Tag Archives: Political Science

Erakat, a veteran voice of the Palestinians

Long-time Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat was announced on Friday as the man to open dialogue with his Israeli counterpart at meetings in Washington after three years of stalled peace negotiations.

Both Erakat and Israel’s Justice Minister Tzipi Livni will meet US Secretary of State John Kerry for initial talks, the top US diplomat said at the end of four days of intense diplomacy as he consulted Palestinian and Israeli leaders from his base in Amman.

The 55-year-old Erakat, an academic whose perfect command of English is often spiced with humour, was part of every team to negotiate with Israel since 1991, with the notable exception of those who secretly hammered out the 1993 Oslo Accords.

Erakat rose to prominence as a media personality at the 1991 international peace conference in Madrid at which he wore the black-and-white chequered Palestinian headscarf.

Born in Jerusalem, he has been a key figure in the Palestinian political landscape, an indispensable briefer for foreign envoys and a suave tactician who can register indignation when necessary.

A member of the Palestinian parliament since 1996, Erakat was close to Yasser Arafat, historic leader of the Palestinian national movement, even though he did not follow Arafat into exile in Jordan, Lebanon and Tunisia before his return to Gaza in 1994.

In 2009, Erakat was elected to the central committee of the Fatah wing of Mahmud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority and to the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation.

He was an architect of the negotiations on a final settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, from the failed Camp David summit in July 2000 to the talks launched in Washington in September 2010 which were interrupted after less than a month in a row over Israel’s continued settlement building.

Appointed in 2003 to head the PLO negotiating team, Erakat briefly resigned from the post in 2011 because of “responsibility for the theft of documents from his office,” papers which he said had been “adulterated”.

He was referring to more than 1,600 documents on the talks with Israel between 1999 and 2010, released in January 2011 by Qatar-based satellite channel Al-Jazeera and dubbed “The Palestine Papers”.

Palestinian officials worked to limit the damage caused by their publication, which showed Palestinian negotiators prepared to offer significant concessions without securing Israeli guarantees on key issues such as east Jerusalem and the fate of refugees.

Although the documents did not cause major turmoil in Palestinian public opinion, Erakat’s position was weakened at the time by announcements the alleged perpetrators of the leaks worked for the PLO negotiation team he headed.

He had said an investigation into the leaks pointed towards three nationals of US, British and French extraction being responsible.

A former journalist with the independent daily Al-Quds in east Jerusalem, Erakat holds a BA and an MA in Political Science from the University of San Francisco.

He also has a doctorate in Peace Studies from the University of Bradford in England, and he taught at An-Najah University in the West Bank town of Nablus from 1979 to 1991.

Erakat has written a dozen books and lives in the …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

3Qs: Boston shows compassion, resiliency in face of tragedy

Twin bombings at the Boston Marathon on Monday afternoon killed three spectators and left scores more injured. In the last 24 hours, news agencies have reported that authorities believe security video footage shows a potential suspect or suspects. Stephen Flynn is the founding co-director of Northeastern’s George J. Kostas Research Institute for Homeland Security and an expert in community resilience and critical infrastructure protection with a faculty appointment in the Department of Political Science. In spite of the dearth of clues and rampant uncertainty, the community’s rapid response to the attack, he said, “shows the world how a tragedy can be met with competence and compassion.”

From: http://phys.org/news285580383.html

President Obama To Nominate Brian Deese to Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget

By The White House

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individual to a key Administration post:

  • Brian DeeseDeputy Director, Office of Management and Budget

President Obama said, “From helping to navigate our rescue of a financial system on the brink of collapse to retooling a flatlining auto industry to crafting a policy to put our nation on a fiscally sustainable path, Brian Deese has proven an indispensable member of my economic team. He has a deep and intuitive understanding of economic and budgetary policy, and I am confident he will serve America well in this new role. As we continue to pursue a balanced approach that significantly reduces the deficit while investing in economic growth, job creation and the middle class, there's no one better suited to take on this important role than Brian.”

