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Congresswoman Waters Addresses National Bar Association in New Orleans

August 17, 2010
Press Release

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) received a standing ovation at the National Bar Association's 85th Annual Convention and Exhibits in New Orleans last week, where she took the podium to explain her legislation creating Offices of Minority and Women Inclusion in the federal government's financial services agencies.

She gave a detailed explanation of her legislation – now law as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act – and instructed all of the lawyers in attendance on how they should actively submit their resumes and seek out opportunities to lead in this historic accomplishment.

Congresswoman Waters, a long-time champion of opening up opportunities for small businesses and women- and minority-owned businesses, succeeded in setting up the offices in agencies such as the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Treasury Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Reserve, and the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, among others.

These offices, at each agency and each with a director and staff, will:

• Advise the agency administrator of the impact of policies and regulations of the agency on minority- and women-owned businesses; and
• Be responsible for all matters of the agency relating to diversity in management, employment and business activities, including the coordination of technical assistance.

This successful legislation is one part of a strategic plan adopted by the ten Congressional Black Caucus Members of the Financial Services Committee to deal with the lack of diversity, capital, and opportunity in the national minority and women's business community.

"Only 2.4 percent of all minority- and women-owned firms are in the financial services industry. These firms are routinely excluded from federal contracts. This is why I made opening up opportunities for women and minorities at our federal financial services agencies a priority," said Congresswoman Waters during her speech.

After her speech, Congresswoman Waters said, "It's always a pleasure to join some of my long-time friends in the National Bar Association, and an added plus when I get to be in the great city of New Orleans."