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Christopher Edley and Maria Echaveste
Democratic Party
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May 16, 2008

Bill Moyers interviews Berkeley Law professors Christopher Edley, Jr. and Maria Echaveste — he's for Obama and she's for Clinton. They met working in the Clinton administration and now, having been married for nine years, Edley and Echaveste are both advising their respective candidates. The couple have also written together in an article entitled "Color, Values, America" about what needs to happen for the nation to get the most out of this election season:
The next president should recognize that leading the nation on issues of race and rights is not only the way to reach hearts and civic souls but is also a necessary strategy to bridge the differences that could produce consensus on bold progress. The campaign apparatchiks and their cousins in the punditry are wrong. This is not the third rail. This is the way forward.

Maria Echaveste
Maria Echaveste is a lecturer in residence at Boalt Hall at the University of California, Berkeley. From 1998 to 2001, she served as assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff to President Bill Clinton. In this capacity, Echaveste managed domestic policy initiatives that focused on education, civil rights, immigration and bankruptcy reform. She also developed communications, legislative and public outreach strategies. In another area, she coordinated relief efforts within the White House for foreign and domestic disasters, and specialized in international issues related to Latin America. She was previously the administrator of the labor department's Wage and Hour Division from 1993 to 1997.

Following graduation from Boalt, Echaveste specialized in corporate litigation at the former Los Angeles firm Wyman Bautzer and at Rosenman & Colin in New York. After leaving the White House, she founded the Nueva Vista Group, a consulting firm based in Washington, D.C., that works with nonprofit organizations, associations and corporations on such issues as immigration, health care, telecommunications, labor and finances.

Christopher Edley, Jr.
Christopher Edley, Jr. joined Boalt Hall at the University of California, Berkeley as dean and professor of law in 2004, after 23 years as a professor at Harvard Law School. He earned a law degree and a master's degree in public policy from Harvard University, where he served as an editor and officer of the HARVARD LAW REVIEW.

Edley's academic work is primarily in the areas of civil rights and administrative law. He has also taught federalism, budget policy, Defense Department procurement law, national security law, and environmental law. Edley was co-founder of the Harvard Civil Rights Project, a renowned multidisciplinary research and policy think tank focused on issues of racial justice. His publications include NOT ALL BLACK AND WHITE: AFFIRMATIVE ACTION, RACE AND AMERICAN VALUES and ADMINISTRATIVE LAW: RETHINKING JUDICIAL CONTROL OF BUREAUCRACY.

Following graduation, Edley joined President Carter's administration as assistant director of the White House domestic policy staff, where his responsibilities included welfare reform, food stamps, child welfare, disability issues, and social security. He served as national issues director throughout the 1987-88 Dukakis presidential campaign, and then as a senior adviser on economic policy for President Bill Clinton's transition team in 1992. In the Clinton administration, he worked as associate director for economics and government at the White House Office of Management and Budget from 1993 to 1995. There, he oversaw a staff of 70 civil servants responsible for White House oversight of budget, legislative and management issues in five cabinet departments (Justice, Treasury, Transportation, Housing & Urban Development, Commerce) and a diverse group of over 40 autonomous agencies, including: FEMA, FCC, General Services Administration, SBA, SEC, CFTC, EEOC, the bank regulatory agencies, and the District of Columbia. In 1995 he was also special counsel to the President, directing the White House review of affirmative action. He later served the Clinton White House in 1997 as a consultant to the President's advisory board on the race initiative.

From 1999-2005, Edley served as a congressional appointee on the bipartisan U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. In 2001, he was a member of the Carter-Ford National Commission on Federal Election Reform. In March 2006, Dean Edley was named to a national nonpartisan commission created to conduct an independent review of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act.

Published May 16, 2008.

Guest photo by Robin Holland

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The director of the African American Leadership Center at the University of Maryland on how race is playing out in the campaign.

References and Reading:
"Ferraro Quits Clinton Job After Obama Comments" March 12, 2008
NPR's Michele Norris talks with Christopher Edley and Maria Echaveste about Ferraro's comment that Obama would not be where he is in the presidential race if he were not black and the ensuing war of words.

"The Hillary I Know"
Video endorsement of Hillary Clinton by Maria Echaveste.

Christopher Edley at Zeitgeist '07 by Christopher Edley and Maria Echaveste, AMERICAN PROSPECT, December 17, 2007
View video from the Social Justice from a Global Perspective session at Google's Zeitgeist '07. Professor Christopher Edley discusses how he is working to help his law students learn the ways in which they can be effective change agents in the world.

"Color, Values, America," by Christopher Edley and Maria Echaveste, AMERICAN PROSPECT, December 17, 2007
"Our next president must restore the United States as a nation of laws and of rights, rooted deeply in values. This effort must appeal to all Americans and transcend race — but cannot ignore race."

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