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Mr. Jonathan Fleming, Freed From Prison After 25 Years, For Murder.


 

By Jueseppi B.

Welcome Home Mr. Jonathan Fleming. 25 years serving time for a crime you didn't commit...welcome to freedom.

Welcome Home Mr. Jonathan Fleming. 25 years serving time for a crime you didn’t commit…welcome to freedom.

 

Jonathan Fleming Released by Brooklyn D.A. 24 Years After Wrongful Conviction

 

Published on Apr 9, 2014

Jonathan Fleming is released after 24 years in prison, after being wrongfully convicted of a murder he did not commit.

 

 

 

Jonathan Fleming, center, exits the courthouse with his mother Patricia Fleming, left, and his ex-wife Valerie Brown in New York on April 8. Jonathan Fleming, who spent almost a quarter-century behind bars for murder, was freed on Tuesday and cleared of a killing that happened when he was 1,100 miles away on a Disney World vacation. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Jonathan Fleming, center, exits the courthouse with his mother Patricia Fleming, left, and his ex-wife Valerie Brown in New York on April 8. Jonathan Fleming, who spent almost a quarter-century behind bars for murder, was freed on Tuesday and cleared of a killing that happened when he was 1,100 miles away on a Disney World vacation. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

 

From CNN:

 

Jonathan Fleming, convicted in killing despite vacation alibi, freed after 25 years

 

New York (CNN) – A New York judge Tuesday vacated the conviction of a man who spent nearly a quarter of a century behind bars for a Brooklyn slaying that occurred while he was vacationing in Florida.

Jonathan Fleming, 51, was found guilty in 1989 in the death of Darryl Rush in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn and served the next 24 years and 8 months in prison, according to the Kings County district attorney’s office. He was released Tuesday afternoon.

Fleming has always maintained he was on a family trip to Disney World in Florida when Rush was shot to death early on the morning of August 15, 1989, in a dispute over stolen money. After years of reviewing documents and re-interviewing witnesses as part of a joint investigation between his attorneys and the Brooklyn district attorney’s Conviction Review Unit, it was determined that the only evidence tying him to the crime was an alleged witness who later recanted her statement.

“As you can imagine, after sitting in jail for 25 years for a crime he didn’t commit, he can’t help but feel vindicated,” said one of Fleming’s lawyers, Anthony Mayol. “On the flip side, that’s 25 years that have been stolen, that he’ll never get back.”

25 years later, man wrongfully convicted of murder goes free

 

At 2:20 P.M. Tuesday, New York Supreme Court Judge Matthew J. D’Emic made the pronouncement that Fleming and a courtroom of his family and friends had been waiting nearly 25 years to hear. “The motion to vacate is granted,” said the judge, regarding Fleming’s 1989 conviction and sentence for the murder of Darry Rush.

 

 

At his trial, defense lawyers provided family photos and home videos of Fleming in Florida around the time of Rush’s killing. But according to Taylor Koss, another of Fleming’s lawyers, they did not have evidence he was in Florida on the day of the slaying. The prosecution persuaded jurors to ignore the alibi.

Fleming told his attorneys he had paid a bill for phone calls made from his Florida hotel room the night before Rush was killed, and he believed the receipt was in his pocket when police arrested him. But authorities told the defense he had no such receipt, according to Koss.

In the course of the investigation, the Conviction Review Unit found the receipt in police records, time stamped and dated — solidifying Fleming’s claim that he was in Florida at the time of the killing, according to the district attorney’s office.

“This is proof of alibi that was basically purposely withheld,” Koss said.

The review unit also interviewed Fleming’s former girlfriend, who said she called Fleming the night of the killing while he was still at his hotel in Florida. The investigation found her story to be credible, with phone records to support it.

The prosecution also produced a witness who said she saw Fleming commit the crime.

According to Koss, the woman recanted her testimony weeks after Fleming’s conviction. She later testified in front of a judge that she was on parole and had been arrested with another woman for being in a stolen van the night of the killing. She said police persuaded her to give a statement against Fleming to avoid going back to jail.

Koss said the judge threw out her later testimony because she could not provide enough facts to back up her story.

A review unit search of police records years later came up with a timeline. The woman on probation was arrested with another woman on grand larceny charges and brought to the Brooklyn district attorney’s office, where she gave a statement. Within the hour, the investigation found, charges against her were dropped.

Koss said defense investigators even found a witness in South Carolina who claims to have been the getaway driver during Rush’s killing and who even identified someone they say is the real killer.

Judge Matthew D’Emic Tuesday vacated the conviction after a “careful and thorough review of this case, and based on key alibi facts that place Fleming in Florida at the time of the murder,” said District Attorney Ken Thompson.

Koss and Mayol say the next step is ensuring that Fleming has a way to support himself after he is released.

“He has no job, no career, no prospects,” Koss said.

“We’re suing everybody, let’s be honest,” Koss added, saying Fleming’s legal team intends to bring a civil rights lawsuit against the city and seek reparations from the state under a provision set up to redress wrongful convictions.

Thompson, who became district attorney at the beginning of the year, has already released two men who had been in prison for more than half their lives in connection with three killings after DNA evidence tore holes in their convictions in February.

Antonio Yarbough and Sharrif Wilson were teenagers when they were imprisoned. But after reviewing DNA evidence, Thompson said the previous convictions for the 1992 murders in Brooklyn would most likely not stand up in court and agreed the two men should be freed.

Those cases, as well as Fleming’s, are not connected to investigations into Detective Louis Scarcella, whose questionable tactics have led to a review of some 50 other cases, the district attorney’s office said.

On Monday, Thompson named Harvard law professor Ronald S. Sullivan, Jr. as special counsel to the district attorney for the Conviction Review Unit. Sullivan, who heads Harvard’s Criminal Justice Institute, will guide the group in future cases brought for review, according to the District Attorney’s office.

 

 

Prisoner Freed After 25 Years

 

Published on Apr 9, 2014

NEW YORK – A New York man has been exonerated over a 1989 murder as part of larger review of questionable convictions. 51 year old Jonathan Fleming had been on holiday in Disney World at the time of the murder and had documents supporting his alibi, but he was still convicted. Since then, a key eyewitness has recanted and prosecutors turned up a hotel receipt proving he was in Florida hours before the killing.

