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Obama to Community Organizers: “…we’re going to be calling all of you in to help us shape the agenda”

October 13, 2008

“I take the same principles of community organizing and mutual responsibility to every piece of work that I do. And that is what I’m going to take to the White House when I’m president of the United States of America.”
– Barack Obama Heartland Democratic Presidential Forum 6-2-2007

Attendees of the Heartland Democratic Presidential Forum included Deepak Bhargava Executive Director of the Center for Community Change one of the co-sponsors of the event.

Bhargava by the way, “previously worked at ACORN, leading the organization’s policy work on community reinvestment, fair housing and housing finance, working with the media and testifying before Congress.”

Also of note is the attendance of Ahmed Rehab from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Chicago and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.

Heartland Democratic Presidential Forum 12/07

(forum exclusively for thousands of community organizers including Gamaliel and ACORN people)
Obama said ACORN and friends, responsible for voting fraud and the subprime crisis, are going to be shaping policy for an obama presidency

Embedded video

Link @YouTube
H/T Stormin

Snippet from video

HUGHES: Senator Obama, we want to thank you, sir, for joining us today. We have one last question. Last question, yes or no, a little embellishment if you would like, if elected president of the United States, would you agree, in your first 100 days, to meet with a delegation of representatives from these various community organizations, the Campaign for Community Values (Coordinating Council), could they count on you in your first 100 days to sit down with them?

OBAMA: Yes, let me even say, before I even get inaugurated, during the transition, we’re going to be calling all of you in to help us shape the agenda.


We’re going to be having meetings all across the country with community organizations so that you have input into the agenda for the next presidency of the United States of America.

Thank you, everybody. God bless you. Thank you.


Tony Boatman didn’t care if he didn’t get to say nothing else except what he’s getting ready to say next. Without further ado, we will welcome, from the great state of Illinois, the honorable Senator Barack Obama.


Senator Barack Obama, we welcome you.


BOATMAN: I knew that was going to take a while.

HUGHES: That’s why you wanted to do this part, right, Tony Boatman?

BOATMAN: I’ve waited to do this part.

Senator Obama, the people here today believe in community values, the idea that we are stronger when we act together. We think that our government should consider everyone and not just the privileged few. We think that our government should also enact policies that reflect that.

But lately, we’ve been led down the wrong path. Whether that be because of reactions to — the shameful reactions to Hurricane Katrina, or the favoring of factory farms at the expense of local farmers, we have seen this country dominated by a go-it-alone mentality. We call this the politics of division.

But I know, as well as you know, that, in America, we can do better. And so the question, Senator Obama, is…

HUGHES: If you are elected president — you knew it was going to come from me, right? If you are elected president, will you be willing to make the hard decisions that ensure that we as a country live up to our community values?

OBAMA: Absolutely.


It is great to see everybody. Let me just, for those of you who don’t know my background, let me just explain, that this idea of community values is not just a cause of a campaign for me. It is the cause of my life.

The reason — you know, some of you know I live in the Chicago now, but I didn’t originally come from Chicago. I moved to Chicago after college because I wanted to work at a grassroots level for people who needed help on the south side of Chicago. And I worked as a community organizer for the first three years of my career after college.


And it is important for America that we recognize responsibility is not just for ourselves, but for each other, that we’re not in this on our own. And we’ve had an administration over the last seven years that tells us that you’re on your own. We’ve had businesses that say “What’s in it for me?” instead of “What’s in it for us?”

And as a consequence, America has been weaker, and the American dream has been slipping away.

I take the same principles of community organizing and mutual responsibility to every piece of work that I do. And that is what I’m going to take to the White House when I’m president of the United States of America.

Transcript of Deepak Bhargava speaking as shown in video.

Now I want to introduce one of our national partners, Deepak Bhargava from Center for Community Change.


BHARGAVA: Brothers and sisters, we have come through snow and sleet and ice to have our voices heard, and they will be heard today.


We are living at an extraordinary time and in the life of the nation and of our planet. The decisions we make in the next few decades will decide what world we pass onto our children and our grandchildren.

Globalization has unleashed a new economy that is creating greater economic insecurity and poverty for most of us in the U.S. and around the world and is causing mass migrations of people across borders. Climate change and global warming threaten the very foundations of our existence here on the home we call Planet Earth. All of this change is coming to a society that is still deeply structured by racism and sexism. And unless we change course, these divisions and walls that separate us will be bigger, not lower.


But in this age in which our fates are inextricably linked to each other, when what happens in Iowa is deeply related to what happens in New York, and Mexico, and India, what are we being told by too many politicians? At a time when we need to be desperately in deeper relationship with each other, we are being told that it’s a dog-eat-dog world and that we are on our own.