“Brian has impressed me and our entire team with his strong leadership and sound judgment, but most importantly, he never loses sight of who we are fighting for. I am grateful for his outstanding service on behalf of America’s families, and I look forward to working with him in the years to come.”

President Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individual to a key Administration post:

Brian Deese, Nominee for Deputy Director, Office of Management and Budget
Brian Deese is Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy Director of the National Economic Council. From 2009 to 2010, he served as Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy. Prior to joining the Administration in 2009, Mr. Deese worked as a member of the Economic Policy Working Group for the Obama-Biden Transition Team and was the Deputy Economic Policy Director for the Obama for America Campaign. He served as Economic Policy Director for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign from 2007 to 2008. Previously, Mr. Deese was with the Center for American Progress from 2002 to 2005 where he worked as a Senior Policy Analyst for Economic Policy and focused on fiscal policy, international trade, and globalization. He also worked from 2001 to 2002 at the Center for Global Development and from 2000 to 2001 at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Mr. Deese received a B.A. in Political Science from Middlebury College and a J.D. from Yale Law School.

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Source: White House Press Office

Debbie Salce Named Treasurer at Pitney Bowes

By Business Wirevia The Motley Fool

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Debbie Salce Named Treasurer at Pitney Bowes

STAMFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYS: PBI) announced today the appointment of Debbie Salce to the position of Vice President and Treasurer, reporting to Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Michael Monahan. Salce was also elected an officer of the company. Salce succeeds Helen Shan, who will leave Pitney Bowes for Marsh & McClennan Companies, Inc., (NYS: MMC) on March 31.

As Treasurer, Salce will have global responsibility for all Treasury operations, including capital markets, cash management, foreign exchange risk management, pensions, and insurance management.

“Debbie takes on her leadership role as a fully-tested veteran finance executive,” said Monahan. “She is an exceptional business leader who brings deep knowledge of our company and a wealth of professional experience to the position of Treasurer.”

Salce joined Pitney Bowes in 2001 as Director of Capital Markets. She has held roles of increasing responsibility since then, including Vice President and Assistant Treasurer, and Vice President for Enterprise Performance Management. Before joining Pitney Bowes, Salce worked as an investment banker for seven years with Morgan Stanley, Bear Stearns and Citigroup.

Salce holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of Connecticut, and an MBA from the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University in New York.

About Pitney Bowes

Pitney Bowes provides technology solutions for small, mid-size and large firms that help them connect with customers to build loyalty and grow revenue. The company’s solutions for financial services, healthcare, legal, nonprofit, public sector and retail organizations are delivered on open platforms to best organize, analyze and apply both public and proprietary data to two-way customer communications. Pitney Bowes is the only firm that includes direct mail, transactional mail, call centers and in-store technologies in its solution mix along with digital channels such as the Web, email, live chat and mobile applications. Pitney Bowes has approximately USD $5 billion in annual revenue and 27,000 employees worldwide. Pitney Bowes: Every connection is a new opportunity™. www.pb.com

Pitney Bowes
Matthew Broder, 203-351-6347
Vice President, External Communications

KEYWORDS:   United States  North …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

McGlinchey Stafford Awards Diversity Fellowship to First-Year Law Student Kenneth Barnes

By Business Wirevia The Motley Fool

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McGlinchey Stafford Awards Diversity Fellowship to First-Year Law Student Kenneth Barnes

NEW ORLEANS–(BUSINESS WIRE)– National law firm McGlinchey Stafford PLLC announced today that it has awarded Kenneth Barnes the 2013 1L Diversity Fellowship, a distinguished honor given each year to a first year law student. The McGlinchey Stafford 1L Diversity Fellowship represents the firm’s active commitment to a diverse workplace and the inclusion and retention of talented professionals.

Mr. Barnes is a dynamic leader and is well-deserving of this prestigious fellowship from McGlinchey Stafford. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and is currently attending Louisiana State University’s Paul M. Hebert Law Center. Before attending law school, Mr. Barnes was the founder and CEO of Knightcrawler Marketing LLC, a marketing firm based in Baton Rouge, LA. This year the program received more than 50 applications and the firm selected Mr. Barnes because of his proven leadership skills and excellent academic record.

