The Militant Negro
July 28, 2014
04:44 PM EDT
President Obama’s town hall today with 500 of Africa’s most promising young leaders provided an inspiring window into what the future holds for Africa, and the world.
The 500 participants in the Washington Fellowship program were selected from nearly 50,000 applicants from across Africa, as part of the President’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI). YALI was launched by President Obama in 2010, as part of a long-term investment in the next generation of African leaders. It aims to sharpen their skills, to improve their networks, and to strengthen partnerships between the United States and Africa for years to come.
The President announced during the town hall that the Washington Fellowship was being renamed as the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, in honor of the former South African President, Nelson Mandela. Mandela Washington Fellows represent the best and brightest from communities across Africa, and fields ranging from education, medicine, law, business, and beyond. These are the young leaders whose skills, passion, and visions for the future, will help shape the fate of their countries and the world. It is in everyone’s best interest to help them prepare with the tools they need to build a healthier, more secure, more prosperous, and more peaceful Africa, which is why President Obama launched YALI in the first place.
Delivering the Goods: A Labor of Love for UPS Driver Jay Valentin
Secretary Anthony Foxx
July 28, 2014
06:23 PM EDT
Ed. note: This is cross-posted on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s blog. See the original post here.
Like many Americans, when Jesus “Jay” Valentin – a UPS driver – goes to sleep at night in his New Jersey home, he’s got a lot on his mind.
He thinks about tomorrow’s deliveries and worries about what the traffic will be like and what the weather will mean for road conditions. He calculates how much next month’s mortgage payment will leave his family – his wife Jenny and four kids – for savings. He wonders how he will pay for his daughter Tiffany’s college education – she’s 16 now and thinking toward the future.
Last Friday, I had the chance to meet Jay and some of his coworkers at the UPS hub in Secaucus, New Jersey. It was an eye-opener in many ways.
Unleashing Climate Data to Empower America’s Agricultural Sector
July 29, 2014
08:16 AM EDT
Today, in a major step to advance the President’s Climate Data Initiative, the Obama administration is inviting leaders of the technology and agricultural sectors to the White House to discuss new collaborative steps to unleash data that will help ensure our food system is resilient to the effects of climate change.
More intense heat waves, heavier downpours, and severe droughts and wildfires out west are already affecting the nation’s ability to produce and transport safe food. The recently releasedNational Climate Assessment makes clear that these kinds of impacts are projected to become more severe over this century.
Food distributors, agricultural businesses, farmers, and retailers need accessible, useable data, tools, and information to ensure the effectiveness and sustainability of their operations – from water availability, to timing of planting and harvest, to storage practices, and more.
Today’s convening at the White House will include formal commitments by a host of private-sector companies and nongovernmental organizations to support the President’s Climate Data Initiative by harnessing climate data in ways that will increase the resilience of America’s food system and help reduce the contribution of the nation’s agricultural sector to climate change
Join a Twitter Q&A on Climate Change and the Cost of Inaction
July 29, 2014
10:38 AM EDT
Climate change is not a distant threat – we’re already experiencing its harmful impacts. That’s why President Obama has taken action to cut carbon pollution by moving to cleaner sources of energy and improving the energy efficiency of our cars, trucks, and buildings. But further steps are urgently needed to ensure that we leave our kids a planet that’s not polluted or damaged.
Today, the White House released a new report from the Council of Economic Advisers that breaks down the economic consequences of delaying action to combat climate change. The report finds that delaying policy actions by a decade increases total climate change mitigation costs by about 40%, and failing to take any action would risk substantial economic damage.
So how will this affect you and your community? Jason Furman, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, is taking to Twitter to answer your questions. Today, July 29 at 2:30 p.m. ET, join him for a Twitter Q&A on the economic impacts of climate change on his Twitter handle, @CEAChair.
Here’s what you need to know:
- Ask your questions now and during the live event on Twitter with the hashtag #WHClimateChat
- Follow the Q&A live through the @CEAChair Twitter handle
- If you miss the live Q&A, the full session will be posted on WhiteHouse.gov and Storify.com/whitehouse
Learn more about President Obama’s plan to combat climate change atWhiteHouse.gov/climate-change, and then join Jason Furman, @CEAChair, for a Twitter chat today, July 29, at 2:30 p.m. ET
New Report: The Cost of Delaying Action to Stem Climate Change
July 29, 2014
11:26 AM EDT
The signs of climate change are all around us. The average temperature in the United States during the past decade was 0.8° Celsius (1.5° Fahrenheit) warmer than the 1901-1960 average, and the last decade was the warmest on record both in the United States and globally. Global sea levels are currently rising at approximately 1.25 inches per decade, and the rate of increase appears to be accelerating.
The scientific consensus is that these changes, and many others, are largely consequences of anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases that have led to a warming of the atmosphere and oceans.
The Council of Economic Advisers released a report today that examines the economic consequences of delaying implementing policies to reduce the pace and ultimate magnitude of these changes; the findings emphasize the need for policy action today. The report was written under the leadership of Jim Stock, who recently resigned as a Member of the Council of Economic Advisers to return to his teaching position at Harvard University.
KEY POINTS IN TODAY’S REPORT FROM THE COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISERS
1. Immediate action substantially reduces the cost of achieving climate targets. Taking meaningful steps now sends a signal to the market that reduces long-run costs of meeting the target. Such action will reduce investments in high-carbon infrastructure that is expensive to replace and will spur development of new low- and zero-emissions technologies. For both reasons, the least-cost mitigation path to achieve a given climate target typically starts with a relatively low price of carbon to send these signals to the market, and subsequently increases as new low-carbon technologies are developed and deployed. An analysis of research on the cost of delay for hitting a specified climate target suggests that net mitigation costs increase, on average, by approximately 40 percent for each decade of delay.
