, and has conducted an unprecedented level of outreach to small and often under-represented minority groups.

Because of Mr. Ishimaru's in-depth knowledge and proven record of accomplishments while in office, we feel that the EEOC would be seriously weakened without his continued service.

The EEOC has long benefited from its bi-partisan structure. By renominating a Republican to fill the vacancy left by former Commissioner Dominguez without renominating Mr. Ishimaru, the Administration appears to be attempting to establish a Commission with three sitting Republicans but only one Democrat. This will seriously decrease the range of opinion represented on the Commission, and could result in less robust enforcement of our civil rights laws.

The EEOC is one of the Government's most important agencies and protects basic rights that preserve the American dream of equal opportunity. Mr. Ishimaru has been an integral part of the Commission efforts to protect these rights, and deserves to be renominated.


________________ ________________ ________________
Harry Reid Edward M. Kennedy Barbara A. Mikulski
United States Senate United States Senate United States Senate

______________________ ______________________
Christopher Dodd Tom Harkin
United States Senate United States Senate

______________________ ______________________
Jeff Bingaman Patty Murray
United States Senate United States Senate

______________________ ______________________
Jack Reed Hillary Rodham Clinton
United States Senate United States Senate

______________________ ______________________
Barack Obama Bernard Sanders
United States Senate United States Senate

Sherrod Brown
United States Senate

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