Last night the President delivered his State of the Union address outlining his plan for a strong middle class and a strong America (disponible en español aquí). The President’s plan builds on the progress we’ve made during our first term and strengthens the middle class by making America a magnet for jobs and manufacturing, equipping every American with the skills they need to do those jobs, and ensuring that hard work leads to a decent living.
We believe that investments in manufacturing, clean energy, infrastructure, and education will grow our economy from the middle class out—not from the top down—and, when combined with the President’s plan for balanced deficit reduction, none of these proposals will add a dime to the deficit. In case you missed it, below is a full video of the President’s address.
For nearly three decades, extraordinary Americans who exemplify the themes and ideals laid out in the State of the Union Address have been invited to join the First Lady in her viewing box.
Each of these individuals has a unique story that lends itself to the American ideal of putting words into action to create a stronger nation. One of the First Lady’s guests was 20-year-old Alan Aleman, who was born in Mexico City, Mexico and raised in the United States. On August 15, 2012, he applied for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – the first day the U.S. government began accepting applications. The College of Southern Nevada student received his permit in mid-October 2012 and hopes to eventually pursue a career in medicine and join the Air Force.
Like so many other undocumented Americans, Alan chose to emerge from the shadows to call for change. This courage, together with the hope for a better future, has the ability to inspire greater advocacy for the 11 million aspiring Americans awaiting a path to citizenship.
From teachers and students to DREAMers and members of the armed forces, the 2013 State of the Union Address guests included remarkable individuals from all walks of life. What they all have in common is a strongly-held belief in moving the country forward to build a better America.
To that end, join us tomorrow to discuss what the State of the Union means for the Latino community and all Americans!
Who: Cecilia Muñoz, Director, Domestic Policy Council, The White House; Secretary Ken Salazar, Department of the Interior; Roberto Rodriguez, Special Assistant to the President for Education Policy, The White House
What: Conference Call on the State of the Union for Latinos
When: Thursday, February 14th at 3:00pm ET
RSVP: Participants MUST pre-register online to obtain call-in number: http://ems6.intellor.com/index.cgi?p=600016&t=1&do=register&s=&rID=3&edID=2
In addition to State of the Union information and updates, below are a few agency updates from the Department of Justice, Health and Human Services, the Department of Labor, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Department of Agriculture.
As always, please share with your networks and we look forward to working with you on all of the important policy ideas the President laid out in his State of the Union address!
Julie Chavez Rodriguez
White House | Office of Public Engagement
At-risk Latinas targeted in heart attack awareness campaign
February 4, 2013
The Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health (OWH) launched its new heart attack awareness campaign targeting Spanish-speaking women age 50 and over. The “Haga La Llamada, ¡No Pierda Tiempo!” campaign builds on OWH’s successful “Make the Call, Don’t Miss a Beat” campaign that began in 2011. The new Spanish-language campaign aims to educate and empower Spanish-speaking women to call 9-1-1 when they experience any of the seven symptoms of a heart attack and to do the same for their mothers, sisters and friends.
US Labor Department investigation reveals Silicon Valley employer significantly underpaid workers from Mexico
February 4, 2013
Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Bloom Energy Corp. has been ordered to pay $31,922 in back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages to 14 workers that the company brought in from Chihuahua, Mexico, to the company headquarters. A U.S. District Court judge ordered the payments after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division disclosed that the employer willfully violated the minimum wage, overtime and record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. (Disponible en español aquí.)
Court Approves Consent Decree to Desegregate Tucson Public Schools
February 06, 2013
The U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona approved a consent decree filed by the Department of Justice, together with private plaintiffs and the Tucson Unified School District. The consent decree is a detailed and concrete plan to desegregate Tucson public schools that will provide African-American and Latino students the educational support and programs they need to learn and thrive. “The plan approved by the court today is a game-changer for the children of Tucson,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “It reflects the collective efforts of families and educators in Tucson, and the strong collaboration of the parties in this case, to forge a new path forward for the Tucson public schools.”
