Always Organizing For Volunteerism. Keeping the Activist Motion Alive



Hat tip to The Obama File:

Always Organizing

Michelle Obama is kicking off a White House push to underscore the importance of volunteerism in San Francisco on Monday.

Michelle will visit a community playground service project at Bret Harte Elementary School in San Francisco, and then deliver the keynote at Moscone Center, before the 2009 National Conference on Volunteering and Service. That meeting, hosted by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the Points of Light Institute, will give her an audience of thousands of folks who are leaders in volunteer projects and service projects across the country.

Mrs. Obama’s effort marks the start of the United We Serve summer service initiative supported by the White House, which has set up a whole series of events starring Cabinet Secretaries and senior administration officials across the country to mark the occasion on Monday.

“During this summer, the president is renewing his call to all Americans to identify needs in their communities, engage in meaningful service to create change — and stay engaged with these projects long after September,” says the Obama Administration press release, which urges Americans to hit the website of the CNCS for ideas on where to volunteer.

Flopping Aces points out that CNCS is the parent organization of AmeriCorps.

It’s the same CNCS that last year suspended Sacramento mayor/Obama crony Kevin Johnson from receiving federal funds after then-inspector general Gerald Walpin blew the whistle on massive fraud and abuse of AmeriCorps dollars for personal and political gain.

It’s the same CNCS that then sat by and meekly watched Team Obama and the U.S. Attorney in Sacramento railroad Walpin after the November 2008 election for doing his damned job.

And now, there is no honest, independent watchdog to raise questions on behalf of taxpayers as the Obama political machine takes over the national service juggernaut.  How…convenient.

And we’re not only talking about a few speeches to the organizations, we’re talking about the First Lady being waaaay to involved in them.

Mrs. Obama’s interest is more than passing.  She ran the AmeriCorps-funded non-profit Public Allies in Chicago from 1993-1996 and served on its national board until 2001.  Like so many of the AmeriCorps recipients investigated by the inspector general’s office over the years, Public Allies was found to have violated basic eligibility and compliance rules.  A January 2007 audit reported that the group lacked internal controls verifying that recipients who received education grants and living allowances were legal citizens or permanent residents as required by law.

And lets not forget that the former chief of staff for Michelle Obama is now a “senior adviser” at CNCS.

First Lady Michelle Obama’s chief of staff, Jackie Norris, is being sent to the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) in what is both a White House shake-up and an indication of the first lady’s sway over the corporation that oversees AmeriCorps, Learn and Serve and the Senior Corps.

Observers believe Norris, who Obama came to know early in the Iowa caucus campaign, was forced out of the White House so that long-time Obama friend Susan Sher could take over. But those same observers see her appointment as senior adviser to the corporation as an overall win for CNCS, believing that Norris still will have a straight line to the White House.

On another note, the FBI is finally investigating Sacramento Mayor Johnson’s obvious obstruction:

The FBI is investigating allegations that an executive at a nonprofit founded by Mayor Kevin Johnson obstructed a federal inquiry into the group’s spending.

Two months ago, Johnson and the St. HOPE Academy agreed to repay nearly $424,000 in federal grants to settle an investigation into whether the nonprofit misused AmeriCorps money.

Acting U.S. Attorney Lawrence G. Brown said he asked the FBI’s Sacramento division to determine whether e-mails written by Johnson were deleted during the earlier investigation.

And lastly, how can we forget how deeply connected these groups in question are with ACORN?

Here‘s more on Michelle’s involvement in Public Allies and Obama’s National Security Force.



My end note:

Words in  dark brown bold are links to information.

With all the investigations into ACORN and with the firing of IG Walpin for investigating the misappropriation of funds by Kenneth Johnson, WHY is Michelle Obama pushing her Americorps and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) now?




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