The 2013 Diversity Fellowship includes a six week paid summer associate position in the firm’s New Orleans office, a $5,000 scholarship and formal mentoring by McGlinchey Stafford attorneys throughout the recipient’s law school career. As the 2013 Diversity Fellow, Mr. Barnes will also participate in the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD) Scholars Retreat, which brings together diverse law students from around the country to learn about interview skills, transitioning from law school into practice, the state of diversity in the legal profession and the value of networking, to build relationships among one another and to meet and interact with general counsel and managing partners of the LCLD member organizations nationwide.

“We are all very excited to have Ken as our McGlinchey Stafford Diversity Fellow this summer and look forward to mentoring and supporting Ken throughout his journey to become a successful attorney,” said Mindy Brickman, Chief Diversity Officer at McGlinchey Stafford.

The McGlinchey Stafford 1L Diversity Fellowship represents the firm’s long-term commitment to creating and maintaining a diverse and inclusive work place and to promoting diversity within the legal profession. From the firm’s inception, McGlinchey Stafford has challenged the status quo and earned a reputation as a progressive, merit-based business that rewards individual achievement and potential. The firm’s commitment to diversity is reflected in McGlinchey Stafford’s work as a founding member of the LCLD and as an active supporter of the National Bar Association and Association of Women Attorneys, among others. The McGlinchey Stafford 1L Diversity Fellowship is simply one aspect of the firm’s commitment to attracting, developing and promoting diverse attorneys and starts at the beginning of a lawyer’s career …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Have the Swiss Gone Cuckoo?

By Alvin Lee, Contributor By Maria Guadalupe, Associate Professor of Economics and Political Science, INSEAD The country’s recent vote to cap executive compensation could change corporate governance Switzerland is a country reknowned for its conservative neutrality, so the referendum vote earlier this month which turned corporate governance structures on their heads comes as a bit of a shock. Essentially, 68% of all voters supported putting in place a set of measures that impacts all Swiss firms, regardless of where these are traded.  …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Forbes Latest

Vice President Biden Announces Jake Sullivan as New National Security Advisor

By The White House

WASHINGTON, DC – The Vice President announced today that Jake Sullivan will serve as his new National Security Advisor, starting this week. He succeeds Tony Blinken, who was appointed by the President to be his Principal Deputy National Security Advisor. Mr. Sullivan comes to the Vice President’s office from the State Department, where he served as the Director of Policy Planning and Deputy Chief of Staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“Jake is the ideal person to serve as my National Security Advisor,” said Vice President Biden. “He is respected across the Administration for his intellect, his dedication to our country, and the perspective he brings to even the most complex issues. He has been part of some of the biggest foreign policy challenges our nation has faced, and he’s always handled himself with incredible skill. I’m glad to welcome Jake to my team, and I look forward to working with him.”

Mr. Sullivan joined the State Department in January 2009 as Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy. He also served as Deputy Policy Director on then-Senator Clinton’s presidential campaign, and was previously Chief Counsel to Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, his home state. Trained as a lawyer, he worked as an associate at the Minneapolis law firm of Faegre & Benson and as an adjunct professor at the University of St. Thomas Law School. Mr. Sullivan served as a clerk for Judge Guido Calabresi of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and for Justice Stephen Breyer of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Mr. Sullivan graduated from Yale College with a degree in Political Science and International Studies. He earned an M.Phil. in International Relations from Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship, where he served as managing editor of the Oxford International Review. He earned a J.D. from Yale Law School, where he was an Articles Editor of the Yale Law Journal.

