President Obama’s approach to faith-based programming has, up til now, seemed at times more about religious outreach and public relations than programmatic substance. But not this afternoon. The Department of Education has just announced the appointment of Peter Groff as Director for the Faith-Based and Community Initiatives Center in the Office of the Secretary. That’s no mean appointment.
Groff is a lawyer who is currently president of the Colorado State Senate. He also directs the Center for African American Policy at the University of Denver. According to this admittedly puffly U.of D. bio, he has, in less than six years in the state senate,
passed landmark legislation prohibiting racial profiling, requiring
booster seats for young children, creating visionary education reform
measures, securing tens of millions of dollars to combat health
disparities and crafting Referendum C, which generated billions of
dollars for critical state needs and infrastructure.
On March 30, Groff advocated a major educational reform initiative in Colorado tracking the Obama approach. This is not someone to be shunted off to the side as a sop to the White House’s religious PR.