 

 

 

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Millionaire Uses Fortune To help Kids In Struggling Town: What Is The Tangelo Park Pilot Program?


 

By Jueseppi B.

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Shout Out/Hat Tip to Ms. Valentine Logar. Visit her website at QBG_Tilted Tiara.

 

From TODAY:

 

Harris Rosen went from a childhood in a rough New York City neighborhood to becoming a millionaire whose company owns seven hotels in Orlando, but his self-made success is not his proudest achievement.

Twenty years ago, the Orlando, Fla. neighborhood of Tangelo Park was a crime-infested place where people were afraid to walk down the street. The graduation rate at the local high school was 25 percent. Having amassed a fortune from his success in the hotel business, Rosen decided Tangelo Park needed some hospitality of its own.

“Hospitality really is appreciating a fellow human being,” Rosen told Gabe Gutierrez in a segment that aired on TODAY Wednesday. “I came to the realization that I really had to now say, ‘Thank you.’’’

Rosen, 73, began his philanthropic efforts by paying for day care for parents in Tangelo Park, a community of about 3,000 people. When those children reached high school, he created a scholarship program in which he offered to pay free tuition to Florida state colleges for any students in the neighborhood.

In the two decades since starting the programs, Rosen has donated nearly $10 million, and the results have been remarkable. The high school graduation rate is now nearly 100 percent, and some property values have quadrupled. The crime rate has been cut in half, according to a study by the University of Central Florida.

“We’ve given them hope,’’ Rosen said. “We’ve given these kids hope, and given the families hope. And hope is an amazing thing.”

Tangelo Park resident Georgia Gordan admitted that she was ready to move away 20 years ago, saying the neighborhood was “drug-infested” and remembering when people were afraid to walk outside. Gordan decided to stay when Rosen offered free day care, and her daughter eventually became a college scholarship recipient from Rosen’s program.

“It’s one thing to offer a scholarship to one person one time,’’ Gordan’s daughter, Rachel Jones-Manuel, told TODAY. “But to continuously, for over 20 years, to continue to provide this type of incentive for people to go to school, I think is absolutely wonderful.”

Rosen is hoping other private donors see the positive effects of his scholarship programs and start their own versions in hard-hit communities across the country. His generosity continues to benefit students like scholarship recipient Kamillia Crawford, who is a freshman at Central Florida studying to become a lawyer.

“(I want to) make sure that I show the world that with his gift, I was able to reach my max potential,’’ Crawford told TODAY.

 

Thank you TODAY.

 

 

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What is the Tangelo Park Pilot Program?
The Tangelo Park Pilot Program is a three-fold educational community service initiative to benefit children and families living in the Tangelo Park neighborhood in Orlando, FL.

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Who started the program and when?
The Tangelo Park Pilot Program was created by Orlando hotelier and philanthropist, Harris Rosen, in 1994. He funds the project through his philanthropy, the Rosen Foundation.

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What are the components of the program?
1)      Free preschool for every two-, three- and four-year-old child living in the Tangelo Park neighborhood.
2)      Full college or vocational school scholarships for every graduating high school senior from the Tangelo Park area. Scholarships include tuition, room and board, books and travel expenses.
3)      A Family Resource Center where parents can take parenting courses, obtain counseling and other resources to help them become positive role models.

Harris Rosen also added a new facility to the Tangelo Park YMCA which includes a gym, weight lifting room and basketball court.

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How did the project come about?
Orange County Commissioner Mable Butler suggested that Rosen support high school students at Tangelo Park; he then created the college scholarship program, preschool program and Family Resource Center.

How much money has been donated?
Since the program’s inception in 1994, the Rosen Foundation has donated more than $8 million to the Tangelo Park Program.

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How many children have benefited from the Tangelo Park Program?

Of those students in Tangelo who go on to four-year schools, either directly or through community college, 77% achieve a degree–far above the expectation for a community of this socioeconomic level. Of those who go on to graduate school 83% complete their programs. Tangelo students who enter community college complete their associate degree at the rate of 32%–again above the nation average. High school graduates entering vocational programs complete at a rate of 83%. A number of recipients are enrolled in military service.

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How many childcare facilities are funded by Rosen?
The Rosen Foundation funds ten childcare centers in the Tangelo Park area and each employs only certified child care providers. There are no more than six children per day care provider.

Why is it important to help teens go to college?
Rosen’s research has shown that if teens make it through high school, the program pays for itself in returns to the community. A high school graduate will earn $500,000 more in his lifetime than a non high-school graduate, while a college graduate will earn $1 million more in his lifetime than a non-college graduate. If a student earns a post-graduate degree, he will earn $1 million more in his lifetime than a college graduate.

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Rosen cites research from the U.S. Secretary of Education, which stated that if the country could get students who are not graduating from high school to earn their diplomas, the U.S. economy would save $250 billion a year.

What are the benefits of the program?
Preschool students who have one, two and three years of free preschool at Tangelo Park before entering Kindergarten are more prepared than those who do not attend preschool. They are often referred to as “gifted” students. Tangelo Park Elementary School was one of very few urban elementary schools in Florida to receive an “A” grade six of the last seven years, based on the statewide scholastic FCAT exams.

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There also has been a dramatic increase in PTA and SAC participation, meaning that parents also want to be more involved in their children’s education.

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Prior to the program, the vast majority of high school students from Tangelo Park did not go on to college and the high school dropout rate was close to 25 percent. Today, virtually 100% of the Tangelo students graduate with a regular diploma; 98% since TPP’s inception. Grade point averages have steadily increased and are predicted to exceed 3.0 in the coming years.

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Additionally, Economics Professor Lance Lockner of the University of Toronto, who has studied the Tangelo Park neighborhood extensively, determined that crime had been reduced by 53% showing a continuous decline over the past several years and a near eradication of illegal drug dealing was directly attributable to the program. He has calculated that for every $1 dollar invested by the Rosen Foundation in Tangelo Park (over $8 million invested during the past 17 years) Central Florida’s local economy has derived a return of seven dollars.

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What is the Tangelo Park neighborhood? Where is it located?
Tangelo Park is a predominately African-American neighborhood in south Orange County, not far from International Drive, the attractions area and most of Rosen’s hotels. The neighborhood is made up of about 1,000 homes. Since inception of the program, the property value has risen from an average of $45,000 to an average $150,000. Rosen’s program has made the neighborhood desirable to parents who want the educational benefits for their children.

