Welfare reform advisers to lecture at Bates

Peter Edelman, a Clinton-administration appointee who recently resigned in protest over the new national welfare law, and Kevin Concannon, commissioner of the Maine Department of Human Services and a welfare-reform supporter, will discuss the implications of welfare reform on the national and state level at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6, in Chase Lounge, 56 Campus Ave. The presentation, sponsored by the Bates Democrats student organization, is open to the public without charge.

“The bill that President Clinton signed is not welfare reform. It does not promote work effectively, and it will hurt millions of poor children by the time it is fully implemented,” wrote Edelman, former assistant secretary for planning and evaluation at the Department of Health and Human Services, in “The Worst Thing Bill Clinton Has Done,” which appeared in the March 1997 issue of The Atlantic Monthly. “What’s more, it bars hundreds of thousands of legal immigrants — including many who have worked in the United States for decades and paid a considerable amount in Social Security and income taxes — from receiving disability and old-age assistance and food stamps, and reduces food-stamp assistance for millions of children in working families.”

Now a professor of law at Georgetown University, Edelman received degrees from Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He served as a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Arthur J. Goldberg before taking a job in the Kennedy administration’s Justice Department. He has been director of the New York State Division for Youth and has written many articles and op-ed columns on public-policy issues ranging from poverty to privacy.

Concannon, Maine’s Department of Human Services commissioner since February 1995, advised the Clinton administration on welfare reform as a member of the American Public Welfare Association’s Welfare Reform Work Group. He was director of Oregon’s Department of Human Resources from 1987 to 1995 and was commissioner of the Maine Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation from 1980 to 1987.

Concannon has been a member of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s advisory council on children’s mental health and the Kennedy School of Government’s advisory group on mental health leadership. He also has been an adjunct professor of social work at Portland (Ore.) State University and the University of Connecticut Graduate School of Social Work. A graduate of Cheverus High School in Portland, Maine, he received a bachelor’s degree from Saint Francis Xavier University and an M.S.W. from Saint Francis Xavier and the Maritime School of Social Work.

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