Riccardo Barraza talks about Weis and the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities
WASHINGTON D.C – Already holding one of the most prominent positions in sports as the Notre Dame head football coach, Charlie Weis may just have another top spot. But this time it’s not in the world of sports. The government may be Weis’ next calling, while he stays focused on football, of course.
Riccardo Barraza, an El Paso native and a member of the President’s Committee for People with Intellectuatl Disabilities discussed Weis’ possible future in the government.
“I met Charlie and Maura when I asked to visit their Hannah and Friends Foundation, and Charlie asked to be present when I met with his Executive Director,” Barraza stated. “Charlie is very committed to service to people with intellectual disabilities, in honor of his daughter Hannah.”
Barraza then explains how Weis expressed it was “critical,” to use his current fame to help benefit the needs of special people, such as Weis’ daughter Hannah. “He volunteered to make commercials and do whatever it takes to promote awareness,” Barraza said.
Then Barraza took action. “Unknown to Charlie, I sent a message to the President indicating that Charlie would be interested in serving on this committee,” said Barraza. “The White House then scheduled a meeting for me with the Office of White House Personnel.” Barraza exclaimed the White House personnel asked him many in depth questions about Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis, and his interest in helping children with special needs.
Barraza then broke the ice between the White House and Weis. “At the conclusion of the meeting, the Office of White House Personnel told me to inform Charlie that the White House was definitely interested in his appointment and would contact him in late November.”
Barraza then talked about the process for being appointed into the government.
“1. The President directs the Office of White House Personnel to contact the nominee and begin the process of submitting an application.
2. The application includes a very extensive FBI background check.
3. Once the nominee passes the FBI Background check, the Director of White House Personnel meets with the President and the President then confirms his desire to appoint the individual.
4. Lastly the White House informs the nominee that the President has signed his appointment and then service begins. The appointed individual becomes a Special Government Employee and must participate in quarterly meetings.’
‘Our job [the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual disabilities] is to provide advice and recommendations to the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services,”’ said Barraza.
The appointment could come as soon as five months. “Once the process begins, if the FBI acts quickly, he will get his appointment in the spring time [March-April].” That would make Weis an official member of the government.
Barraza made clear though, “Of course the final decision rests with the President, but I was specifically told that the White House was interested.”
President Bush will make the final decision, but it’s important that the case is made that Weis would like to help children with special needs, regardless of being appointed into the government or not.
The El Paso native Barraza also wanted to make clear one more thing about Weis. “Make sure that it’s emphasized that Charlie believes that it is important, and that he would like to use whatever fame he has now to help people with intellectual disabilities. That is very important for people to know how wonderful a man he is.”