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What are the schools affected by the program?
The Tangelo Park Program benefits children at Tangelo Park Elementary, Southwest Middle School and Dr. Phillips High School.

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Who is Harris Rosen?
Harris Rosen, a long-time Orlando resident, is the President and COO of Rosen Hotels & Resorts, Florida’s largest independent hotel chain which includes Rosen Shingle Creek, Rosen Plaza, Rosen Centre and four value-priced properties including Quality Inn International, Rosen Inn, Rosen Inn at Pointe Orlando, Clarion Inn Lake Buena Vista, for a total of more than 6,300 guest rooms.

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Rosen is a trustee at the University of Central Florida and donated the land and provided the funding to build the UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management. Rosen also donated $3.5 million to build the Jack and Lee Rosen Southwest Orlando Jewish Community Campus, named in honor of his parents. He is an active conservationist and makes many other charitable donations.

 

Tangelo Park

 

Thank you Ms. Valentine Logar. Visit her website at QBG_Tilted Tiara.

 

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Barack Hussein Obama: The Beginning.


 

By Jueseppi B.

barack

 

We all know the current story of POTUSA Barack Hussein Obama, He stands for Women, the LGBTQA1 community, the Poor, Veterans, Students, Youth, the Disadvantaged, and the Uninsured. Barack is a President Of The United States Of ALL Americans. Whether you like and voted for him or not.

 

Here is how he began.

 

 

FRONTLINE | The Choice 2008 (full episode) | PBS

 

 

 

Barack Hussein Obama II ( born August 4, 1961) is the 44th and current President of the United States, and the first African American to hold the office. Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Obama is a graduate of Columbia University and Harvard Law School, where he served as president of the Harvard Law Review. He was a community organizer in Chicago before earning his law degree. He worked as a civil rights attorney and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. He served three terms representing the 13th District in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004, running unsuccessfully for the United States House of Representatives in 2000.

 

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In 2004, Obama received national attention during his campaign to represent Illinois in the United States Senate with his victory in the March Democratic Party primary, his keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in July, and his election to the Senate in November. He began his presidential campaign in 2007, and in 2008, after a close primary campaign against Hillary Rodham Clinton, he won sufficient delegates in the Democratic Party primaries to receive the presidential nomination. He then defeated Republican nominee John McCain in the general election, and was inaugurated as president on January 20, 2009. Nine months after his election, Obama was named the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

 

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During his first two years in office, Obama signed into law economic stimulus legislation in response to the Great Recession in the form of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010. Other major domestic initiatives in his first term include the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often referred to as “Obamacare”; the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act; and the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010. In foreign policy, Obama ended U.S. military involvement in the Iraq War, increased U.S. troop levels in Afghanistan, signed the New START arms control treaty with Russia, ordered U.S. military involvement in Libya, and ordered the military operation that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden.

 

In November 2010, the Republicans regained control of the House of Representatives as the Democratic Party lost a total of 63 seats, and after a lengthy debate over federal spending and whether or not to raise the nation’s debt limit, Obama signed the Budget Control Act of 2011 and the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.

 

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Obama was re-elected president in November 2012, defeating Republican nominee Mitt Romney, and was sworn in for a second term on January 20, 2013. During his second term, Obama has promoted domestic policies related to gun control in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, has called for full equality for LGBT Americans, and his administration filed briefs which urged the Supreme Court to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 and California’s Proposition 8 as unconstitutional. In foreign policy, Obama has continued the process of ending U.S. combat operations in Afghanistan.

 

 

C-SPAN: Barack Obama Speech at 2004 DNC Convention

 

Published on Oct 17, 2012

PBS Version of 2004 Obama Speech at DNC Convention

 

 

 

 

 

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Barack Obama’s Speech – 2008 Democratic National Convention

 

 

 

Barack Hussein Obama was born on August 4, 1961, at Kapiʻolani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital (now Kapiʻolani Medical Center for Women and Children) in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is the first President to have been born in Hawaii. His mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, was born in Wichita, Kansas, and was of mostly English ancestry. His father, Barack Obama, Sr., was a Luo from Nyang’oma Kogelo, Kenya. Obama’s parents met in 1960 in a Russian class at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, where his father was a foreign student on scholarship.

 

In 1963, Dunham met Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian East–West Center graduate student in geography at the University of Hawaii, and the couple were married on Molokai on March 15, 1965. After two one-year extensions of his J-1 visa, Lolo returned to Indonesia in 1966, followed sixteen months later by his wife and stepson in 1967, with the family initially living in a Menteng Dalam neighborhood in the Tebet sub-district of south Jakarta, then from 1970 in a wealthier neighborhood in the Menteng sub-district of central Jakarta. From ages six to ten, Obama attended local Indonesian-language schools: St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School for two years and Besuki Public School for one and a half years, supplemented by English-language Calvert School homeschooling by his mother.

 

 

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In 1971, Obama returned to Honolulu to live with his maternal grandparents, Madelyn and Stanley Dunham, and with the aid of a scholarship attended Punahou School, a private college preparatory school, from fifth grade until his graduation from high school in 1979. Obama lived with his mother and sister in Hawaii for three years from 1972 to 1975 while his mother was a graduate student in anthropology at the University of Hawaii. Obama chose to stay in Hawaii with his grandparents for high school at Punahou when his mother and sister returned to Indonesia in 1975 to begin anthropology field work. His mother spent most of the next two decades in Indonesia, divorcing Lolo in 1980 and earning a PhD in 1992, before dying in 1995 in Hawaii following treatment for ovarian cancer and uterine cancer.

 

Of his early childhood, Obama recalled, “That my father looked nothing like the people around me—that he was black as pitch, my mother white as milk—barely registered in my mind.” He described his struggles as a young adult to reconcile social perceptions of his multiracial heritage. Reflecting later on his years in Honolulu, Obama wrote: “The opportunity that Hawaii offered—to experience a variety of cultures in a climate of mutual respect—became an integral part of my world view, and a basis for the values that I hold most dear.” Obama has also written and talked about using alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine during his teenage years to “push questions of who I was out of my mind”. Obama was also a member of the “choom gang”, a self-named group of friends that spent time together and occasionally smoked marijuana.

