Administrator Lisa P. JacksonJune 06, 2011
11:37 AM EDT
Ed. Note: Check out this slideshow of former abandoned waste sites that have been revitalized with EPA investments.
Every American wants their air and water to be clean and the land where they live, work, play and learn to be free of pollution. But President Obama knows that these cleaner, healthier communities are also better places to buy a home or start a business – boosting local economies and creating jobs often in areas where they’re needed most. That’s why this Administration is investing in clean, green, sustainable communities that will help us win the future.
Since EPA’s brownfields program began less than a decade ago, it has spurred almost 70,000 American jobs. To build on this record of success, I’m in Lansing, Michigan today where I’m announcing $76 million in clean-up grants that will be used for projects throughout the nation.
With the help of local workers, we’ll turn tainted factories, deserted gas stations, closed smelters and some of the more than 450,000 other abandoned or contaminated sites throughout America into vibrant residential and retail districts filled with opportunities for American workers.
Dr. Jill BidenJune 05, 2011
04:44 PM EDT
Yesterday, my husband and I were honored to visit with some of our service members and their families at the Navy’s Capodichino base in Naples, Italy. I was proud to be there as Second Lady of the United States, but I was even more proud to be there as a military mom.
We were there for a simple reason, and that was to say thank you.
On a daily basis, each of these men and women show us what words like service, strength, and sacrifice really mean. Our military families serving in the United States and around the world are truly inspiring, and they need to know that everyone at home appreciates all that they do for our nation.
The First Lady and I are working hard through our Joining Forces initiative to make sure that every American understands the sacrifices that our service members and their families are making for the security of this nation. And we’re encouraging all Americans to find ways to give back in any way they can.
Kori SchulmanJune 04, 2011
05:17 PM EDT
On the passing of former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger, President Obama and Vice President Biden released the following statements:
Statement by the President:
With the passing of former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger, our nation has lost a distinguished diplomat and public servant. Through more than four decades of service, first in the Army and then as a dedicated foreign service officer and statesman, Lawrence Eagleburger devoted his life to the security of our nation and to strengthening our ties with allies and partners. As Deputy Secretary and then Secretary of State under President George H. W. Bush, he helped our nation navigate the pivotal days during the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War. Our nation is grateful for Secretary Eagleburger’s lifetime of service, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family, especially his three sons.
And a statement by the Vice President:
Nikki SuttonJune 04, 2011
04:00 AM EDT
June 03, 2011
06:41 PM EDT
A quick look at the week of May 30th on WhiteHouse.gov:
Joplin: President Obama visits Joplin, MO to meet with those in the community who lost so much in the tornados last week and participate in a Memorial Service at Missouri Southern University.
Small School, Big Dreams: Labor Secretary Hilda Solis delivers the Commencement address at Bridgeport High School in Washington, one of the top three finalists in the Race to the Top Commencement Challenge.
West Wing Week: "One Step at a Time" takes you to Joplin, Poland, Arlington and inside the Situation Room with President Obama.
June 03, 2011
06:20 PM EDT
Today is a significant waypoint not only in Coast Guard history, but in American history. This morning Rear Admiral Sandra Stosz assumed command as the United States Coast Guard Academy’s first woman superintendent. This also makes her the first woman to command any U.S. service academy.
A 1982 Coast Guard Academy graduate and a surface operations officer with 12 years of sea duty, Admiral Stosz has plotted a course that includes many firsts for women in the military. Her performance in previous assignments as commanding officer for recruit training at Coast Guard Training Center Cape May, N.J., the Director of Reserve and Leadership, and the commanding officer of two cutters, has demonstrated a commitment to building a diverse workforce without boundaries.
Katelyn SabochikJune 03, 2011
04:34 PM EDT
Today, President Obama travelled to Toledo, Ohio where he toured the Chrysler Group Toledo Supplier Park and spoke with employees there about the tough decision he made in 2009 to support the restricting of the company rather than allowing it to fail.
Now, we had a few options. We could have followed the status quo and kept the automakers on life support by just giving them tens of billions of dollars of taxpayer money, but never really dealing with the structural issues at these plants. But that would have just kicked the problem down the road.
Or we could have done what a lot of folks in Washington thought we should do, and that is nothing. We could have just let U.S. automakers go into an uncontrolled freefall. And that would have triggered a cascade of damage all across the country. If we let Chrysler and GM fail, plants like this would have shut down, then dealers and suppliers across the country would have shriveled up, then Ford and other automakers could have failed, too, because they wouldn’t have had the suppliers that they needed. And by the time the dominos stopped falling, more than a million jobs, and countless communities, and a proud industry that helped build America’s middle class for generations wouldn’t have been around anymore.
So in the middle of a deep recession, that would have been a brutal and irreversible shock to the entire economy and to the future of millions of Americans. So we refused to let that happen.
