The White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships decamped Washington, DC for Portland, Ore. this week where staff members from the office met with local faith and non-profit leaders to talk about ways the Obama Administration stands ready to partner with local leaders:
The White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships works to build bridges between the federal government and nonprofit organizations, both secular and faith-based, to better serve Americans in need. The Office advances this work through 11 Agency Centers across government and a Strategic Advisor at the Corporation for National and Community Service.
So what exactly does the office do?
In addition to its daily work, President Obama has asked the Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships to focus on four special priorities. These priorities are:
Unlike the office as operated under the previous administration, the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships does not hand out grants. President Obama has also insisted that all people of faith - and secular neighborhood bodies -be welcomed at the table. So you'll see progressive Christians working alongside conservative evangelicals, Muslims, Jews, atheists, and a wide-cross section of Americans committed to the common good.
The White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, along with the White House Office Of Public Engagement, works to make sure that diverse voices are heard as policy decisions are debated at the highest levels of government.
President Obama has done a commendable job of creating a faith-based program that removes politics from funding decisions and is inclusive of all faith traditions - along with secular neighborhood groups. We can also be proud that this president has worked to protect religious liberty (despite what political partisans might argue) while tackling difficult issues.
Having the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships in Portland this week was of special importance to me, as it gave me to chance to see friends Joshua DuBois and Michael Wear. Josh is special assistant to the president and executive director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships and Mike is one of his top aides. I deeply admire their work and committment to our nation.
You can follow the work of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships here.