 

 

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Childhood Years

 

Right-to-left: Barack Obama and Maya Soetoro with their mother Ann and maternal grandfather Stanley Dunham in Hawaii (early 1970s)

Right-to-left: Barack Obama and Maya Soetoro with their mother Ann and maternal grandfather Stanley Dunham in Hawaii (early 1970s)

 

 

Parents’ background and meeting

President Barack Obama’s parents met in September 1960 while attending the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Obama’s father, Barack Obama, Sr., the university’s first foreign student from an African nation, hailed from Kanyadhiang, Rachuonyo District, Nyanza Province in Kenya. Obama’s mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, known as Ann, was born in Wichita. They married on the Hawaiian island of Maui on February 2, 1961. Barack Hussein Obama was born in Honolulu on August 4, 1961 at the old Kapiolani Maternity and Gynecological Hospital at 1611 Bingham Street (a predecessor of the Kapiʻolani Medical Center for Women and Children at 1319 Punahou Street) and named for his father. His birth was announced in The Honolulu Advertiser and the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

 

Soon after their son’s birth, while Obama’s father continued his education at the University of Hawaii, Ann Dunham took the infant to Seattle, Washington, where she took classes at the University of Washington from September 1961 to June 1962. She and her son lived in an apartment in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. After graduating from the University of Hawaii with a B.A. in economics, Obama, Sr. left the state in June 1962, moving to Cambridge, Massachusetts for graduate study in economics at Harvard University that fall.

 

Ann Dunham returned with her son to Honolulu and, in January 1963, resumed her undergraduate education at the University of Hawaii. In January 1964, Dunham filed for divorce, which was not contested. Barack Obama, Sr. later graduated from Harvard University with an A.M. in economics and in 1965 returned to Kenya.

 

During her first year back at the University of Hawaii, Dunham met Lolo Soetoro. He was one year into his American experience, after two semesters on the Manoa campus and a summer on the mainland at Northwestern and the University of Wisconsin, when he encountered Dunham, then an undergraduate interested in anthropology. A surveyor from Indonesia, he had come to Honolulu in September 1962 on an East-West Center grant to study at the University of Hawaii. He earned a M.A. in geography in June 1964.

 

Dunham and Soetoro married on March 15, 1965, on Molokai. They returned to Honolulu to live with her son as a family. After two one-year extensions of his J-1 visa, Soetoro returned to Indonesia on June 20, 1966. Dunham and her son moved in with her parents at their house. She continued with her studies, earning a B.A. in anthropology in August 1967, while her son attended kindergarten in 1966–1967 at Noelani Elementary School.

 

 

Indonesia

In October 1967, Obama and his mother moved to Jakarta to rejoin his stepfather. The family initially lived in a newly built neighborhood in the Menteng Dalam administrative village of the Tebet subdistrict in South Jakarta for two and a half years, while Soetoro worked on a topographic survey for the Indonesian government. From January 1968 to December 1969, Obama’s mother taught English and was an assistant director of the U.S. government-subsidized Indonesia-America Friendship Institute, while Obama attended the Indonesian-language Santo Fransiskus Asisi (St. Francis of Assisi) Catholic School around the corner from their house for 1st, 2nd, and part of 3rd grade.

 

In 1970, Soetoro took a new job at higher pay in Union Oil Company‘s government relations office. From January 1970 to August 1972, Obama’s mother taught English and was a department head and a director of the Institute of Management Education and Development. Obama attended the Indonesian-language government-run Besuki School, one and half miles east in the exclusive Menteng administrative village, for part of 3rd grade and for 4th grade. By this time, he had picked up on some Indonesian in addition to his native English. He also joined the Cub Scouts.

 

In the summer of 1970, Obama returned to Hawaii for an extended visit with his maternal grandparents, Stanley and Madelyn Dunham. His mother had also arranged an interview for possible admission to the Punahou School in Honolulu, one of the top private schools in the city. On August 15, 1970, Dunham and Soetoro celebrated the birth of their daughter, Maya Kassandra Soetoro.

 

 

US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is seen with his mother as a child in a family snapshot

 

 

Adult life

 

College years

Following high school, Obama moved to Los Angeles in 1979, where he studied at Occidental College for two years. On February 18, 1981, he made his first public speech, calling for Occidental’s divestment from South Africa. In the summer of 1981, Obama traveled to Jakarta to visit his mother and half-sister Maya, and visited the families of Occidental College friends in Hyderabad (India) and Karachi for three weeks.

 

He then transferred to Columbia University in New York City, where he majored in political science with a specialization in international relations. Obama lived off campus in a modest rented apartment at 142 West 109th St. He graduated with a A.B. from Columbia in 1983, then worked at Business International Corporation and New York Public Interest Research Group.

 

 

Early career in Chicago

After four years living in New York City, Obama moved to Chicago to work as a community organizer. He worked for three years from June 1985 to May 1988 as director of the Developing Communities Project (DCP), a church-based community organization originally comprising eight Catholic parishes in Greater Roseland (RoselandWest Pullman, and Riverdale) on Chicago’s far South Side. During his three years as the DCP’s director, its staff grew from 1 to 13 and its annual budget grew from $70,000 to $400,000, with accomplishments including helping set up a job training program, a college preparatory tutoring program, and a tenants’ rights organization in Altgeld Gardens. Obama also worked as a consultant and instructor for the Gamaliel Foundation, a community organizing institute. In the summer of 1988, he traveled for the first time to Europe for three weeks then to Kenya for five weeks where he met many of his paternal relatives for the first time.

 

 

Harvard Law School

Obama entered Harvard Law School in late 1988. In an interview with Ebony in 1990, he stated that he saw a degree in law as a vehicle to facilitate better community organization and activism: “The idea was not only to get people to learn how to hope and dream about different possibilities, but to know how the tax structure affects what kind of housing gets built where.” At the end of his first year he was selected as an editor of the Harvard Law Review based on his grades and a writing competition. In February 1990, his second year at Harvard, he was elected president of the law review, a full-time volunteer position functioning as editor-in-chief and supervising the law review’s staff of 80 editors. Obama’s election as the first black president of the law review was widely reported and followed by several long, detailed profiles.

 

He got himself elected by convincing a crucial swing bloc of conservatives that he would protect their interests if they supported him. Building up that trust was done with the same kind of long listening sessions he had used in the poor neighborhoods of South Side, Chicago. Richard Epstein, who later taught at the University of Chicago Law School when Obama later taught there, said Obama was elected editor “because people on the other side believed he would give them a fair shake.”

