Thursday, October 8, 2009

Deepak Bhargava 'Advancing Change in the Age of Obama'

New Zeal, Obama File 89

Trevor Loudon was our guest on Sentinel Radio's "The Awakening," this past, Monday, 9/28, 9-11pm ET,,, 6-8pm PT (it is archived for listening, here, also downloadable from the Sentinel Radio page in BTR).

by Trevor Loudon

Indian born, New York raised, Harvard educated, Deepak Bhargava may have seldom crossed paths with Barack Obama-but he is a key player in 44th president's movement to transform America.

Deepak Bhargava is connected to almost every aspect of the Obama movement-from George Soros to ACORN, to Democratic Socialists of America, to The Nation, to the communist dominated United for Peace and Justice, to a whole raft of "progressive" non profits.

In the video below, Deepak Bhargava opens the Heartland Democratic Presidential Forum December 10 2007 - a forum exclusively for thousands of community organizers including ACORN personnel.

Note that Obama promises to invite community organizers to the White House even before his inauguration, to contribute to setting his "agenda for change."

Deepak Bhargava's main base for activism is the Washington DC based Center for Community Change, (CCC) which he joined in 1994, after several years as legislative director for ACORN.

Bhargava became the Center's Executive Director in 2004 and has successfully pushed the organization to "develop the power and capacity of low-income people, especially low-income people of color, to change the policies and institutions that affect their lives."

Deepak Bhargava has sharpened the Center's focus on grassroots community organizing as the "central strategy for social justice and on public policy change as the key lever to improve poor people's lives."

Bhargava conceived and led the Center's work on immigration reform, which has resulted in the creation of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement, a "leading grassroots network pressing for changes in the country's immigration laws."

He has spearheaded the creation of innovative new projects like Generation Change, a program that recruits, trains and places the next generation of community organizers, and the Community Voting Project, which brings "large numbers of low-income voters into the electoral process."

Helping Bhargava change America, is CCC board member Heather Booth, the former Students for a Democratic Society radical, turned Democratic Party power player.

Booth runs the Midwest Academy out of Chicago-churning out hundreds of "community" and union organizers.

Booth and her husband Paul, a labor union power broker, both have close ties to the US's largest marxist organization, Democrativc Socialists of America.

As does Deepak Bhargava.

Over September 20-22 2002 Frances Fox Piven, Deepak Bhargava and Holly Sklar were billed as keynote speakers at “Confronting the Low-Wage Economy” at the First Congregational Church-Washington, DC, organized by Democratic Socialists of America.
This conference will kick off DSA’s Low Wage Justice Project, which is designed to bring the human consequences of the low wage economy to the attention of the American people.
DSA member Frances Fox Piven is the co-author of the famous Cloward-Piven Strategy developed in the 1960s-widely used by ACORN, DSA and US "community organizers" ever since.

The strategy calls for organizers to encourage the "poor" to enroll for every entitlement possible, in order to bankrupt the US government, to bring about chaos and eventual social revolution.

In his speech to the conference Deepak Bhargava refered favourably to the work of DSA founder [Michael Harrington and his book "The Other America"-which is widely credited with sparking the massive growth of US welfarism in the 1960s under Kennedy and Johnson.
So I do want to say that I enter this new period with a tremendous amount of optimism. Before nine-eleven we saw larger numbers mobilized in the streets on a whole range of issues, immigration, living wages than we'd seen in a long, long time. There is no question that nine-eleven has taken the wind to some degree out of those sails, but I think both the demographic, the organizational, the economic realities underneath that momentum at the local level are still present, and it's up to our imagination and our will to rekindle it over the next couple of years. But I think we can make great strides on this anniversary of Michael Harrington's The Other America in doing something serious about it...
Deepak Bhargava's radical ties extend in several directions.

At the higher level, Bhargava is a board member at George Soros' Open Society Institute (OSI).

