Scores of federal, state and local officials and private sector organizations will gather at a conference on "Reinventing Consumer Partnerships" jointly sponsored by Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection and its Atlanta Regional Office Wednesday, March 19, in Atlanta. The conference will focus on federal, state, local, public and private partnership initiatives to deal with current and emerging consumer protection issues. "We hope that this conference will bring energy and encouragement to creative new approaches to deal with consumer protection issues," said Jodie Bernstein, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. Leslie Byrne, Special Assistant to President Clinton and Director of the U.S. Office of Consumer Affairs, will give the keynote address.
The conference will explore ongoing and potential enforcement and consumer education programs and partnerships. Bernstein said the program will focus on identifying emerging issues and areas where restructured or additional consumer protection or consumer education resources should be channeled. Special attention will be devoted to scams that may target low income consumers as the result of welfare reform and to restructuring consumer coalitions in the face of reduced budgets, she said.
Byrne will outline the Office of Consumer Affairs’ role in providing information essential to empower consumers to function in the modern marketplace; focus attention on crucial consumer issues such as fraud, personal privacy and the special problems of the poor, the elderly and the disabled; and explore enhanced responsiveness and productivity in dealing with consumer issues in both the public and private sectors.
In addition to the White House and Federal Trade Commission staff, conference participants will include: Office of Senator Max Cleland; Office of Senator Paul Coverdell; Office of Congressman John Lewis, Office of Congressman Mac Collins; Office of Congressman Nathan Deal; Office of Congressman Jack Kingston; U. S. Department of Justice, Office of the U. S. Attorney (Chattanooga and Atlanta); U.S. Postal Inspector; Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta; U. S. Department of Heath and Human Services, Atlanta Regional Office; Georgia Department of Banking; Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs; Office of Mayor Bill Campbell, Human Services Department; Office of the Fulton County Solicitor General; The Atlanta Regional Commission; Administration for Children and Families; Better Business Bureau; The Atlanta Project; The Thomas-Fulton-Atlanta Community Action Authority; Families First; Development Division of the Housing Authority of Fulton County; Literacy Action, Inc.; Korean-American Community Relations Committee; MARTA; Project Interconnections; Atlanta Gas Light Company; Atlanta Legal Aid Society; Metropolitan Atlanta Community Foundation; The Refugee Women’s Association of Metropolitan Atlanta; Jerusalem House; Georgians for Children; Hillside International Truth Center; Cascade United Methodist Church; New Calvary Missionary Baptist Church; Mount Calvary Baptist Church; First Iconium Baptist Church; United Methodist Church; Trinity A.M.E. Church; Greater Rising Star Baptist Church; Antioch Baptist Church North;Central United Methodist Church; Fort Street United Methodist Church; Believers Bible Christian Church; Saint Paul of the Cross Catholic Church; Prosperity Unlimited; and Church of the Master Presbyterian Church.
Copies of Federal Trade Commission consumer education materials are available on the Internet at the FTC’s World Wide Web site at: http://www.ftc.gov (no period). Consumer information also is available, free, from the FTC’s Public Reference Branch, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-326- 2222; TTY for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. To find out the latest news as it is announced, call the FTC NewsPhone recording at 202-326-2710.