 

While in law school he worked as an associate at the law firms of Sidley & Austin in 1989, where he met his wife, Michelle, and where Newton N. Minow was a managing partner. Minow later would introduce Obama to some of Chicago’s top business leaders. In the summer of 1990 he worked at Hopkins & Sutter. Also during his law school years, Obama spent eight days in Los Angeles taking a national training course on Alinsky methods of organizing. He graduated with a J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard in 1991 and returned to Chicago.

 

 

Settling down in Chicago

The publicity from his election as the first African American president of the Harvard Law Review led to a contract and advance to write a book about race relations. In an effort to recruit him to their faculty, the University of Chicago Law School provided Obama with a fellowship and an office to work on his book. He originally planned to finish the book in one year, but it took much longer as the book evolved into a personal memoir. In order to work without interruptions, Obama and his wife, Michelle, traveled to Bali where he wrote for several months. The manuscript was finally published as Dreams from My Father in mid-1995.

 

He married Michelle LaVaughn Robinson in 1992 and settled down with her in Hyde Park, a liberal, integrated, middle-class Chicago neighborhood with a history of electing reform-minded politicians independent of the Daley political machine. The couple’s first daughter, Malia Ann, was born in 1998; their second, Natasha (known as Sasha), in 2001.

 

One effect of the marriage was to bring Obama closer to other politically influential Chicagoans. One of Michelle’s best friends was Jesse Jackson‘s daughter, Santita Jackson, later the godmother of the Obamas’ first child. Michelle herself had worked as an aide to Mayor Richard M. Daley. Marty Nesbitt, a young, successful black businessman (who played basketball with Michelle’s brother, Craig Robinson), became Obama’s best friend and introduced him to other African-American business people. Before the marriage, according to Craig, Obama talked about his political ambitions, even saying that he might run for president someday.

 

 

Project Vote

Obama directed Illinois Project Vote from April to October 1992, a voter registration drive, officially nonpartisan, that helped Carol Moseley Braun become the first black woman ever elected to the Senate. He headed up a staff of 10 and 700 volunteers that achieved its goal of 400,000 registered African Americans in the state, leading Crain’s Chicago Business to name Obama to its 1993 list of “40 under Forty” powers to be. Although fundraising was not required for the position when Obama was recruited for the job, he started an active campaign to raise money for the project. According to Sandy Newman, who founded Project Vote, Obama “raised more money than any of our state directors had ever done. He did a great job of enlisting a broad spectrum of organizations and people, including many who did not get along well with one another.”

 

The fundraising brought Obama into contact with the wealthy, liberal elite of Chicago, some of whom became supporters in his future political career. Through one of them he met David Axelrod, who later headed Obama’s campaign for president. The fundraising committee was chaired by John Schmidt, a former chief of staff to Mayor Richard M. Daley, and John W. Rogers Jr., a young black money manager and founder of Ariel Capital Management. Obama also met much of the city’s black political leadership, although he didn’t always get along with the older politicians, with friction sometimes developing over Obama’s reluctance to spend money and his insistence on results. “He really did it, and he let other people take all the credit”, Schmidt later said. “The people standing up at the press conferences were Jesse Jackson and Bobby Rush and I don’t know who else. Barack was off to the side and only the people who were close to it knew he had done all the work.”

 

 

1992–1996

Obama taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School for twelve years, as a Lecturer for four years (1992–1996), and as a Senior Lecturer for eight years (1996–2004). During this time he taught courses in due process and equal protection, voting rights, and racism and law. He published no legal scholarship, and turned down tenured positions, but served eight years in the Illinois Senate during his twelve years at the university.

 

In 1993 Obama joined Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, a 12-attorney law firm specializing in civil rights litigation and neighborhood economic development, where he was an associate for three years from 1993 to 1996, then of counsel from 1996 to 2004, with his law license becoming inactive in 2007. The firm was well-known among influential Chicago liberals and leaders of the black community, and the firm’s Judson H. Miner, who met with Obama to recruit him before Obama’s 1991 graduation from law school, had been counsel to former Chicago Mayor Harold Washington, although the law firm often clashed with the administration of Mayor Richard M. Daley. The 29-year-old law student made it clear in his initial interview with Miner that he was more interested in joining the firm to learn about Chicago politics than to practice law. During the four years Obama worked as a full-time lawyer at the firm, he was involved in 30 cases and accrued 3,723 billable hours.

 

Obama was a founding member of the board of directors of Public Allies in 1992, resigning before his wife, Michelle, became the founding executive director of Public Allies Chicago in early 1993. He served on the board of directors of the Woods Fund of Chicago, which in 1985 had been the first foundation to fund Obama’s DCP, from 1993–2002, and served on the board of directors of The Joyce Foundation from 1994–2002. Membership on the Joyce and Wood foundation boards, which gave out tens of millions of dollars to various local organizations while Obama was a member, helped Obama get to know and be known by influential liberal groups and cultivate a network of community activists that later supported his political career.

 

Obama served on the board of directors of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge from 1995–2002, as founding president and chairman of the board of directors from 1995–1999. He also served on the board of directors of the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Center for Neighborhood Technology, and the Lugenia Burns Hope Center. In 1995, Obama also announced his candidacy for a seat in the Illinois state Senate and attended Louis Farrakhan’s Million Man March in Washington, DC.

 

 

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Family and personal life

In June 1989, Obama met Michelle Robinson when he was employed as a summer associate at the Chicago law firm of Sidley Austin. Assigned for three months as Obama’s adviser at the firm, Robinson joined him at several group social functions, but declined his initial requests to date. They began dating later that summer, became engaged in 1991, and were married on October 3, 1992.

 

The couple’s first daughter, Malia Ann, was born on July 4, 1998, followed by a second daughter, Natasha (“Sasha”), on June 10, 2001. The Obama daughters attended the private University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. When they moved to Washington, D.C., in January 2009, the girls started at the private Sidwell Friends School. The Obamas have a Portuguese Water Dog named Bo, a gift from Senator Ted Kennedy.