Mr. Sullivan’s formal title will be Deputy Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor to the Vice President.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at The White House Press Office

Ranking the voting systems: Project studies how well states run their elections

Do you live in a state that runs its elections particularly well, or poorly? And how would you know? Until recently, says Charles Stewart III, the Kenan Sahin Distinguished Professor of Political Science at MIT, questions on election performance have inhabited a “data desert”—so while it has been apparent at least since the disputed 2000 presidential contest that election administration in the United States could be improved, hard numbers on the subject have been hard to come by. Until now, that is, thanks to a new assessment system: the Elections Performance Index, released today by the Election Initiatives project of the Pew Charitable Trusts, a Washington-based research group. The index, which evaluates states in 17 different categories using data from the 2008 and 2010 elections, derives in large part from Stewart’s research and organizing efforts; he has worked closely with Pew throughout its development. MIT News spoke with Stewart about the project.
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Phys.org

Tendency to fear is strong political influence

It’s no secret that fear is a mechanism often used in political campaigns to steer public opinion on hot-button issues like immigration and war. But not everyone is equally predisposed to be influenced by such a strategy, according to new research by Rose McDermott, professor of political science, and colleagues published in the American Journal of Political Science.
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Phys.org

Obama Redefines America’s Founding Principles

By Richard Larsen

Obama Forward SC 690x1024 Obama Redefines Americas Founding Principles

Historically, Presidential Inaugural Addresses have sought to inspire and unite the nation and provide directional leadership for the next presidential term. Perhaps to some, Monday’s speech did that. But to adherents of American exceptionalism, it was disconcerting. The president’s speech was laced with references to our founding principles; but their meanings were twisted, misrepresented, and stripped of their historical and definitional significance.

God was mentioned seven times in the address, which may exceed the number of times the Almighty has been invoked by Obama over the past four years, which made their invocation seem superficial. The Constitution was mentioned once, at the very beginning, citing his second term as evidence of its “enduring strength” (in spite of the fact that he has stretched and distorted that document’s limitations on the executive branch beyond recognition of the founding fathers so dramatically during his first term.)

Even the Declaration of Independence was cited along with those eternal classical-liberal ideals of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness that led to the severance of our relationship with Great Britain and the perceived tyranny of King George. It was no surprise that he was reticent regarding the breadth and scope of our current federal government, which arguably wields immensely more tyranny over the American people than the British crown held over colonial America.

Even free market economics were mentioned, although it was in the context that the omnipotent and omniscient federal government must constrain and control it.

Clearly, through artistry and manipulation, precept-by-precept, the principles upon which the American republic was established were being redefined. Those tenets, which are distinctly and singularly American, which once were the pillars that the nation stood upon, were going through a historical revision right before our eyes. They were being reframed, redefined, and reshaped to fit a new progressive lexicon of American patriotic buzzwords that vitiate their original meanings.

The Constitution seems to have relevance since it returned him to power for another four years. But in terms of governance, it seems that to him, it has lost its applicability to 21st century American politics since he can issue Executive and Administrative Orders that circumvent the very document he moments earlier swore he would uphold and defend.

God has no relevance in the godless, morally relativistic, and warped values of the ideology that seeks to make omnipotent government the central component in every American life, replacing an omnipotent deity. As the president’s campaign website so proudly portrays with its “Life of Julia”, the government is to be there at every turn and juncture in the life of the average American: governing, regulating, “helping,” and “supporting.”

And perhaps most invidious of all, Obama presented a perverted sense of “liberty.” No spurious redefinition of liberty could be more antithetical to the founder’s intent than “being true to our founding documents … does not mean we all define liberty in exactly the same way.”

In any language and any culture, liberty is synonymous with freedom. Not just a freedom “to,” as in “to do something,” but also a freedom “from,” as in freedom from control, repression, and tyranny. Each time liberty or freedom were mentioned, the words rang increasingly hollow and meaningless. For freedom to, and freedom from, have an inverse relationship to government growth, government power, and government control, which have dramatically increased over the past four years.

With each incremental Executive Order or legislative Act that broadens and expands central governmental authority, and with every dollar taken out of the pockets of Americans to fund the insatiable spending appetite of government, individual liberty and freedom are disproportionately diminished. As government grows, individual liberty decreases. No wonder, then, that he would frame the concept of individual freedom in the context of “collective action.” The progressive statist agenda is always based on collectivism, not individuality.

