Rainbow/PUSH Coalition opens conference with show of force Jackson hopes groups can set nation's agenda

August 13, 1998|By KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE

CHICAGO -- The Rev Jesse L. Jackson, surrounded by representatives of national civil rights and social justice organizations, opened the annual conference of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition yesterday with the promise to weld those organizations into a force capable of "setting the agenda" for the next presidential election.

"We need to weave these strips into a basket," Jackson said.

The show of force included Patricia Ireland, president of the National Organization for Women; Rick Dovalina, president of the League of United Latin American Citizens; Rabbi Steven Jacobs, a representative of the Central Conference of American Rabbis; Martin Luther King III, president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; and Kweisi Mfume, president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Jackson said the groups agreed on a 10-point "agenda for the new millennium" which they hope to present to President Clinton and Attorney General Janet Reno.

Among the agenda's goals are enforcement of civil rights laws, protection of immigrant rights, appointment of more nonwhites to judgeships and enactment of health care reform.

Pub Date: 8/13/98

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