 

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We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration At The Lincoln Memorial

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US President Barack Obama Visits The UK - Day One

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@VinylPopArt Thank you @BarackObama I have Health/Dental for the 1st time since I lived w/ my parents 13yrs ago #Obamacare

@VinylPopArt
Thank you @BarackObama I have Health/Dental for the 1st time since I lived w/ my parents 13yrs ago #Obamacare

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First term official portrait of Barack Obama by Souza, January 2009

First term official portrait of Barack Obama by Souza, January 2009

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The Weekly Address: Rewarding Women’s Hard Work And Increasing The Minimum Wage


 

By Jueseppi B.

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Your Weekly Address

 

President Barack Obama intends to publish a weekly video address every Saturday morning of his presidency.

 

 

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Weekly Address: Rewarding Women’s Hard Work and Increasing the Minimum Wage

March 22, 2014 | 3:04 |Public Domain

 

In this week’s address, President Obama highlights the importance of making sure our economy rewards the hard work of every American – including America’s women.

 

 

 

 

 

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VIDEO MENSAJE DE LA CASA BLANCA: Premiando el trabajo arduo de las mujeres

March 22, 2014 | 3:06 |Public Domain

 

En el mensaje de esta semana, Elmy Bermejo, la Directora de Asuntos Intergubernamentales del Departamento de Trabajo discutió la necesidad de garantizar que nuestra economía recompense el arduo trabajo realizado por las mujeres. Un verdadero plan de oportunidades no es tal si no funciona para las mujeres que son parte de la fuerza laboral. Porque cuando la mujer tiene éxito, Estados Unidos tiene éxito.

 

 

 

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West Wing Week 3/21/14 or, “24 Soldiers”

March 20, 2014 | 5:58

 

This week, the President celebrated St. Patrick’s day alongside the Prime Minister of Ireland, continued to work toward a diplomatic resolution to the conflict in Ukraine, hosted Palestinian President Abbas, awarded 24 Medals of Honor, and traveled to Florida to speak on the importance of supporting working families.

 

 

 

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Press Briefing

March 22, 2014 | 52:31 | Public Domain

 

White House Press Briefings are conducted most weekdays from the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room in the West Wing.

 

 

 

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Barack Visits Valencia College: Improving Economic Opportunity For Women And Working Families.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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President Obama Speaks on Expanding Economic Opportunity for Women

 

Published on Mar 20, 2014

President Obama discusses his plan to expand economic opportunity for women and working families, including raising the minimum wage and expanding access to higher education for women, and ensure that when women enter the workforce they have access to the skills they need to succeed and earn a fair and equal wage. March 20, 2014.

 

 

 

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Remarks by the President on the Minimum Wage

 

 

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Valencia College
Orlando, Florida

 

3:00 P.M. EDT

 

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THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, Valencia!  (Applause.)  Well, thank you so much.  It is great to be back in Orlando.  (Applause.)   I’m glad some of you came to work while a lot of folks are pretending to work and watching — (laughter) — the tournament. I know there must be some Gators fans around here.  (Applause.)  They are an outstanding team.  I put out my Men’s bracket — I’ve got them going to the Final Four.

 

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  They’re going to win!

 

THE PRESIDENT:  And they could win the whole thing — in which case, I won’t win the billion dollars.  (Laughter.)  You can only pick one winner.  There are 63 colleges mad at me.  (Laughter.)  I understand there are some neighbors up the road in Gainesville who are not happy with me.  (Laughter.)  There will be even more tomorrow when I release my Women’s bracket — because you can’t please everybody.

 

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But we’ve got some terrific elected officials here.  I just want to, in particular, thank the Mayor of Orlando, Buddy Dyer, who’s been a great friend.  Give him a big round of applause.  (Applause.)  And I want to thank the president of Valencia College, Sandy — (applause) — where’s Sandy?  Sandy Shugart — there he is.  We’ve got the president of the West Campus who I just had an amazing conversation with — Falecia Williams.  Where’s Falecia?  Right there.  (Applause.)  I want to thank everybody here at Valencia for having me.

 

A few years ago, I announced a new competition called the Aspen Prize to recognize exceptional community colleges, and, lo and behold — (laughter) — your school, Valencia — (applause) — was the very first school in the entire country to win this prize.  (Applause.)  So between the students’ hard work, the outstanding faculty, the administrators who are making sure everybody has what they need to succeed, Valencia graduates are leaving here ready for a career; ready to continue their education; ready to pursue their dreams, wherever they may lead.

 

And so this college represents what’s best in America — the idea that here in this country, if you work hard, you can get ahead.  And restoring that opportunity for every American, that’s been our driving focus as a country.  That’s driven everything I’ve done since I came into office.

 

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And today, we’re at a moment when, after the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes, after just some devastating losses that people had — their homes, or their retirement accounts, or their jobs — now we’ve see businesses creating 8.7 million new jobs over the past four years.  American manufacturers are adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s.  In American energy, we’re producing more oil here at home than we buy from other countries for the first time in two decades.  We’re generating more renewable energy.  The housing market is rebounding, including here in Florida.  Our high school graduation rate is the highest on record.  (Applause.)  Absolutely.  More young people are earning college degrees than ever before.  (Applause.)

 

So even as we are digging ourselves out of the economic hole that we were in back in 2008, we’ve also worked to lay a new foundation for America’s future growth.  Here’s the problem, though — there are a bunch of good things happening, the economy is starting to grow, but some of the trends that have really battered middle-class families and people who are working hard to get into the middle class for decades — those have not yet gotten better.  Folks at the top are doing better than ever, but over the past four years, average wages have barely budged.  So you’ve got too many Americans who are working harder than ever just to keep up.

 

And it’s our job to reverse these trends.  We’ve got to build an economy that works for everybody, not just for a few.  We’ve got to restore opportunity for all people — the basic idea that no matter where you started, no matter what you look like, if you work hard you can get ahead.  America has got to be a place where if you’re responsible and you apply yourself you can make it.

 

So what we focused on is an opportunity agenda that has four parts.  Part one is more good jobs that pay good wages, whether it’s in manufacturing, in energy, in innovation and technology, in the service industries.  And one of the things we’ve done in Orlando is focus on growing tourism.  Buddy knows this.  Two years ago, I came here to announce an executive order to track more foreign tourists to the United States and last year spending by foreign tourists was up almost 10 percent.  That is a huge boost to Florida.  We’ve got to keep on taking those kinds of steps.