On November 29, 2006 Bhargava participated in a roundtable discussion at OSI New York entitled "How Do Progressives Connect Ideas to Action?"
Individuals and organizations with similarly progressive goals often dilute their power by working alone or even working at cross-purposes. As Americans who are politically left of center move forward, questions of infrastructure, communication, and collaboration are particularly important.
Participants included:
  • Robert Borosage-A trustee of the far left Washington "think tank" Institute for Policy Studies and founder/CEO of Campaign for America's Future.
  • Rosa Brooks Daughter of IPS Trustee and DSA member Barbara Ehrenreich. Now a senior advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Michele Flournoy.
  • Anna Burger AFL-CIO, later a Progressives for Obama endorser and key player in labor union/Obama White House dealings.
  • Eric Foner DSA member.
  • Katrina vanden Heuvel IPS trustee, The Nation editor.
  • John Podesta Center for American Progress founder. CAP is a key source of "progressive" personnel for the Obama Administration.
  • Joel Rogers Key DSA aligned "progressive" activist. A founder of the radical New Party which Obama joined in Chicago in 1995.
As of July 17, 2007 Deepak Bhargava, Center for Community Change was affiliated with United for Peace and Justice-the US peace movement umbrella group.

UFPJ was intiated to oppose the Iraq war by the Institute for Policy Studies . It is completely dominated by communists and radicals, which doesn't seem to bother Bhargava.

Also leading organizations affiliated to UFPJ in July 2007, were Communist Party members Judith LeBlanc, Rosalio Munoz, Alfred Marder and Erica Smiley, Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism aligned activists Leslie Cagan, Attieno Davis, Howard Wallace and Van Gosse, DSA leaders Jason Schulman and Lucas Shapiro, Freedom Road Socialist Organization Maoists, Dennis O'Neil and Juliet Ucelli, IPSers Phyllis Bennis, Saif Rahman and Arthur Waskow and a very familiar name to readers of this blog-Van Jones of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights.

Bhargava serves on the editorial board of the The Nation--effectively the house journal of the IPS.

Fellow Editorial board members include;
  • Barbara Ehrenreich DSA member, IPS Trustee, New Party and Progressives for Obama founder.
  • Eric Foner DSA member.
  • Lani Guinier Daughter of communist Ewart Guinier.
  • Tom Hayden SDS and Progressives for Obama founder.
  • Deborah Meier DSA member and speaker in 1998, with Barack Obama at the memorial service of Chicago DSA member Saul Mendelson)
  • Victor Navasky IPS Trustee, The Nation.
  • Marcus Raskin IPS founder.
Below is a video of Deepak Bhargava speaking at a The Nation forum in April 2009, on the prospects for "progressive" gains under Obama's "stealth agenda".

On February 26 2009, Mike Lux, Miles Rapoport of Demos, Deepak Bhargava and Gloria Totten of Progressive Majority spoke at the Center for Community Change in New York at a forum entitled "Progressives in an Obama World: The Role of the Progressive Movement in a Democratically Controlled Washington".

The forum blurb identified Obama as a "progressive" and went on to say:
Since the 2004 election, the progressive movement has built a powerful infrastructure of think tanks, media outlets and advocacy organizations. Frustrated by the conservative ascendancy and the dominance of conservative ideas, individuals and institutions have put forward new paradigms for government and promoted a bold vision for the future.

But now a progressive holds the highest office in the land. As the movement struggles to define its role in the Obama era, important questions remain unanswered: What is the role of such organizations in Washington and how can they best create political space for Obama to act? On what issues should the movement compromise and on which take strong stands? How can progressives build consensus to make their efforts more effective?

The panel will feature progressive leaders Deepak Bhargava, Miles Rapoport and Mike Lux; the speakers will draw on two new books, ‘Thinking Big: Progressive Ideas for a New Era,’ and The Progressive Revolution: How the Best in America Came to Be, as they discuss what progressives can do to create momentum for greater boldness at a time when opportunities and challenges abound.
Miles Rapoport is another former SDSer, DSA associate, ACORN defender and ardent Obama supporter. Interestingly Rapoport became president of New York "think tank" Demos in 2000-while Obama was still a founding Trustee of the organization.

Van Jones, incidentally is still listed as a Demos Trustee.

Below is another Bhargava speech from February 2009, given to the Liberty Hill foundation "Advancing Change in the Age of Obama".

Mild-mannered Deepak Bhargava is at the heart of the US social revolution.

He and Obama may never have exchanged more than a few words, but they are assuredly working for the same future.

This article originally appeared in Trevor Loudon's blog, New Zeal.