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Mikva to speak at Democratic Club of The Islands meeting Monday

By Staff | Feb 12, 2009

The Democratic Club of The Islands is proud to present a program on Monday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. featuring the comments and observations from Judge Abner Mikva, a charter member of President Barack Obama’s kitchen cabinet.

Obama’s eminence grise, Judge Mikva will share his expectations of what we might see from the new administration. He has a CV that has put him in the midst of all the important issues of our times, so the evening will offer an opportunity to gain an insider’s perspective on the critical issues of the day.

Judge Mikva has held prominent positions in the judicial, executive and legislative branches of government, he has been variously described as “one Chicagoan of gigantic integrity” and “a national treasure, one that has lived long enough with a front row seat to history to cut through the bull and identify what is most important.”

Judge Mikva spent 10 years in the Illinois House of Representative and eight years in the U.S. Congress, representing – for most of that time – the same Hyde Park constituency as President Obama. A President Jimmy Carter appointee to the prestigious District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals, he served on the bench – including as its Chief Judge – from 1979 until his 1994 retirement.

A notable event in his judicial career was when he offered a much-coveted clerkship to a brilliant young man fresh from the Harvard Law Review, only to have it turned down because of the desire of that graduate to return to Chicago, get engaged in community advocacy and run for public office. That young man is now the President of the United States.

Since his retirement from the Court of Appeals, Judge Mikva – among the wide variety of interesting and important positions and activities – has taught at the University of Chicago Law School, served as White House Counsel to President Bill Clinton, and an election monitor for the Ukraine’s presidential elections.

In 1997, Judge Mikva and his wife, Zoe, started the Mikva Challenge, a non-partisan civic leadership program for Chicago youth (involving more than 3,500 participants) in experiential activities in the democratic process – working as election judges, volunteering on campaigns and creating local activism projects to improve their schools and communities.

From the time they first met right on through the campaign, the election, the transition and to today, Judge Mikva has been a close and trusted friend, advisor and counselor to Barack Obama.

The Democratic Club if the Islands is honored to offer Islanders the opportunity to hear one of our country’s most distinguished jurist and participant in the political life of our country.

Mark your calendars and save the date: Monday, Feb. 16 starting at 7 p.m. at the Sanibel Community Center, located at 2173 Periwinkle Way. This event is free and open to the public.

The Democratic Club of the Islands is an authorized organization of the Lee County Democratic Executive Committee, organized to stimulate interest in political and governmental affairs, to educate the electorate about issues, to further the ideals and principles of the Democratic Party, to support Democratic Party nominees in national, sate and local campaigns and to foster good fellowship among Democrats on Sanibel and Captiva Islands.