The National Legal Aid & Defender Association (NLADA) announced that U.S. Representative Artur Davis, a Democrat representing Alabama's seventh congressional district, was the keynote speaker at the NLADA 2008 Annual Conference, November 19-21, which was in Washington, DC. The title of the conference was "Creating Change, Achieving Justice."
A champion for the poor, Congresman Davis was a pivotal leader in restoring funding to the HOPE VI program for renovating public housing, where he persuaded more than 60 Republicans to vote with Democrats to save HOPE VI. As chair of the health care subcommittee of Alabama Gov. Bob Riley's Black Belt Action Commission, Davis expanded the delivery of health care services to African American residents living in the rural "Black Belt" region of western Alabama.
"As a national leader in preserving and enhancing basic human rights of those in need, Rep. Davis has helped thousands of people in his home state of Alabama, as well as across the country, achieve the fundamental promise of equality," said Jo-Ann Wallace, NLADA president and CEO. "It was an honor to welcome him to NLADA's 2008 Annual Conference."
Rep. Davis was born in 1967 and raised in a low-income area of West Montgomery, Alabama. He excelled in school, graduating Magna Cum Laude from Harvard University in 1990 and Cum Laude from Harvard Law School in 1993. During law school, instead of accepting a summer job at an elite law firm, he returned to his roots and interned at the Southern Poverty Law Center.Davis then clerked for Judge Myron Thompson, one of the first African American judges appointed to the federal bench in Alabama.Following his clerkship, he served as an assistant United States attorney for the Middle District of Alabama where he prosecuted white collar crime and high level drug dealers. From 1998 until his 2002 election to Congress, Rep. Davis practiced law in Birmingham with a focus on criminal defense and workplace discrimination.
Congressman Davis has been recognized by the Washington Post, the National Journal and CNN as one of the future leaders to watch in Washington.
For more information on the 2008 NLADA Annual Conference please visit www.nlada.org/training.