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Deepak Bhargava
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Deepak Bhargava is Executive Director of the Center for Community Change, a national nonprofit organization whose mission is 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.

Prior to his appointment as Executive Director of the Center in 2002, Mr. Bhargava served as the Center’s Director of Public Policy. He also directed the National Campaign for Jobs and Income Support, a coalition of grassroots groups established in 2000 to give low-income people a voice in the reauthorization of the federal welfare law and other areas critical to poor people.

During his tenure as Executive Director, Mr. 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. He conceived and led the Center’s work on immigration reform, which has resulted in the creation of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), 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. Mr. Bhargava has also overseen a dramatic internal transformation of the organization over the past years, resulting in a younger, more diverse board and staff, a new physical home at 1536 U Street, and greater focus of the organization’s work on strengthening and aligning community organizations towards policy change.

Mr. Bhargava has provided intellectual leadership on a variety of issues including the future of the progressive movement in the United States, poverty, racial justice, immigration reform, community organizing, and economic justice. He has written on these issues for a range of publications including The Washington Post, The Nation, and The American Prospect. His strategy memo co-authored with Seth Borgos “A Proposition for the Future” provided a roadmap for how the field of grassroots organizing and the Center needed to adapt to changing circumstances, and proved highly influential in the field. His groundbreaking article co-authored with Jean Haridsty, “Wrong About the Right,” influenced how many progressives think about the strategies necessary to achieve lasting social change. Mr. Bhargava has testified before Congress on over 20 occasions.

Mr. Bhargava currently serves on the boards of the Coalition for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, the Discount Foundation, the League of Education Voters, The Nation editorial board, and the National Advisory Board for the Open Society Institute. He is a past board member of the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) and the Applied Research Center.
Born in Bangalore, India, Mr. Bhargava immigrated to the United States when he was a child. He grew up in New York City and graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College. He lives in Washington, D.C. with his partner Harry Hanbury, a documentary filmmaker.

Entries by Deepak Bhargava

Saluting a Friend to Justice

(0) Comments | Posted September 11, 2013 | 2:04 PM

Ben Jealous has announced that he will be stepping down as President and CEO of the National Association for Advancement of Colored People at the end of the year. Ben has exercised extraordinary leadership in his time at the NAACP and has made contributions that are transforming the country --...

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Can Marco Rubio Lead?

(1) Comments | Posted April 5, 2013 | 10:36 AM

They're called the "Gang of Eight" but this is a misnomer. In reality, they are the "Gang of Seven, featuring Marco Rubio." While the other seven members that constitute the bipartisan effort in the Senate to draft a comprehensive immigration reform bill have been working to build broad support for...

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The Faces of Immigration Reform

(0) Comments | Posted February 1, 2013 | 11:38 AM

The time has come for immigration reform. President Obama has said one of his biggest regrets from his first term was that he didn't pass immigration reform. After his speech in Las Vegas, the immigrant rights community is determined to make sure he follows through on his promise to make...

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For Love and Country: LGBT Americans and Immigration Rights

(3) Comments | Posted January 24, 2013 | 12:31 PM

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) rights are often defined as consisting of a handful of issues, marriage equality the foremost among them. But as important as the right to marry the people we love is, LGBT equality is about far more than that. LGBT Americans reflect the full diversity...

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Forward, Now

(4) Comments | Posted November 8, 2012 | 3:29 PM

Five days before the election, President Obama told a boisterous crowd in Green Bay, Wisconsin, that our work is not done. "Our fight goes on because we know this nation cannot succeed without a growing, thriving middle class; and strong, sturdy ladders into the middle class," he said....

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Honoring Champions of Social Justice

(1) Comments | Posted September 13, 2012 | 4:47 PM

Where most people see a troubled kid, actress Sonja Sohn, best known for playing Detective Kima Greggs on The Wire, sees someone whose potential has not yet been tapped. To me, Sohn's best role is the one she plays in real life, as the founder of ReWired for Change, which...

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Conservatives Spreading Myths About Class Warfare

(9) Comments | Posted July 8, 2011 | 5:06 PM

Election season is fast approaching and directly on cue, the right wing is accusing President Obama and progressives of engaging in so-called class warfare. When it comes to talking about the government's money, and where and how to spend it, political rhetoric, more often than not these days,...