July 29, 2014
12:03 PM EDT
Labor Secretary Tom Perez is traveling with Education Secretary Arne Duncan to Toledo, Ohio, today to see first-hand model programs and partnerships that are equipping Americans with the knowledge, skills and industry-relevant education they need to get on the pathway to a successful career.
We want to make sure you see what they see, too. Follow along today to see live updates and highlights from their day.
First stop: The Toledo Technology Academy.
The path to good jobs begins in grade school. Students in grades 7 – 12 receive an intense integrated academic and technical education that prepares them for a rewarding, life-long career in engineering or manufacturing technologies. Along with more “typical” high school classes, they receive hands-on training in plastics technologies, automated systems, manufacturing operations, computer-automated design, electronics and other manufacturing technologies. The academy works closely with employers – including the local GM plant – to provide students with industry recognized credentials and certification. Students also can earn advanced credit at local 2- and 4-year colleges. In April, the Toledo Public School System was awarded a $3.8 million Youth CareerConnect grant that will expand the Toledo Technology Academy’s model to serve more students.
…Where students on the robotics team earn a varsity letter.
On the Horizon: The 2015 White House Conference on Aging
July 29, 2014
01:25 PM EDT
Today at the White House, I was delighted to host a roundtable discussion with leaders from across the aging community who came together to discuss the White House Conference on Aging, which will take place in 2015 – the 50th anniversary of Medicare, Medicaid, and the Older Americans Act, as well as the 80th anniversary of Social Security.
Just yesterday, the Medicare Trustees released their annual report finding that, since their report last year, the life of the Medicare Trust Fund has been extended by four additional years to 2030. When this Administration first took office, the Trust Fund was projected to go bankrupt more than a dozen years sooner, in 2017. The Trustees also project that – for the second year in a row – Part B premiums will not increase, allowing seniors to keep more of their Social Security cost-of-living increase.
Thanks in part to the Affordable Care Act, we have improved the affordability of the program, while at the same time helping Medicare work better for seniors. For example, we are closing the prescription drug coverage gap or “donut hole” to make medications more affordable for Medicare beneficiaries. Just today, we learned that 8.2 million seniors and people with disabilities saved $11.5 billion since 2010 – over $1,000 on average for people hitting the donut hole. Additionally, Medicare now provides coverage without cost-sharing for many preventive benefits to help keep older Americans healthy. The Affordable Care Act also responds to older Americans’ desire to remain independent in their communities by creating incentives for states to provide the services and supports that help people remain at home as they age.
Press Secretary Josh Earnest: “The President Wants to Meet You”
July 29, 2014
02:28 PM EDT
This summer, President Obama is traveling across the country to meet with everyday Americans who have written him about what’s going on in their lives.
Ahead of the President’s trip to Kansas City this evening, White House Press Secretary and Kansas City native Josh Earnest called a few people in the area and invited them out to dinner with the President.
Watch the Press Secretary give them a call, and hear their reactions — we’re sure you’ll enjoy it:
Calling Kansas City
Published on Jul 29, 2014
Press Secretary, and Kansas City native, Josh Earnest places calls to hardworking Americans in Kansas City who wrote to the President and invites them to dinner with President Obama during his trip to America’s heartland.
Table For Five: Obama To Dine With Kansas City Penpals
Valerie, a single mom from Kansas City, Missouri, who owns a small business, wrote to President Barack Obama last week “in the middle of the night,” describing just how hard she works.
On Tuesday, she will get the chance to tell Obama in person as one of four people the president dines with in a visit to the midwestern city – part of a summertime White House campaign to rouse Democratic voters ahead of November midterm elections.
“Are you serious?” said Valerie – whose last name was not provided – to Josh Earnest, Obama’s press secretary, who phoned her to invite her to the dinner.
“Oh my God! I would love it!” she told Earnest in a video made by the White House.
Obama has crisscrossed the country for the past month dining with ordinary Americans who have written him with their concerns about the economy.
The visits are designed to motivate Democrats to vote in the November elections, when Republicans stand a good chance of taking control of the Senate and are expected to keep control of the House of Representatives.
If that happens, Obama will have a hard time advancing his legislative goals during his last two years in office.
Obama reads 10 letters a night selected by his staff from the tens of thousands received by the White House each day.
“In these letters, people tell me their stories,” Obama said in a speech earlier this month inAustin, Texas, after meeting another group of penpals.
“They talk about the hardships they’re going through, successes they’ve had, things they hope for, things that they’re afraid of when it comes to the future and their lives,” he said.
In Kansas City, Obama and Valerie will be joined by Becky, who wrote about her neighborhood association; Mark, who teaches people who have dropped out of high school; and Victor, who was helped by a student loan repayment plan.
The White House did not provide their surnames or ages.
But the snippets of phone calls provided revealed their delight in being invited to meet the president.
“I am just amazed that little bitty old me is going to get this chance,” said Becky.
White House Schedule – July 29, 2014
2:50 PM: The President delivers a statement on the situation in Ukraine.
3:00 PM: The President departs the White House en route Bethesda, Maryland.
3:10 PM: The President arrives Bethesda, Maryland.
3:25 PM: The President visits the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
5:15 PM: The President departs Bethesda, Maryland en route Joint Base Andrews.
5:30 PM: The President departs Joint Base Andrews.
8:00 PM: The President arrives Kansas City, Missouri.
Statements and Releases – July 29th, 2014
Filed under: Politics | Tagged: Africa, Barack Obama, Nelson Mandela, Obama, President of South Africa, United States, Washington Fellowship, White House, Young African Leaders Initiative | 6 Comments »