Obama Faith Advisory Council to Meet for First Time Next Week

The White House is also expected to announce 10 additional members of the body.


By Dan Gilgoff, God & Country

The White House Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships will convene in Washington for its first in-person meeting next Monday and Tuesday, according to a handful of sources. If all goes according to plan, the White House will use the occasion to announce 10 additional members of the council. A detailed agenda hasn't been released, but the council is expected to be divided into task forces in the areas that Mark Silk has reported:

the role of community organizations in economic recovery; fatherhood and healthy families; reducing the "need for abortions"; and international interreligious dialogue. There is also expected to be a task force relating to energy and climate change, and (yes) one that will take up the thorny legal ground rules under which the Obama faith-based programming will operate.

These task forces have already been powwowing by phone—there are a handful of formal and informal calls among council members every week—and will each be instructed to reach out to other religious leaders to develop policy recommendations. This outreach will be an important way for the White House to reach deep into various religious constituencies. Obama aides themselves are in direct contact with a much more limited universe.

More when I get it.