It’s difficult to separate the causation, or at least correlation, of the massive expansion of governmental power, and the alarming growth of government debt of the past four years, from the perceived elusiveness of the American Dream. Four years ago, over 52% of Americans still believed the “American Dream” was attainable. That has now dropped to less than 40%, according to pollsters at Zogby.

And regrettably, the perception seems accurate. Between legislative Act, presidential declarations, and bureaucratic regulatory expansion, Investor’s Business Daily now calculates that the government has direct or indirect control of more than 60% of the entire U.S. economy. Energy production, oil production and distribution, banking and finance, manufacturing, logging, mining, health care, insurance, automobile manufacturing, and more are all now controlled by the central government. A strict political classification of such an economy is clearly fascistic, where government controls, not necessarily owns, the means of production. Individual and collective freedoms are sacrificed when government wields so much power over the entire economy.

Clearly typifying the moral relativism of our dysfunctional culture, the phrase “We cannot mistake absolutism for principle” perverts the very meaning of principle. After all, a principle is  “a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning.” As such, a principle is definitionally absolute. When they are no longer absolute, they are no longer principles; they’re simply good ideas. Such facile application of relativism to fundamental tenets like individual freedom and liberty diminishes the principled foundation of our republic.

The implications for the next four years are indeed ominous if this Inaugural Address represents the ideologically tortured state of our founding principles. With fundamental precepts marginalized through redefinition, token relevance accorded the Constitution, and free markets only viable with governmental control of the means of production, we are well on our way to the president’s desired “fundamental transformation of America.”

AP award winning columnist Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, Idaho, and is a graduate of Idaho State University with a BA in Political Science and History and former member of the Idaho State Journal Editorial Board.  He can be reached at rlarsenen@cableone.net.

Photo credit: Dave Merrick

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Western Journalism

Emotion Vs. Common Sense On Gun Control

By Richard Larsen

guns SC Emotion vs. Common Sense on Gun Control

To Americans who can still think, this past week’s sensationalized gun-control presentation at the White House was all show, with little substance. The intended effect was to have us believe that the president was doing something about gun violence; but nearly all of his 23 recommendations are aimed at law-abiding citizens, rather than criminals.

You’d think that President Obama was from California, as masterfully as he stages events, complete with props, isolated talking-points, and emotional image manipulation. Perhaps it’s simply a “Chicago Way” skill acquired from “never letting a crisis go to waste.” The net result was an emotionalized response to a legitimate concern, which should’ve been approached with common sense rather than emotionalism. This administration is perhaps the most adept ever at using fear and emotion to further its ideological agenda.

The props used in the presentation were four children who wrote to the president about gun control and families affected by the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary last month. Such blatant emotionalized exploitation of children for a political objective should be an affront to any sentient person. I couldn’t help but think of a picture I saw the next day of two adorable girls holding a sign that said, “Mr. President, we wrote to you about passing all of your debt to us. When do we get to be on TV?” Sorry, girls. That’s not an issue the president cares about; otherwise, you could be similarly exploited, emotively, as child-props.

The props, staging, and presentation created the false image that if we care about those children, we must stand with the president in challenging constitutional rights and our own ability to defend ourselves. It’s a false dichotomy; for the basis of his Executive Orders is emotional and the recommendations of no perceivable empirical value in protecting those children.

Proving that the 23 executive orders were all show and little substance, or mostly emotion and little common sense, consider the fact that had all of the president’s Executive Orders and Administrative Orders been in effect before last month, Adam Lanza would still have been able to perpetrate his crime in Newtown, Connecticut. As it is, he reportedly broke 20 laws that day. It is ludicrous to presume that a few more laws, regulations, or penalties aimed primarily at law-abiding citizens would have prevented him from perpetrating his heinous act. What those orders will do is impede non-threatening citizens from procuring their own means of protection. The criminals will continue to break laws and regulations to get and do what they want.

