May 22, 2013 3:15 PM
Building Opportunities in Indian Country: Congratulations to the Graduates of Navajo Technical CollegeMay 22, 2013 9:00 AM
May 21, 2013 5:41 PM
As many of you all know the push for common sense immigration reform took a major step forward last night when the Senate Judiciary Committee voted S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act, out of committee with a strong bi-partisan vote. To read the President’s statement click here. To continue to build on this important momentum the White House has joined a coalition of organizations in the March for Innovation (#iMarch), the largest-ever virtual march in support of bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform.
The march — which is set to take place today and tomorrow — will bring together leaders from politics, business, tech, sports, and entertainment. It will create a digital storm across a variety of social media platforms in support of bipartisan immigration legislation that will help attract and retain the world’s best and brightest to fuel innovation and create American jobs. Join us!
As always, please share with your networks and we look forward to working with you as we continue to push for commonsense immigration reform!
Julie Chávez Rodriguez Associate Director White House | Office of Public Engagement
Aspiring Americans Share their Stories
Yesterday morning, the President and the Vice President met in the Oval Office with young immigrants, also known as DREAMers, who received deferred action and with the siblings and spouses of undocumented immigrants. This meeting was an important opportunity for the President and the Vice President to meet with families who are directly affected by our nation’s broken immigration system.
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden meet with DREAMers who have received Deferred Action and U.S. citizen family members of undocumented immigrants, in the Oval Office, May 21, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
The President and the Vice President were moved by the stories of courage and determination of these young immigrants and their families. The Dreamers shared how their lives have been positively affected by the deferred action process and emphasized that they and their families need a permanent solution that will allow them to fully contribute to the country they call home.
At the meeting, the President reiterated his commitment to passing a bipartisan, commonsense immigration reform bill this year. The President also underscored that their stories are a good reminder that immigration isn’t just a policy issue, but it’s about our families, our communities and it’s about our common future.
Cecilia Muñoz: “Let’s show we’re a nation of immigrants”
Cecilia Muñoz sent out a message this month asking people to share their American stories. To kick things off, one of the President’s senior advisors sat down to share his story with you. Watch David Simas tell his American story, then tell us yours.
by Dalia Hashad – Avaaz.org
• Detainees in Guantanamo now: 166
Obama Cares: On the Friday before Mother’s Day, President Obama explained how the Affordable Care Act is helping women. For example, the law prevents insurance companies from charging women more than men and requires insurance companies to cover preventive services like mammograms free of charge.
Thanks to the women in this room and people all across the country, we worked really hard — and it’s now been more than three years since Congress passed the Affordable Care Act and I signed it into law. It’s been nearly a year since the Supreme Court upheld the law under the Constitution. And, by the way, six months ago, the American people went to the polls and decided to keep going in this direction. So the law is here to stay.
Review of IRS: On Wednesday, the President delivered remarks on the Treasury Department’s review of the Internal Revenue Service and said the “misconduct that it uncovered is inexcusable.” The President said he will hold the responsible parties accountable, put in place new safeguards to make sure this does not happen again, and work with Congress as it performs its oversight role.
I’ll do everything in my power to make sure nothing like this happens again by holding the responsible parties accountable, by putting in place new checks and new safeguards, and going forward, by making sure that the law is applied as it should be — in a fair and impartial way.
Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey: On Thursday, President Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan held a press conference at the Rose Garden. The leaders discussed U.S. – Turkey relations such as trade and investment, mutual security, and the conflict in Syria.
Prime Minister Cameron of Great Britain: On Tuesday, the President welcomed British Prime Minister David Cameron to the White House. The global partners spoke about the upcoming Group of Eight summit, sustaining the global economy, and the conflict in Syria.
National Peace Officers Memorial Service: On Wednesday, the President headed to the U.S. Capitol for the National Peace Officers Memorial Service. The event paid respect to law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty the last year. The 143 fallen officers were recognized for their courage on the front lines and their dedication to our community.
They exemplified the very idea of citizenship — that with our God-given rights come responsibilities and obligations to ourselves and to others. They embodied that idea. That’s the way they died. That’s how we must remember them. And that’s how we must live.
#WeTheGeeks: On Thursday, the White House launched “We the Geeks,” a new series of Google+ Hangouts highlighting the future of science, technology, and innovation in America. The first “We the Geeks” Hangout covered Grand Challenges, which are “ambitious goals on a national or global scale that capture the imagination and demand advances in innovation and breakthroughs in science and technology.”
