Obama to create a "President’s Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships"

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If president......

From the Obama campaign.....

The Obama Campaign Today – Tuesday, July 1

On tap for today:

This afternoon, Barack Obama will tour the Eastside Community Ministry in Zanesville, Ohio, The Ministry runs a food bank, a clothing closet and a children’s program for low-income Zanesville area residents and provides emergency relief services, as well. During the tour, Obama will visit the food bank and the clothing closet and with local students who attend the center.

Following the tour, Obama will offer remarks on what he will do as President to build a real partnership between faith-based organizations and the White House.

John McCain visits Indianapolis today to address the National Sheriffs Association before departing on his trip to Colombia and Mexico. Indiana Democrats will be highlighting the impact of George Bush and John McCain’s trade policy: since 1994, nearly 20,000 Indiana workers have lost their jobs when their employers shifted production to Mexico.

Obama will create a President’s Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships

As Barack Obama has said many times, he believes that change comes not from the top-down, but from the bottom-up, and few are closer to the people than our churches, synagogues, temples, and mosques. And many of the challenges we face today—from saving our planet to ending poverty—are simply too big for government to solve alone. We need all hands on deck.

That’s why Obama will help draw on their strength of these groups through the creation of a new President’s Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

Obama does not believe that faith-based groups are an alternative to government or secular nonprofits, or that they’re better at lifting people but. But what he does believe is that we all have to work together to meet the challenges of the 21st Century. Obama’s Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships will help empower grassroots faith-based and community groups to help meet these challenges.

The partnership will not endanger the separation of church and state—but will harness the energy of these critical groups

The new partnership will not endanger the separation of church and state, so long as a few basic principles are followed. First, if an organization gets a federal grant, it will not be permitted to use that grant money to proselytize to the people it serves, and the group will forbidden to discriminate against them on the basis of their religion. And groups will be required to comply with federal anti-discrimination laws in their hiring practices—including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

Second, federal dollars that go directly to churches, temples, and mosques will only be allowed to go toward secular programs. And Obama will ensure that taxpayer dollars only go to those programs that actually work.

Innovative new programs: training larger organizations to support smaller ones, and expanding summer learning programs to serve one million students

Barack Obama will work with the hundreds of religious and community groups that understand the process to train the thousands of groups that don’t. The Council for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships will “train the trainers” by giving larger faith-based partners like Catholic Charities and Lutheran Services—and secular nonprofits like Public/Private Ventures—the support they need to help other groups build and run effective programs.

And the Council will target key challenges like closing the achievement gap. Obama will expand nonprofit summer learning programs to serve one million students by developing partnerships with faith-based and community groups. This partnership won’t just help children learn—it will help keep them off the streets during the summer so they don’t turn to crime.


Be very afraid of anyone who tells you this won't result in faith based hire/fire. This is the scariest thing a "liberal" could suggest. Was ont the fence as to who to vote for, but this has made up my mind for me. Expect a larger than normal percent to vote for the Libertarians, our only hope now.

This kind of announcement underscores the deep convictions to faith that Barack Obama has demonstrated throughout the campaign. Even more, it shows he's willing to build on what a Republican President has accomplished with faith-based initiatives and is never naive enough to think that government can solve every problem.

Kudos to Obama.

Finally! We now are dealing with a political figure who realizes the importance and strength of community organization and development as it pertains to the role in aiding society.

If the programs are successful, and I believe they would be, the government would be able to cut back on financing every program that was ever created to "combat" social inadequacies. We need to focus on human development, agricultural development, and many other "developments" to have long term effects on the way America operates. It would be a brilliant, humble and very humane move. Kudos!

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on July 1, 2008 7:54 AM.

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