At least Obama didn’t issue an Executive Order to ban certain types of weapons, or to enact what is undoubtedly his ultimate goal: the elimination of the Second Amendment altogether and the implementation of a complete gun ban. Had he done so, the consequences could well have turned sour for him with impeachment proceedings initiated in the House, and for the nation, as law-abiding gun owners across the country prepared to defend their rights against the tyranny of an administration that holds the Constitution, and certain inalienable rights, in contempt.

When we approach the issue logically versus emotionally, empirical data must be relied upon, rather than the highly emotional tugs at our heartstrings. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) in 2003 thoroughly analyzed fifty-one in-depth studies dealing with gun control. Those studies included everything from the effectiveness of gun bans to laws requiring gunlocks. From their objective analysis, they “found no discernible effect on public safety by any of the measures we commonly think of as ‘gun control.’”

If we want to be serious about gun violence, first, abolish gun free zones, which blatantly advertise themselves as uncontested areas to perpetrate mass violence. They allow loonies like Lanza to be foxes in a hen house. Armed citizens, like the one in an Oregon mall last month, are the best defense against the Lanzas of the world.

Second, address the gang violence issue in America. According to the Center for Disease Control, 70% of all gun violence occurs in the 50 largest cities (some of which have outright gun bans in place); and 73% of those crimes are committed by teenagers in gangs. Address the societal breakdown in the inner cities that fosters the gang culture, and armed violence drops significantly.

Third, focus much more effort on background checks, including the abolition of the barrier that prevents mental health professionals from sharing patient information with law enforcement on individuals who pose a risk to society.

Fourth, rather than focusing on guns as an ideological agenda, start looking at all violent crimes. According to the FBI, there are 50% more non-firearm homicides each year than firearm homicides, 16,799 to 11,493. And the number one weapon used in all violent crimes is the baseball bat. Neither the bat nor the gun is the problem. The problems are cultural and societal.

And the media must quit playing into the quest for celebrity status by people like Lanza and start praising people like Nick Meli, who stopped the Oregon mall shooting rampage last month.

To solve the complex problems vexing the nation, we need much less emotionalized staging in reaction to crises and much more common sense. Children used as props to advance an ideological agenda may provide a “feel good” moment for politicians, and even some citizens; but they solve no problems.

AP award winning columnist Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, Idaho, and is a graduate of Idaho State University with a BA in Political Science and History and former member of the Idaho State Journal Editorial Board.  He can be reached at rlarsenen@cableone.net.

Photo credit: Gregory Wild-Smith (Creative Commons)

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Western Journalism

Teaching and Leading as a White House Intern

By Christian Peele

The President Smiling with 2012 Interns

President Barack Obama talks with members of the 2012 Spring White House intern class before a group photo in the East Room of the White House, April 26, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Ed. note: Applications are now being accepted for the Summer 2013 White House Internship Program. This blog post introduces readers to Robby May, a former intern who worked in the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs in the summer of 2011. When asked about his internship experience, Robby writes:

Being a White House intern – what an amazing experience! I remember the day I received notification of my acceptance into the program: I was transitioning to teach my fourth period 8th grade Political Science class when my phone buzzed with a call from the White House Internship Program. When I was finally able to pull myself together and tell my students what was going on, they were ecstatic.

During my time as a White House intern, I had the privilege of working in the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs. As a Political Science teacher, working at the White House was a larger than life experience. Seeing and being part of what I teach my students every year was truly an amazing experience.

In the summer of 2011, the Office of Public Engagement began a series of weekly Community Leaders Briefings which brought together leaders and activists from communities all across the country for an opportunity to discuss common challenges and learn how the government can help them as they work to improve their neighborhoods. I’ll never forget one briefing in particular, when the President made a surprise visit to meet and talk with the attending community leaders. As I watched and listened to the President speak with the group, I couldn’t help but be impressed not only by his remarks, but also his compassion and gratitude for the work they were doing in their communities.

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Source: FULL ARTICLE at The White House