You can read more about the President’s commitment to health care for women in his 2013 proclamation for National Women’s Health Week.
Over the weekend, First Lady Michelle Obama delivered the Commencement Address at Eastern Kentucky University, and earlier this week, Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, Cecilia Muñoz, met with a coalition of mothers and children who use their voices to speak out about the importance of high-quality, early education.
Thank you for all that you do.
White House Council on Women & Girls
President Obama Explains How Health Reform Is Helping Women
President Barack Obama delivers a statement on the Affordable Care Act in the East Room of the White
“Women in particular now have more control over their own care than ever before,” the President said. “And I’m pleased to be joined today by many women who wrote in to tell us what the Affordable Care Act means to them.”
Carol was one of the women who wrote to the President, and today, she introduced him in the East Room. Carol’s son, a 22-year-old college grad and traumatic brain injury survivor with a rare genetic lung disease, was able to stay on his family’s health insurance policy instead of being kicked off the plan this year. Finding coverage on his own would have been nearly impossible, as Carol wrote to the President: “Given his history, he would be virtually uninsurable under the old set of ‘rules.’ Instead of contemplating law school, all of his resources would have been channeled into somehow, somewhere, finding health insurance.”
Carol and her son are why the Affordable Care Act lets young people stay on their parent’s plan until they turn 26, President Obama said.
President Obama talked about a few more ways the Affordable Care Act is already helping people across the country. You can watch the video of the event and read the full post here.
Celebrate National Women’s Health Week
President Obama issued a proclamation in honor of “National Women’s Health Week.” As Secretary Sebelius said, National Women’s Health Week is a time when “As a nation, we honor the women in our lives – our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, cousins, friends, and colleagues – by encouraging them to make their health a priority and to take steps to live healthier, happier lives.”
You can get more information and tools on National Women’s Health Week here and you can follow on Twitter using #NWHW.
First Lady Michelle Obama Delivers the Commencement Address at Eastern Kentucky University
First Lady Michelle Obama delivers remarks during the Eastern Kentucky University commencement at the EKU Alumni Coliseum in Richmond, Ky., May 11, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)
First Lady Michelle Obama celebrated a new class of graduates from Eastern Kentucky University.
“You all went through so much to make it to this day — the highs and the lows, the triumphs, the challenges, the celebrations, the devastations — and I’m not just talking about your love lives, either,” the First Lady told the graduates. “I’m talking about all those papers you poured your heart into; all those caffeine-fueled all-nighters; those moments of anxiety as you set out on your own, looking to find new friends you clicked with and a new community to call your own.”
At Eastern Kentucky, the students were part of a community committed to public service — and in the past year, the seniors and their classmates put in more than 107,000 hours of volunteer work. And Mrs. Obama told the Class of 2013 that they needed to maintain that commitment as graduates.
You can read the full text of the First Lady’s remarks here.
Meeting with Mothers and Advocates for Our Children
(Jeff Martin, National Women’s Law Center)
During his State of the Union address in February, President Obama called on Congress to expand access to high-quality preschool to every four-year old in America. As the President put it that day:
“In states that make it a priority to educate our youngest children, like Georgia or Oklahoma, studies show students grow up more likely to read and do math at grade level, graduate high school, hold a job, form more stable families of their own. We know this works. So let’s do what works and make sure none of our children start the race of life already behind. Let’s give our kids that chance.”
This week Cecilia Muñoz met with mothers, leaders, and tireless advocates that understand that the best investment we can make as a country is in our children’s future.
You can read Cecilia’s full post here.
Photo of the Day: Honoring Our National Peace Officers
Yesterday, President Obama spoke at the National Peace Officers Memorial Service, an annual ceremony honoring law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in the previous year.
The President said that the 143 officers honored “exemplified the very idea of citizenship — that with our God-given rights come responsibilities and obligations to ourselves and to others.”
President Barack Obama greets audience members during the National Peace Officers Memorial Service, an annual ceremony honoring law enforcement who were killed in the line of duty in the previous year, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. May 15, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
In Case You Missed It
Here are some of the top stories from the White House blog:
Hanging out with “We the Geeks” The White House is kicking off “We the Geeks,” a new series of Google+ Hangouts to highlight the future of science, technology, and innovation here in the United States.
