*President Obama ate lunch on Wednesday with seven former inmates who received commutations during his and the last two administrations.
According to TheHill.com, three people whose sentences were commuted by Obama were joined by two who were freed by former President George W. Bush and two by former President Bill Clinton.
They all hit up Busboys and Poets, a popular restaurant on Washington’s 14th St. NW.
So I’m sitting in busboys and in comes @BarackObama ✨
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A photo posted by Kimberly Williams (@iamkimberlyw) on
— Chris Wilson (@chriswilsondc) March 30, 2016
Just watched Barry O walk into Busboys and Poets #blessed
— Jessica P (@Jessica_Mae321) March 30, 2016
The lunch meeting came on the same day Obama commuted sentences for 61 federal prisoners convicted of drug offenses. Those prisoners have not yet been freed and did not eat with Obama.
The events are designed to call attention to Obama’s criminal justice reform push, an issue that has faded to the background in the midst of the 2016 presidential campaign.
The president greeted the group in the Roosevelt Room of the White House and posed for a group picture in the Oval Office before departing.
“Turns out I’ve got an opening in my schedule, so let’s have some lunch,” he told the group during an encounter that was broadcast on Facebook.
Obama noted the group includes people who have successfully turned their lives around after serving years in prison.
Why Busboys and Poets?
The spot is owned by Andy Shallal, “a well-known liberal activist in Washington who unsuccessfully ran for mayor in 2014,” notes The Hill.com:
Shallal, who chairs a city workforce investment council, “banned the box” at all of his restaurants, meaning that he doesn’t ask about a perspective employee’s criminal history at the outset of the job application process.