 

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Part two of our opportunity agenda — we’ve got to train more Americans with the skills that they need to fill the jobs that are actually out there not just today but also tomorrow.

 

Part three you know something about — we’ve got to make sure every young person has access to a world-class education, from high-quality preschool for every four-year-old to an affordable college education for all you striving young people.

 

And part four is making sure that our economy rewards the hard work of every American with wages that you can live on, savings you can retire on, health care that’s there when you need it.

 

And in pursuit of this opportunity agenda, I’m going to work with Congress wherever I can.  But Congress doesn’t always — (laughter) — move the way we’d like, and so we’re calling this a Year of Action.  Wherever I see a chance to go ahead and expand opportunity for more Americans, I’m going to take it.  I’m not going to wait for Congress.  We’ve just got to go ahead and get it done.  (Applause.)

 

I’ll give you a couple of examples.  In the past few weeks I’ve used my executive authority to require federal contractors to pay their employees a fair wage of at least $10.10 an hour to make sure that folks, if they’re working full-time, aren’t living in poverty.  I’ve signed another executive order to make sure that they’re actually paid the overtime that they’ve earned, because everybody who works hard deserves that chance to get ahead.  And if you work more, you should get paid a little more.

 

As part of making sure our economy rewards the hard work of every American, I’m also coming here today to make sure that our economy rewards the hard work of women.  (Applause.)  Now, I just want to be clear — I just want to be clear.  I’ve got nothing against you men.  (Laughter.)  We’re working hard to make sure that you’re doing the right thing, too, and that you’re getting opportunity as well.  But I’ve got a personal stake in seeing women get ahead.

 

First of all, women make up 80 percent of my household — (laughter) — if you count my mother-in-law.  And I always count my mother-in-law.  (Laughter.)  But I also personally know the challenges that women face in our economy, and there are some particular challenges that women face.  I grew up the son of a single mom who struggled to put herself through school and make ends meet, and raise my sister and me the right way.  And she couldn’t have done it if it weren’t for my grandparents.  And the most important breadwinner in my family was my grandmother, who worked her way up from being a secretary to being a vice president of a bank — never got a college degree — but then hit a glass ceiling at that local bank where she worked.  So she’d train men to eventually be her boss, even though she knew a lot more than they did.

 

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When Michelle and I had our girls, we gave everything we had to try to balance raising a family and chasing careers.  But I’ll be honest with you, it was harder for her than it was for me.  Because when she was with the girls, she’d feel guilty about, am I doing everything I need to be doing on the job; when she was at work, she’d feel bad about, are the girls missing me — and I know Barack is messing up somehow.  (Laughter.)  So she’s calling to check.

 

And so today, obviously we’re lucky and Michelle and I usually get to have dinner with the girls every night and they’re doing great.  And the highlight of every day for me is sitting with them at the dinner table.  And I want to make sure my daughters are getting the same chances as men.  I don’t want them paid less for doing the same job as some guy is doing.  When they have children, I want to make sure that they’re not having to quit their jobs, or in some other fashion be hampered because we don’t have the kinds of policies in this country that support them.

 

My point is — and I’m saying now to the men — we’ve all got a stake in this.  Women make up about half of our workforce. Over half of Valencia students, 56 percent, are women.  In fact, for more than two decades, women have earned over half of the higher education degrees awarded in this country.  So that means soon, for the first time, America’s highly educated workforce will be made up of more women than men.

 

But the thing is our economy hasn’t caught up to that reality yet.  So we’ve got too many women who work hard to support themselves and their families, including the 20 percent of women enrolled in college who are trying to raise kids while earning a degree, and they’re facing unfair choices or outdated workplace policies that are holding them back.  That has to change — because it holds all of us back.

 

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When women make less than men, that hurts their families, including their partners, their husbands, their kids.  They’ve got less to get by on.  It hurts businesses because now their customers have less to spend.  When a job doesn’t offer adequate family leave to care for a new baby or an ailing parent that burdens men and children.  When any of our citizens can’t fulfill their potential for any reason that doesn’t have to do with their talent or their character or their work ethic, well, that’s holding us back.  We do better when everybody participates, when everybody’s talents are put to use, everybody has a fair shot.

 

And I had a wonderful conversation before I came out here with Carolyn and we had a group of other women, including Dr. Williams, and you should just have heard these stories.  I mean, I don’t know if Dr. Williams has shared her story, but her mom was blind and raised her, a single mom.  And she had to go to school and get a job, and when her child was born prematurely, her blind mother comes down to provide child care because that’s the only way she could manage it.

 

You had another woman describing what it’s like when you’ve got twins, preemie babies, and she’s having to quit her job because there’s no child care available, and how she needed WIC and other programs to support her even though she had a loving husband who was helping out.

 

So this is a family agenda.  But it starts with making sure that every woman is getting a fair shot.  It’s time for a woman’s economic agenda that grows our economy for everybody.  Now, that begins with making sure women receive equal pay for equal work.  This is a really simple principle.  This should not be confusing. (Laughter and applause.)  It’s not that complicated.

 

Today, more women are their family’s main breadwinner than ever before.  But on average, women are still earning just 77 cents on every dollar that a man does.  Women with college degrees may earn hundreds of thousands of dollars less over the course of her career than a man at the same educational level.  And that’s wrong.  This isn’t 1958, it’s 2014.  That’s why the first bill I signed into law was called the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act — (applause) — and it made sure that it was easier for women to sue if they weren’t being paid the same as men.

 

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And in the coming weeks, Congress will have a chance to go even further by voting yes or no on what’s called the Paycheck Fairness Act.  Right now, a majority of the senators support that bill but so far Republicans have blocked it.  We’ve got to get them to change their minds and join us in this century — (laughter) — because a woman deserves equal pay for equal work. It’s pretty straightforward.  (Applause.)

 

And Congress should not stop there.  A woman deserves workplace policies that protect her right to have a baby without losing her job.  It’s pretty clear that if men were having babies — (laughter) — we’d have different policies.  I mean, we know that, that’s for certain.  A woman deserves to take a day off to care for a sick child or a parent without running into hardship. (Applause.)

 

So Congress needs to act so that Americans join every other advanced nation on Earth by offering paid leave to folks who work hard every day.  It’s time to do away with some of these workplace policies that belong in a “Mad Men” episode.  (Laughter.)  We’ve got to make sure that every woman has the opportunities that she deserves — because when women succeed, America succeeds.  I truly believe that.  (Applause.)