President Obama Discusses the Internal Revenue Service President Obama discusses the Treasury Department’s review of the Internal Revenue Service.
The President and Vice President’s 2012 Financial Disclosure Forms See the President and Vice President’s 2012 financial disclosure reports.
All times are Eastern Daylight Time (EDT).
9:50 AM: The President holds a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey
1:30 PM: The Vice President, Dr. Jill Biden and Secretary of State Kerry host a lunch in honor of Prime Minister Erdogan
4:30 PM: The President meets with senior advisors
5:15 PM: The Vice President delivers remarks at an event with Prime Minister Erdogan
6:30 PM: The President hosts a working dinner with Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey
2:30 PM: The Vice President meets with Prime Minister Ivica Dacic of Serbia
Indicates that the event will be live-streamed on WhiteHouse.gov/Live
Florida’s tomato farms supply 50% of all U.S. fresh tomatoes but have also been called America’s ‘ground zero for slavery.
Florida’s tomato farms supply 50% of all U.S. fresh tomatoes1 but have also been called America’s ‘ground zero for slavery.’ Countless workers have been found held against their will, threatened with violence and forced to haul hundreds of heavy tomato buckets a day for little to no pay.
And right now is the worst part of Florida’s tomato picking season – the days are hot and the vines have nearly been picked clean making it hard to fill quotas. In these final days, there is also tremendous pressure for tomato farms to turn a profit making conditions ripe for worker exploitation.
A new solution called the Fair Food Program has been proven successful in the fight against modern slavery in Florida’s tomato fields. But a major U.S. supermarket chain, Publix Super Markets, is refusing to support the Fair Food Program. Publix continues to buy tomatoes from growers that are not partners of the Fair Food Program and where workers still toil beyond the reach of its proven protection from modern slavery.
After decades of abuse, Florida’s farmworkers finally have a chance in the fight against exploitation with the Fair Food Program, demanding a policy of zero tolerance for human rights abuses, including slavery, on tomato farms.
The White House recently called the exciting new program “one of the most successful and innovative programs” in the world today in the fight to uncover – and prevent — modern-day slavery, and just last week United Nations investigators called it “impressive” and praised its “independent and robust enforcement mechanism.”
Leading brands including Subway, Whole Foods Market, McDonald’s and Trader Joe’s have already joined the fight against forced labour and now only buy tomatoes from growers who comply with the following Fair Food Principles:
- A code of conduct for tomato growers;
- Complaint mechanisms for farmworkers;
- Education sessions to help workers understand their rights; and
- Regular auditing of farm operations.
It’s been four long years of public pressure but Publix, one of the largest purchasers of local tomatoes, still refuses to take responsibility for their supply chain.
Will Publix Super Markets, which prides itself on making Fortune’s “Best Companies to Work For” list, continue to turn a blind eye and give excuses, or will it leverage its vast market influence and lead the way in cleaning up slavery in the tomato supply chain once and for all?
We think Publix will make the right choice, but it won’t happen without broad public support. Once you’ve sent your message to Publix, please forward this email on to your friends and family, urging them to join the fight that is ending slavery in the U.S. tomato industry.
Thank you for your support,
Debra, Kate, Ryan, Mich, Hayley, Nick, Jess, Amy and the Walk Free team.
|Today, President Obama is making his first stop on a series of Middle Class Jobs and Opportunity Tour — traveling to Austin, Texas to highlight the work being done to create stable and well-paying jobs that can support a middle-class family.
During his trip, the President will visit a high school where students are learning real-world skills for today’s jobs, and meet technology entrepreneurs who are creating the tools and products that will drive America’s long-term economic growth.
In Case You Missed It
Here are some of the top stories from the White House blog:
Cecilia Muñoz: “Let’s show we’re a nation of immigrants” Cecilia Muñoz sends a message to the White House email list, asking people to share their American stories.
From Snacks to Cleaning Products: Women Empowered to Start Businesses Last week, as part of President Obama’s visit to Mexico and Costa Rica, I had the pleasure of participating in a roundtable discussion on women’s entrepreneurship.
President Obama Meets with President Park of South Korea President Obama and President Park Geun-hye of the Republic of Korea mark 60 years of bilateral partnership between our two nations.