Congressman Edolphus Towns (NY-10) has been an unwavering advocate for the profession of social work throughout his 15-term tenure in the United States House of Representatives and NASW celebrates his lifelong career of service to others. Congressman Towns, as a professional social worker with an MSW from Adelphi University, has devoted his life to addressing issues of inequality and social justice. He has served as Chairman for the Congressional Black Caucus and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. President Obama released a statement hailing Congressman Towns’ public service.
Most recently Congressman Towns founded the Congressional Social Work Caucus (CSWC), which represents the interests of over 650,000 professional social workers nationwide and serves as a congressionally-approved bipartisan group of Members of Congress dedicated to maintaining and strengthening social work services in the United States. Learn more about the work of the CSWC including briefings and events held on topics of importance to the profession and to the clients served by social workers.
Additionally, the Congressman has been the House sponsor of the Dorothy I. Height and Whitney M. Young, Jr. Social Work Reinvestment Act. The legislation, which has a Senate companion bill introduced by Senator Barbara Mikulski (MD), addresses the workforce challenges facing the profession such as low salaries, high educational debt, and safety concerns. He noted the bill as one to watch in the CBC Bi-Annual Report, Opportunities for All: Pathways Out of Poverty, and played a role in the first and only Congressional hearing held on the profession of social work in 2008, “Caring for the Vulnerable: The State of Social Work in America.” Congressman Towns has been steadfast in his efforts to ensure that the legislation is passed into law and galvanized the support of over 100,000 social workers who contacted their Members of Congress urging their co-sponsorship of the bill.
Congressman Towns has submitted Congressional Records honoring the 50th anniversary of the Academy of Certified Social Workers credential and in honor of NASW Executive Director, Elizabeth J. Clark, PhD, ACSW, MPH. In response to his retirement, Dr. Clark said that, “Congressman Towns has been an incredible friend of and advocate for our profession. He has consistently used his social work skills and training to work in a bipartisan and effective way to achieve sustainable results. His community, the country, and the profession of social work have been left better due to his efforts.”