The Common Good

White House

Hunger Games, U.S.A

The number of those who’ve benefitted from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has increased nearly seven percent from 8.7 in 2007 to 15.2 in its most recent study.
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A Prayer at the White House

A meeting today of faith leaders with the president on immigration reform opened and closed with prayer.

This was my prayer at the end:

Thank you Lord, for this circle of leaders around the table and how you have brought us together to help welcome the stranger in our midst — to fix this broken immigration system that breaks families and lives.

Thank you for the leadership of Barack Obama in making comprehensive immigration reform such a high priority in these critical months ahead. Guide and direct him to find a genuine bipartisan political path to accomplish something so important that has been needed for so long. We thank you for both the Republicans and Democrats who are coming together to make that possible.

[Continued]

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An Amazing Journey

Joshua DuBois reflects on his years with Barack Obama.
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A Grateful Farewell

Joshua DuBois has been running the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships for President Obama for the past four years, but he leaves the White House today. That Joshua’s farewell party had to be moved to a larger location is just one sign of the respect and affection he earned during Obama’s first term. The President especially appreciated his young spiritual adviser, and read devotional biblical reflections from DuBois every day. At yesterday’s National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama lifted up Joshua’s importance to him and his administration, and said how much the young African-American Pentecostal pastor would be missed; the applause from the audience demonstrated the president wasn’t alone.

I have worked closely with Joshua, and want to wish him my own grateful farewell. I’ve watched this young man grow into this important job. He has been a good listener, facilitator, encourager, and convener; and has worked hard to put faith-based offices in executive departments throughout the administration — a first for any White House. Over the course of the last four years, Joshua has been successful because people both trust and like him, and the farewell comments at his going away party will show that. Joshua has especially worked hard to connect outside faith leaders and the faith-based community to key places and players in the White House to move agendas that we care about forward. 

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DuBois Leaving White House Faith-Based Post

WASHINGTON — Longtime White House aide Joshua DuBois, who heads the White House office focused on the intersection of religion and public policy, will step down on Friday, President Obama announced Thursday.

Obama, speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast, asked DuBois to lead his White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships in 2009 when the Pentecostal reverend was 26, and hoped DuBois could sustain the ties he had helped forge between Obama and religious groups during the 2008 presidential campaign.

DuBois will teach at New York University starting later in the year, according to White House officials, and also plans to write a book based on the inspirational messages he sent to Obama daily.

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Watch: "Fireside Hangout" with Cecilia Muñoz on Immigration Reform

Date: January 31, 2013
This "Fireside Hangout" was moderated by Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and founder of Define American, and guests included America Ferrera, co-chair of Voto Latino's I'm Ready for Immigration Reform campaign, Jim Wallis, President and CEO of Sojourners, Cristina Jimenez, Managing Director of United We Dream and Shervin Pishevar, Managing Director at Menlo Ventures and co-founder of Start Up Visa Movement.

Religious Leaders Call on Efforts to Curb Gun Violence

Date: January 17, 2013
More than 40 religious leaders have signed on to a letter they plan to release on Tuesday calling for politicians to take steps quickly to prevent gun violence. The letter is being released by Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence, a coalition formed two years ago, after the shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords and her staff members and constituents outside a shopping mall in Arizona.

Post-Election, GOP's Immigration Message Evolves

Source: NPR
Date: November 28, 2012
After an election in which Hispanics voted overwhelmingly for President Obama, the White House and Republicans on Capitol Hill are making overtures about immigration reform.

Bibles, Badges, Businesses Call for Immigration Reform

Date: December 4, 2012
“The country is hungry for Congress to work together,” said Jim Wallis, of Sojourners, a social-justice ministry. “Comprehensive immigration reform is that common ground.”