U.S. President Barack Obama meets with Jason and Ali McLaughlin and son Cooper in the dining room of their home in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Earlier that day, Msgr. Marvin Mottet of Davenport, a longtime social justice activist, was among the first to greet the president at the airport so he could make a plug for a jobs proposal developed by a fellow Iowan.
Catholic News Service
DAVENPORT, Iowa — Msgr. Marvin Mottet describes himself as a registered independent, but when it comes to job creation for the unemployed, he’ll talk to whoever occupies the White House.
“The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops does that all the time, works both sides of the aisle for the cause of social justice,” said the 82-year-old priest.
Through a White House connection, the longtime social justice activist was the first person among greeters at Eastern Iowa Airport in Cedar Rapids when President Barack Obama stepped off the plane.
The president, visiting Cedar Rapids on a campaign stop, was on a tight schedule. The priest wanted to make a plug for two job-creation projects that a former student has had patented.
“I had to choose my words carefully to get the president’s attention, so I mentioned the Campaign for Human Development,” Msgr. Mottet said.
That organization — now called the Catholic Campaign for Human Development — had funded six parishes that Obama, then a community organizer, worked for in south Chicago. Obama created the Developing Communities Project, which had connections with a network of nonpartisan, faith-based organizations in 18 U.S. states, South Africa and the United Kingdom.
Details of the projects will be released at a later date as the effort progresses.