Jeffrey ZientsJune 03, 2011
04:12 PM EDT
The last time the Federal government was significantly reorganized was in the age of black and white TV – a time when the global economy looked quite different from today. As many of you know, the President announced in his State of the Union Address in January that in order to win the future, we must reform our government in a way that best serves the goal of a more competitive and innovative America. He tasked me with starting this effort with a focus on trade and exports, noting that a dozen different agencies deal in these areas.
Today the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency released a new report that underscores the need for this review of the federal government’s structure and how it can be updated to eliminate duplication and fragmentation and better support the nation’s competitiveness a 21st Century global economy.
Over the last few months, Lisa Brown, the Executive Director of this effort, and I, and our team at OMB, have been hard at work gathering ideas, input, and advice from as many stakeholders as possible, hearing what works and what doesn’t, and where duplication and fragmentation exist, in order to develop informed recommendations for the President.
Kodiak StarrJune 03, 2011
12:04 PM EDT
Today, President Obama will travel to Toledo, Ohio where he will visit the Chrysler Group’s Toledo Supplier Park – an operation that employs more than 1,700 workers producing Jeep Wranglers, Jeep Liberties, and Dodge Nitros. Just two years ago, Chrysler was filing for bankruptcy, and President Obama made the tough decision to support the restructuring of the company rather than allow it to fail – which would have cost tens of thousands of American jobs.
Today, Chrysler is repaying its government loans six years ahead of schedule and posted five consecutive quarters of operating profit. Earlier this week, the National Economic Council released a new report on the resurgence of the American automotive industry. Over the past two years, the auto industry has added 113,000 jobs - the fastest pace of job growth in the auto industry since 1998.
Check out this infographic that highlights some of the key successes in the auto industry since 2009.
June 03, 2011
11:45 AM EDT
This week, the White House released a report highlighting the resurgence of the American auto industry. The report discusses the jobs created in the sector, the turnaround of the companies that are now turning a profit, and how entire communities have been revitalized by a strengthened auto industry.
In advance of the President’s trip to Chrysler Group’s Toledo Supplier Park in Ohio, we heard from local officials around the country on how the recovery of the American automobile industry has impacted their communities.
Mayor Greg Goodnight of Kokomo, Indiana told us:
The comeback Kokomo has experienced due to the resurgence of the auto industry can be seen all around the City of Kokomo. Delphi is building a $25 million new state of art facility, Chrysler is investing over one billion dollars in their Kokomo facilities and our local economy is benefitting. Those who called for liquidation of the American auto industry did not have to look into the eyes of the auto industry employees who depend on these jobs to feed their families and send their children to school. They are my lifelong neighbors and friends; I know the impact these jobs have on our community.
Kori SchulmanJune 03, 2011
11:15 AM EDT
The First Lady just announced that she will travel to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa and Gaborone, Botswana during an official visit to Africa later this month. The trip, focused on youth leadership, education, health and wellness, is a continuation of Mrs. Obama’s work to engage young people at home and abroad. Stay tuned for updates on the trip and ways to engage on WhiteHouse.gov.
Here's the full press release:
Secretary Hilda SolisJune 03, 2011
10:33 AM EDT
Earlier this week in Bridgeport—a tiny town nestled between farms and orchards in rural north central Washington state—a small high school with big goals and big dreams showed America the promise of our public education system.
Here, I proudly delivered the commencement speech at Bridgeport High School—one of three public schools chosen by President Obama as a finalist in the Race to the Top Commencement Challenge conceived to spur innovative reforms in our public schools.
Perseverance is nothing new to Bridgeport. This town’s strong work ethic has been passed down through the generations. As far back as the late 1800s, Bridgeport was a destination for waves of hard-working immigrants who traveled here in search of opportunity and a better life.
Austan GoolsbeeJune 03, 2011
09:30 AM EDT
Today’s employment report shows that private sector payrolls increased by 83,000 in May and the unemployment rate ticked up to 9.1 percent. There are always bumps on the road to recovery, but the overall trajectory of the economy has improved dramatically over the past two years.
While the private sector has added more than 2.1 million jobs over the past 15 months, the unemployment rate is unacceptably high and faster growth is needed to replace the jobs lost in the downturn. The initiatives put in place by this Administration – such as the payroll tax cut and business incentives for investment – have contributed to solid employment growth overall this year, but this report is a reminder of the challenges that remain. We are focused on promoting exports, reducing regulatory burdens and making the investments in education, research and development, and infrastructure that will grow our economy and create jobs. We will continue to work with Congress to responsibly reduce the deficit and live within our means.
Overall payroll employment rose by 54,000 in May. Solid employment increases occurred in professional and business services (+44,000) and education and health services (+34,000). Sectors with employment declines included local government (-28,000), retail trade (-8,500), and manufacturing (-5,000). Despite the decline this month, manufacturing has added 238,000 jobs since the beginning of 2010, the best period of manufacturing job growth in over a decade.
The monthly employment and unemployment numbers are volatile and employment estimates are subject to substantial revision. Therefore, as the Administration always stresses, it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report.
