By Dan Gilgoff, God & Country
President-elect Barack Obama's transition cochairman John Podesta has vowed "to make this the most open and transparent transition in history," but no details of the transition team's many meetings with religious groups have been posted on the transition website, change.gov—nor have the policy recommendations submitted by those groups been posted.
In fact, type in terms like Christian, Catholic, or Methodist on the transition site's search page for tracking meetings with outside groups and documents that have come in, and the only result that comes up is a link to an "Interfaith Immigration Meeting" on December 19. The link leads to a page with no information, on which the "Documents" and "Attendees" sections are blank.
As I've reported, the transition team has hosted more than a dozen meetings with faith-based groups. Policy recommendations from those groups are mounting in the transition team's in box. Since the transition team ain't posting them, I'll be posting some of the more interesting ones.
The first is from a key coalition of progressive religious organizations working to reduce poverty, called the Interreligious Working Group on Domestic Human Needs. The coalition, which includes the National Council of Churches—itself a coalition of dozens of Christian denominations—the United Methodist Church, and the Union for Reform Judaism, has also had a sit-down meeting with the Obama transition team.
The group has submitted a memo of urgent priorities for the Obama administration to take to reduce poverty very quickly after taking office, without waiting for congressional action. You can view it here.