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Change Nation: Doing Something About a Broken Economy

(0) Comments | Posted June 22, 2011 | 4:33 PM

Today, we launched Change Nation, an action network designed to address the economic crisis in America. Our nation faces a jobs disaster: Some 25 million people lack good jobs. The jobs crisis is the most obvious symptom of a broken economy that is only working for...

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America Pushes Back

(1) Comments | Posted April 28, 2011 | 1:11 PM

One of the great things about our democracy is that you can't fool people for long. The leadership of the extreme right had a good run for a few months, but now it's over. During the health care debate, they pretended to be backers of Medicare. Later, during the mid-term...

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How Broken Is Washington?

(2) Comments | Posted December 3, 2010 | 5:33 PM

Many watching the debacle masquerading as the lame duck session of Congress these past few days are wondering whether Washington is so broken that governance itself has become impossible. It's quickly becoming apparent that only the rising power of people themselves can force our government to act responsibly to extend...

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The Lame Direction of the Lame Duck

(2) Comments | Posted November 18, 2010 | 8:54 AM

Nearly 2 million U.S. workers are facing premature elimination of federally-funded unemployment benefits if Congress doesn't act by November 30. Yet the talk dominating Washington, D.C. these days is about extending George Bush's tax giveaway to the rich. Really?

It's not difficult to figure out why Washington pays attention to...

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The Empire Strikes Back: Explaining the Republican Wave

(4) Comments | Posted November 3, 2010 | 1:07 PM

What a difference two years make. In 2008, President Obama swept into office on a platform of hope and change. All across America, there was a ground swell of voices calling for an end to a political system that upholds the powerful special interests that ran America into the Great...

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Corporate Values, Community Woes

(8) Comments | Posted October 8, 2010 | 11:55 AM

There's a near universal consensus that we have a massive systemic employment crisis in America. Economists agree, the American people agree and even policymakers agree (though they seem paralyzed against taking bold action).

The problem is clear: America's engine of job creation is breaking...

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How Big Is America's Heart?

(0) Comments | Posted October 1, 2010 | 12:18 PM

On Saturday, I'll have the privilege of addressing more than one hundred thousand people gathered at the Lincoln Memorial for the One Nation Working Together rally to send the message that we want the change we voted for in 2008. This gathering of progressives will bridge many issues:...

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Community Organizers Revive Immigration Reform Again

(12) Comments | Posted September 15, 2010 | 3:03 PM

Today, more than 500 advocates and leaders from immigrant and faith communities gathered at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation in Washington, D.C., and heard members of Congress lay out tangible steps for moving forward with the DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform. During the "Relief, Reform, Respect" immigration forum,...

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Deficit vs Jobs: A False Choice

(6) Comments | Posted August 16, 2010 | 1:18 PM

The debate in Washington about deficits has lost touch with reality. The emerging conventional wisdom inside the beltway has taken aggressive job creation strategies off the table because of the deficit crisis. This "eat your spinach" approach is bad politics and disastrous economics guaranteed to produce not only a longer,...

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In the Immigration Debate, Real Lives are at Stake

(23) Comments | Posted August 5, 2010 | 11:44 AM

On immigration, one thing has become abundantly clear this year: the status quo will not stand. Change is coming.

Unfortunately, the change brewing right now is disheartening and dangerous. After promising efforts to finally deliver a much-needed overhaul to our immigration system were stalled by Republican resistance, vile and...

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Federal Government: Step Up on Immigration Reform

(19) Comments | Posted July 29, 2010 | 12:37 PM

Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton enjoined the most hideous sections of Arizona's racially profiling law SB 1070. It was a victory for the millions of people who have been organizing for months to uphold our country's basic values and thousands of grassroots leaders in Arizona who have braved heat...

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Anti-immigrant Vigilantism: Hate Mongers Seize on Vacuum in National Leadership

(26) Comments | Posted July 15, 2010 | 3:35 PM

A cowardly and anonymous group in Utah sent a list of 1,300 names to immigration offices and media outlets yesterday. It included detailed information, including Social Security numbers, birthdates, addresses, and even names of children and family members. Almost all of the people on the list are Latinos. The group...

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Immigration Reform Today: President Leads, Republicans Obstruct

(114) Comments | Posted July 1, 2010 | 1:04 PM

Today, at a speech at American University, President Obama reiterated his support for comprehensive immigration reform. He said:

The question now is whether we will have the courage and the political will to pass a [comprehensive immigration ] bill through Congress, to finally get it done.

The Democratic Leadership in...

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