State of the Union 2012: Leveling the Playing Field for America’s Future
The following is a statement by PolicyLink Founder and CEO Angela Glover Blackwell on President Obama’s 2012 State of the Union Address:
“If the playing field is level, I promise you — America will always win.”– President Obama
Last night’s State of the Union address laid out a solid vision for pushing America into a more equitable and inclusive future. With a targeted focus on job creation, infrastructure, workforce training, and fiscal reform, President Obama offered proposals for creating an economic system in which everyone can participate and prosper, including:
- Investing in infrastructure projects that would produce decent-paying jobs
- Funding community college programs to train America’s future skilled workforce
- Ensuring that the rich share the economic burden by paying at least 30 percent in taxes (the “Buffett Rule”)
- Preventing increases in student loan interest rates, and doubling the number of work-study jobs over the next five years
- Creating clean energy jobs programs
These proposals and others outlined in the President’s speech mark important steps toward closing the nation’s widening income divide. But absent a firm commitment from lawmakers to making equity an economic imperative, they will remain only ideas.
In a letter delivered yesterday to the President and members of Congress –- and signed by more than 130 organizations nationwide — PolicyLink presented a number of policy recommendations aimed at expanding opportunity for low-income people and communities of color hit first and worst by the recession and unfair economic practices. We stand with President Obama in pushing for equitable policy solutions that will help close America’s prosperity gap, and urge our legislators on Capitol Hill to do the same. Together, we can re-build an economy that works for all people.
Still buzzing about last night’s speech? Join us below in the comments to continue the conversation, and share your thoughts on President Obama’s vision for America.
Also, we encourage you to respond to local media coverage in your area and vocalize your support of a bold policy agenda for the 99%.