At a time when our own well-being depends so profoundly on the well-being of our neighbors, we have launched an immoral war in Iraq that is bringing death and resentment.


At a time when only a union of workers, farmers, African- Americans, immigrants, Native Americans, poor whites, and urban and rural people together can change the world, politicians try to tear us apart and play to our worst fears, not our greatest hopes.


But we know — we know that there is another way. Community values, which is what this forum is all about, this is not a new idea, but an ancient and wise tradition that takes many forms. It is the idea in every faith tradition that we must love our neighbors as we love ourselves.


It is the idea, from the African-American freedom struggle, that we must seek to build a beloved community where everyone belongs. It is the view in indigenous and native communities that we are all deeply connected, that there is no separation between us or between us and the planet that is our home. It is the credo from the union movement that, in solidarity, there is power.


The women’s movement, the immigrant rights movement, all of these movements teach us that only together can we build a caring and just and humane world. And, of course, the vision of community organizing, from which everyone in this hall comes, which teaches us the power of many is what can change the world.


My friends, this is a very serious time. We have no time for foolishness. This is not just another election. We cannot afford more artful dodging or politicking. We are at a pivot point in our history, and we must rise to the challenge. And that is why we are here today: to take history in our hand and bend it towards justice. (APPLAUSE)

That is why we have created the Campaign for Community Values, bringing together hundreds of grassroots community organizations from across the United States, to begin today to continue through the elections until we win justice in America for everyone.

Thank you very much.


BOATMAN: Thank you, Deepak. And thank you, Joe.

The portion where Ahmed Rehab of CAIR is introduced.

I’d like to welcome now to the stage our second group of community leaders, who, like the first, will share their story and ask questions.

Our first community leader is…

REHAB: Senator, my name is Ahmed Rehab from Chicago, Illinois. I’m from the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Chicago and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.


As a full-time civil rights activist, I receive hundreds of complaints from American Muslims regarding the sort of abuses, and prejudices, and discriminations that they face on a regular basis simply because of their name, physical appearance, or faith affiliation, whether it’s housing discrimination, or employment discrimination, or having to wait two to five years over the average time limit in order to obtain their citizenship.

Sadly, it seems that we’re facing a culture of fear-mongering that is replacing our collective constitutional vision for equal opportunity for all.

Senator, in the ’60s, Malcolm and Martin gave up their lives fighting for justice for all. The civil rights movement is not over. It’s not done yet. We’re still fighting.


Senator, fighting the civil rights movement is what I do on a daily basis, and we would like to know if you will fight with us, if elected president.

Thank you.

KALBACH: Thank you, Brenda LaBlanc.

One of the co-sponsors of this event is Center for Community Change (history), and we have Dave Gonzalez from that organization who will talk about the exciting next steps for their campaign.

Another connection between the “Center for Community Change” and ACORN.

And here is one example from an ‘ACORN’ search of the (Center for Community Change) CCC web site of the overlap of CCC and ACORN:

Monday, Mar 10, 2008
Former Women’s Union President Assumes New Managing Director Position

Washington, DC- The Board and Staff of the Center for Community Change is pleased to announce the appointment of Mary Lassen to the new position of Managing Director of the organization. Ms. Lassen has stepped down as the Board Chair of Center for Community Change and assumed her new role March 10, 2008.

Ms. Lassen is an experienced community organizer working at ACORN, where she served as Head Organizer in Missouri and Texas, and at the Committee for Boston Public Housing. She also has significant experience in local and state policy advocacy, partnership building, and communications. For three decades, Ms. Lassen has had extensive experience managing organizations, building teams, and developing staff and leaders. She is the former President of The Women’s Union in Boston and served as Senior Fellow at the Boston Foundation where she worked on strategies to improve education and economic opportunities in Massachusetts’ community colleges.

fred5678 on October 11, 2008 at 10:17 PM

Transcript source: Access My Library

COPYRIGHT 2007 Congressional Quarterly, Inc.

Original Source: Political Transcript Wire

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Leave a Comment
  1. Mary permalink
    October 13, 2008 3:36 pm

    Acorn was not at the Heartland Presidential Forum

  2. October 13, 2008 5:23 pm

    I never said they were.


    Deepak Bhargava Executive Director of the Center for Community Change one of the co-sponsors of the event.

    Bhargava by the way, “previously worked at ACORN,

    Tomato, tomhato. What is the difference?

    Just what America needs is a former community agitator who has been steeped in radicalism and weaned on dirty Chicago politics (God forbid) elected to the White House…

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