Reminder: Hispanic and Women Farmers and Ranchers Claims Must be Postmarked by March 25
February 08, 2013
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack reminds Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers who allege discrimination by the USDA in past decades that there are 45 days remaining in the filing period closing March 25, 2013. “Hispanic and women farmers who believe they have faced discriminatory practices in the past from the USDA have 45 days left to file a claim in order to have a chance to receive a cash payment or loan forgiveness,” said Secretary Vilsack. “USDA urges potential claimants to contact the Claims Administrator for information and mail their claim packages on or before March 25, 2013.”
HUD Issues Rule Formalizing Standard On Discriminatory Effects In Housing
February 08, 2013
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that it is issuing a final rule to formalize the national standard for determining whether a housing practice violates the Fair Housing Act as the result of discriminatory effect. “Through the issuance of this Rule, HUD is reaffirming its commitment to enforcing the Fair Housing Act in a consistent and uniform manner,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. “This will ensure the continued strength of one of the most important tools for exposing and ending housing discrimination.”
President Obama Participates in Fireside Hangouts on Google+
On Thursday, February 14th at 4:50 p.m. EST, President Obama will sit down with Americans from all across the country for a “Fireside Hangout” – our 21st century take on Franklin D. Roosevelt’s fireside chats. The President will join a live, completely virtual interview from nowhere other than the Roosevelt Room in the White House’s West Wing. Do you have a question that you’d like President Obama to answer? Right now, you can submit a text or video question for the President, and also vote on your favorites. Then, be sure to tune in for the hangout live on Thursday, February 14th at 4:50 p.m. EST. Watch it live on the White House YouTube Channel, Google+ page and at WhiteHouse.gov/live.
Obama Administration Launches College Scorecard
Too often, students and their families don’t have the right tools to help them sort through the information they need to decide which college or university is right for them. The search can be overwhelming, and the information from different colleges can be hard to compare. That’s why our Administration released a “College Scorecard” that empowers families to make smart investments in higher education. As the President said last night, we want to help families get the most bang for their educational buck.
Solving the Sequester: The Facts
With less than three weeks before devastating, across the board cuts – the so-called “sequester” – are slated to hit, affecting our national security, job creation and economic growth, we must make sure we are having a debate over how to deal with these looming deadlines that is based on facts- not myths being spread by some Congressional Republicans who would rather see these cuts hit than ask the wealthiest and big corporations to pay a little bit more. View a fact sheet with examples of how the sequester would impact middle class families, jobs and economic security here.
President Obama to Honor Recipients of the 2012 Citizens Medal
Last April, President Obama called on the public to help identify outstanding Americans for the 2012 Citizens Medal, the nation’s second-highest civilian honor. After receiving more than 6,000 submissions from the public, the President has selected 18 outstanding Americans to receive the award for performing “exemplary deeds of service for their country and their fellow citizens.”
Working Together With Law Enforcement on Comprehensive Immigration Reform
Last week, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano visited Texas and California to inspect border security operations at the Southwest border, meet with state and local stakeholders, and discuss the Department’s on-going efforts to secure the border while facilitating lawful travel and trade. She also met with law enforcement leaders from across the country to discuss the need for comprehensive immigration reform. Read Secretary Napolitano’s account of her travels and meetings as DHS looks ahead to advance reforms to maintain safe and security communities.
Join the Conversation on Heart Health
In commemoration of Heart Health Month, the Department of Health and Human Services is organizing a moderated Twitter-chat including at least 10 regional HHS Offices on Women’s Health, Latino community-based/non-profit grantees and promotoras.
The Twitter-chat will take place on February 28, 2013 from 2:00pm – 3:00pm ET. Use the hashtag #CorazonChat to join in on the conversation.
Apply for the Summer 2013 White House Internship Program
The application for the Fall 2013 White House Internship Program is now open. This hands-on program is designed to mentor and cultivate today’s young leaders, strengthen their understanding of the Executive Office of the President and engage them in public service opportunities. Learn more about the program and the application process. The deadline to apply is April 7, 2013.
Apply for the Presidential Innovation Fellows Program
This high-profile White House-sponsored program brings top innovators, entrepreneurs, and change agents into government for 6-12 months to develop game-changing solutions that benefit the American people in all kinds of ways – saving lives, saving taxpayer money, and helping to fuel job growth. The deadline to apply is March 17, 2013.