Austan Goolsbee is Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers
Arun ChaudharyJune 03, 2011
12:00 AM EDT
This week, President Obama traveled to Joplin, Missouri in the wake of historic and deadly tornadoes to see the devastation first hand. The President finished his week-long trip to Europe in Poland and visited Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day.
Watch West Wing Week here.
Find out more about the topics covered in this edition of West Wing Week:
June 02, 2011
05:56 PM EDT
Schools across the country are taking steps to improve their learning models to include emerging technologies that our nation’s young people so heavily use. The U.S. Department of Education recognizes that this initiative will better prepare students for success in college and their careers. Now, we must ensure that the benefits of technology serve all students.
Last week, the Department and its Office for Civil Rights (OCR) took another step toward the Obama administration’s dual goals of better serving the needs of the millions of Americans with disabilities, and increasing educational opportunities. In two Dear Colleague Letters, one for Elementary/Secondary and one for Post Secondary, and a Frequently Asked Questions document (pdf), we explained the obligations of educational institutions that provide benefits to students through these technologies, and their responsibility to provide equal opportunity with all types of technology for students with disabilities.
June 02, 2011
04:04 PM EDT
Ed. Note: Cross posted from the Energy Blog.
Across the country, the race is on to drive down the cost of solar energy. And a new challenge through the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative could help slash the costs even faster.
We are challenging cities and counties to compete nationwide to cut the red tape that can push up the price tags on solar energy projects.
One of the highest hurdles for would-be investors in residential and small commercial solar energy installations is navigating the differing and expensive administrative processes required to get their solar panels from the drawing board to the rooftop.
Solar panels on the roof of the Department of Energy Forrestal Building. Photo provided by the Department of Energy.
Kalpen ModiJune 02, 2011
02:21 PM EDT
As we wrap-up President Obama’s “100 Youth Roundtables” Initiative, over the next several weeks we will begin to highlight some of the conversations and solutions that young people have undertaken around the country, and follow-up with young leaders on the issues they discussed and presented.
Our first de-brief comes from the Village of Hope Academies at Vista Maria in Dearborn Heights, Michigan. Their roundtable consisted of a televised component through their local cable affiliates, and the young leaders created an online video with clips of what they discussed. Topics included affordable and reliable public transportation for youth in the Detroit metropolitan area, afterschool activities in neighborhoods, and the strong positive impact that adult mentors and others had made in their lives.
But don’t take our word for it, check out what these impressive young people had to say for themselves. Watch the video here or play it below.
Kalpen Modi is Associate Director in the Office of Public Engagement
Katelyn SabochikJune 02, 2011
01:39 PM EDT
Yesterday, Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin, Director of the White House Office of National AIDS Policy Jeffrey Crowley and Director of the Division of AIDS at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH, Dr. Carl Dieffenbach came to the White House for a special live chat on 30th anniversary of the AIDS epidemic. Check out the video of the chat below.
For events, timelines and more information about the 30th anniversary of AIDS visit AIDS.gov. And to find out more information about HIV testing and treatment, as well a mental health, substance abuse, family planning and housing services, check out the HIV/AIDS Prevention and Services locator.
June 02, 2011
12:04 PM EDT
Today was an exciting day at USDA as I was joined by First Lady Michelle Obama and Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin to unveil USDA's new food icon, MyPlate. The icon is a departure from MyPyramid and serves as a quick, simple reminder to all consumers, built off of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for all Americans.
We all know that what we eat matters - MyPlate offers a visual reminder to make healthy food choices when you choose your next meal. MyPlate can help prioritize food choices by reminding us to make half of our plate fruits and vegetables and shows us the other important food groups for a well-balanced meal: whole grains, lean proteins, and low fat dairy.
Today's announcement was a monumental step forward for consumers and partners, as well. It was a pleasure to be joined by leaders from the Food Marketing Institute, United Fresh Produce Association, Mission Readiness representative Lieutenant General Norman R. Seip (Ret.) and Chef Marcus Samuelson, all committed to making a positive change in our nation’s health.
MyPlateis only the first step in a multi-year effort to raise awareness and educate consumers of every age. We’ll continue working closely with First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative and other stakeholders to deliver tips and information necessary to adopt healthier eating habits balanced with physical activity.
Head over to www.ChooseMyPlate.gov for information, tools, “how-to” materials about healthy eating. While you’re there, check out the interactive tools like the customizable Daily Food Plan or Food Tracker. We hope that MyPlate becomes your plate in the months and years ahead. We’d love to see what’s on your plate so snap a photo of your next meal and share with us on Twitter using the hashtag #MyPlate.
If you missed the event today, check out this video announcing the new food icon, MyPlate:
June 01, 2011
06:06 PM EDT
As we kick off Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month, the Office of Public Engagement has launched a new landing page, Winning the Future: President Obama and LGBT Americans. This webpage is designed to keep you updated on the President and his Administration steps have taken, and continue to take to benefit the LGBT community.
Also, on Tuesday, the President issued a proclamation for LGBT Pride month, available here.
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