 

On the ride over here we were talking about some of the best practices of companies that are highly successful.  It turns out that if you give families — you give your workers some flexibility so that if they’ve got a sick child or a sick parent they can have a little time off, those employees are more productive, the companies do better, you have less turnover.  So it’s good business practice.  It’s the right thing to do.

 

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At a time when women hold the majority of low-wage jobs, Congress is going to get a chance to vote yes or no on whether millions of women who work hard all day deserve a raise.  There’s a bill before Congress that would raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour.  That would lift wages for nearly 28 million Americans across the country.  And, again, it would be good for business.  Because what happens is more customers have more money to spend.  It will grow the economy for everybody.  It’s time for Congress to join the rest of the country.  It’s time for — we’re calling it the $10.10 campaign.  Give America a raise.  And that, in particular, will help the disproportionate number of women who are in lower wage jobs.

 

And on each of these issues, members of Congress will have to choose between helping women and families get ahead or holding them back.  Part of our challenge is fewer than 20 seats in Congress are held by women.  I think we’re all clear that Congress would get more done if you kind of evened that out a little bit.  (Applause.)  I’m pretty confident about that.

 

But in the meantime, we’re going to keep making the case as to why these policies are the right ones for working families and for businesses.  So over the next few months, my administration is going to host a series of roundtable discussions like the one I had in different parts of the country just to hear stories about issues like workplace flexibility and opening up new leadership opportunities for women.  And it’s all going to lead up to the first-ever White House summit on Working Families that we’re going to be holding this summer.  And maybe some of you will participate, because we want to hear your stories.  (Applause.)

 

Let me close by mentioning one last policy that’s benefitting millions of women right now, and that is the Affordable Care Act.  (Applause.)  I know there’s a lot of politics around it.  I know there are a lot of TV ads around that don’t always accurately reflect what’s going on.  But right now, despite the fact that the website was really bad for the first month — (laughter) — it’s now fixed — more than 5 million Americans have signed up for plans at healthcare.gov.  More than 5 million.  (Applause.)  More than 3 million young people have gained coverage because this law lets you stay on your parents’ plan until you turn 26.  So I’ll bet there are some young people right now who have health insurance in this auditorium because of the law.  (Applause.)

 

And thanks to this law, no American — zero — can ever again be denied health insurance because of a preexisting condition.  (Applause.)  Not to mention no woman can ever again be charged more for just being a woman.  (Applause.)

 

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Now, this is something that people don’t realize.  Before we passed Obamacare, it was routine for insurance companies to charge women significantly more than men for health insurance.  It’s just like the drycleaners.  (Laughter.)  You send in a blouse, I send in a shirt — they charge you twice as much.  (Laughter.)  But the same thing was happening in health insurance.  And so we’ve banned that policy for everybody, not just folks who were getting health insurance on the exchange.  But if you were getting health insurance on the job, they can’t discriminate against women in that same fashion.  Not to mention tens of millions of women have gained access to free preventive care like mammograms and contraceptive care.  The point is no woman should have to put off the potentially lifesaving care she needs just because money is tight.

 

And in the roundtable I just had there were at least three or four folks in that roundtable, the majority of the women I just talked to had an instance in their lives where either because of a sick child or a premature baby or an ailing parent, they would be bankrupt had they not had health insurance.  Broke. So when you hear folks talking about Obamacare and I’m not using it because I’ve got health insurance or I’m healthy, well, yes, you don’t need health insurance until you need health insurance. (Laughter.)  It seems like a drag until you actually confront what life does to all of us at some point.  Some unexpected thing happens and you want to make sure that you’ve got that support.

 

Now, none of that has stopped Republicans in Congress from spending the last few years not focused on legislation to create jobs, or raise wages, or help more young people afford college.  They’ve taken 50 votes to try to repeal or undermine this law — 50.  You know what they say — the 50th time is the charm.  (Laughter.)  Fifty times.  And it’s not just to try to improve the law or here’s a particular problem.  No, we just want to scrap it so that millions of people who now have health insurance, we want them to go back to not having health insurance.

 

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Well, that’s not going to happen.  They can keep wasting their time repealing — trying to repeal the ACA; we’re going to keep working to make this law work better because every person and every woman deserves to control her own health care choices  — not her boss, not her insurer, surely not Congress.

 

So there’s an important deadline coming up, by the way.  This is now the last call for 2014.  If you’ve been thinking about buying one of the new plans on healthcare.gov — and a large proportion of people, the majority, in fact, may be able to buy health insurance for as little as $100 or less a month — less than your cable or your cell phone bill.  I saw everybody had a cell phone.  (Laughter.)  But the deadline to get covered this year is March 31st, which is just 11 days away.  So if you are uninsured, check out your new choices at healthcare.gov.  Many of you will be able to get covered for $100 a month or less. If you’re already covered, then help get a friend covered, because that’s part of what America is about — taking responsibility for working to achieve our own dreams; also coming together to help our fellow citizens pursue and secure their own dreams as well.

 

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There are just such amazing stories of the women that I talked with before I came out here.  Every one of them, at some point, had made a major sacrifice on behalf of their families.  One woman had a severely autistic son; took 12 years off to raise her three kids, including this son, before now going back to school and being able to teach once again.  Just like my mom. Just like my grandma.  I didn’t fully appreciate at the time the sacrifice they were making.  I was talking about how I used to complain to my mom when she was going to school and working, why are we eating the same thing every night?  (Laughter.)  Because she was doing so much, and then coming home and still taking the time to make sure that I had a decent meal.

 

That’s what built this country — those kinds of sacrifices. And we’ve got to make sure that we as a country are helping people who are so courageous and so brave and working so hard — all those moms and grandmas and young women like Carolyn who are trying to start their own businesses.

 

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We’ve come a long way together over these past five years, but we’ve got to do more to restore opportunity for everybody. Whether you’re a man or a woman; whether you are black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, with or without a disability, all of us have something to offer.  All of us have a place in this American story.  And as long as I have the privilege of being President, I’m going to keep working to make sure every single one of us have a chance to succeed.  (Applause.)  Or as you say here at Valencia, “We Say You Can.”

 

Thank you, everybody.  God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.

 

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END
3:26 P.M. EDT

 

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