Office of Intergovernmental Affairs Blog
- Posted byon February 8, 2012 at 10:58 AM EST
On January 24, San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro was invited to join First Lady Michelle Obama to view the President’s State of the Union from the First Lady’s box. Mayor Castro shared his experience and his thoughts on the President’s Blueprint for an America Built to last in the San Antonio Express News:
I have been asked in recent days why I was chosen to be a guest of the first lady at President Barack Obama's State of the Union address. I'm convinced it was because San Antonio exemplifies the vision that Obama laid out for America — a globally competitive business climate with a workforce that is trained and educated to be a leader in the 21st century global economy.
For San Antonio and for our nation, the approach is paying off.
- Posted byon February 7, 2012 at 6:29 PM EST
Today, President Obama hosted the second White House Science Fair celebrating the student winners of a broad range of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) competitions from across the country. The President also announced key additional steps that the Administration and its partners are taking to prepare 100,000 effective math and science teachers and to meet the urgent need to train one million additional STEM graduates over the next decade.
Mayors from around the country wrote in to congratulate and celebrate the accomplishments of students representing their cities.
Jessica D’Esposito, Colton Newton and Anna Woolery from Petersburg, Indiana represented the Pike Central High School InvenTeam that won a grant from the Lemelson - Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Program to develop a lightweight, portable disaster relief shelter, which could be used after disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, or tornadoes to house people who have been displaced.
Petersburg Mayor Jon Craig: “We are continually amazed by the unbelievable accomplishments of our Pike Central High School, Project Lead The Way program. Their inventive minds are unlimited in what they can accomplish. These young adults are our community’s best asset and the key for our whole region in reducing brain drain and promoting entrepreneurship.”
- Posted byon February 6, 2012 at 3:14 PM EST
- Posted byon February 3, 2012 at 1:48 PM EST
During the week of January 16, over 250 of the nation’s mayors traveled to Washington D.C. for the annual U.S. Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting and events with President Obama and the Administration.
On January 18, President Obama hosted the mayors at the White House for a reception with several members of his cabinet.
- Posted byon February 3, 2012 at 1:36 PM EST
Last week, in his State of the Union address, the President laid out a blueprint for an economy that’s built to last. And on Wednesday, as part of that blueprint, President Obama called for action to help responsible borrowers and support a housing market recovery. We in Illinois support the President’s efforts to jumpstart our housing market recovery.
The President and I both know that we must focus on continuing to move our recovery forward, and housing is key to our continued economic growth. In Illinois, we’ve led a coordinated effort by many of our state agencies to support homeowners and aspiring homeowners. On Wednesday, in my State of the State address, I proposed a number of additional housing initiatives to promote affordable housing and help families facing foreclosure. Government cannot fix the housing crisis on its own, but we can help families access affordable housing and give them resources to avoid foreclosure.
For instance, we can make it a little easier for homeowners that receive a foreclosure notice. Earlier this week I announced the formation of the Illinois Foreclosure Prevention Network (IFPN). The IFPN is a web and hotline hub for all state and federal resources available to struggling homeowners – a one-stop-shop for counseling, legal assistance, mortgage relief and other tools to help families keep their homes.
But we also need to develop new, affordable housing to help families starting out or starting over. I share President Obama’s goal of transitioning foreclosed properties into rental housing. This will create jobs, improve home prices, lower crime and stabilize neighborhoods. And today, we are announcing a new major housing initiative that will help return vacant properties to good use in Cook County.
The President is right: we can’t wait. These initiatives – outlined by the President in Falls Church, Virginia and that I proposed in Springfield, Illinois – can and will make a meaningful difference to struggling homeowners and keep families where they belong – at home.
The housing crisis has impacted us all – our families, our communities, and our economies – and, working together, we’ll help stabilize our housing market and keep our recovery going strong.
Pat Quinn is the Governor of the State of Illinois
- Posted byon January 26, 2012 at 10:12 AM EST
Right on, President Obama! The State of the Union address he delivered this week was both powerful and inspiring – exactly what our citizens are craving. These are challenging times for so many of us and on Tuesday, before the Congress and the American people, the President demonstrated once again why he is exactly the right leader at exactly the right time.
One of the most pressing challenges confronting the country is a skills gap that leaves hundreds of thousands of jobs unfilled while millions are out of work. President Obama is offering a solution – leverage the talent and resources of our community colleges to develop programs that fit the needs of the workplace and put people back to work. We’re doing the same thing here in Massachusetts, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with the President on this initiative.
I also wholeheartedly support the President’s continued commitment to investing in our schools. Our children’s education is the single best investment we can make in our collective future.
The President is also right to ask everyone, including the wealthiest, to contribute to the country’s strength. Tax reform is not about division, or jealously. Like the President, I celebrate the good fortune of others. But the answer to good fortune is not guilt – it is responsibility. We all have a responsibility to ourselves, our communities, and our country, to pay our fair share.
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