Following President Obama’s State of the Union Address, state and local officials shared their reactions to the President’s plan for a strong middle class and a strong America.
“There is no greater priority than getting people back to work and making America a magnet for jobs. That will happen only if Congress joins the President in putting aside partisan politics and working together. The President laid out a strong and positive message designed to cut through the gridlock and bickering. He talked about manufacturing, innovation, clean energy and investing in people. These are investments we can all endorse.”
“In his State of the Union address tonight, President Obama built upon the themes of his Inaugural Address and proposed a plan to accelerate job creation, promote long-term economic growth and grow the middle class. This plan is rooted in our values: that if you work hard and play by the rules, you should make it in America. His speech was also a powerful call to action against gun violence. The green and white ribbons that have come to signify the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School have now, for some, become a call to action. We have a responsibility to our children to take common sense steps now to prevent gun violence.”
“The world we now live in is more global, more productive, more competitive. It is a new world of unprecedented opportunities to create new partnerships, to sell to new customers, to innovate and collaborate in ways previously unimaginable. The President recognizes that the best way we can compete in an ever-evolving, global economy is by making smart investments in our workforce and creating opportunities to expand the number of available jobs in our country.”
Illinois Governor Patrick Quinn:
“As the President made clear tonight, cuts alone will not bring us to prosperity. We must reduce our deficit by taking a balanced approach that includes both reforms and closing loopholes. And making crucial investments in areas like education, infrastructure and manufacturing will pay dividends in the future, creating more jobs and growing the middle class.”
Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley:
“The President made a persuasive case tonight for why we must begin to make better choices as a nation. Progress is a choice. Job creation is a choice. And whether we give our children a future of more or a future of less, this too is a choice.”
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick:
“Tonight the President proposed a plan to grow jobs and opportunity, a plan that history has proven will work. We have seen here in Massachusetts and across the country that when you invest in public infrastructure and education you create jobs, strengthen the middle class, and build a better future. I am excited to work with the President to advance his growth agenda, and call on the Congress and the American public to join me in that commitment.”
Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton:
“Tonight President Obama presented an excellent plan to expand our nation's economy and strengthen the middle class. The addition of over 6 million jobs in America during the past 35 months shows he has put us back on the right track. His proposed new investments in clean energy, education, and worker training are crucial for the creation of more, good-paying jobs in Minnesota and across our country. I applaud the President for his strong leadership and for his proposals, which will lead our country to even greater prosperity.”
Minneapolis, Minnesota Mayor RT Rybak:
"Tonight President Obama had the courage to stand before the American people and lay out a plan that builds on the progress of his first term while focusing on strengthening the middle class."
"The vision President Obama presented tonight is one we embrace here in New York. The President laid out an agenda for a vibrant American future, where we work together to bring jobs back from overseas, train our young people to have the skills they need to succeed in the workforce, and ensure those who work long and hard hours can provide for their families. The President from his first day in office has sought to reform our education system to benefit our students, and the vision he put forward tonight continues this effort by calling for all our children to have access to high quality preschool education. I commend his proposal to raise the federal minimum wage, in recognition that the current rate is not enough to earn a living.”
“Tonight, President Obama made a clarion call to fix the nation’s broken gun laws. In a chamber filled with both survivors of gun violence and the men and women of the United States Congress who have the power to improve our gun laws, President Obama implored both parties to come together on an issue that has the support of the vast majority of Americans: keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people.”
Charlotte, North Carolina Mayor Anthony Foxx:
“Tonight, President Barack Obama delivered a resounding, clear vision to move our economy to new heights by expanding the middle-class. The President knows we can neither cut nor spend our way to prosperity, and that's why he called on government to be smarter: targeted reductions and targeted investments to put our fiscal house in order and strengthen our recovery.”
Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, who attended the State of the Union as a guest of First Lady Michelle Obama:
"The President delivered a compelling vision for America and a comprehensive plan to grow the middle class. I am proud to be a part of it, and Oregon stands ready to do our part. Our partnership with the administration on health care and education innovations offers a model for federal flexibility and local accountability that can help lead the way to a more prosperous future."
U.S. Conference of Mayors President Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Mayor Michael Nutter:
“The nation’s mayors are pleased that President Obama spoke tonight about moving this country forward with a comprehensive plan that will directly impact the communities we loyally serve. The President’s repeated push for a balanced approach to deficit reduction while also investing in our nation’s infrastructure, job creation and initiatives in manufacturing represent progress – particularly for the middle class who are struggling to support their families, keep their homes, and manage health care costs at the same time.”
“Our constituency of more than 6,000 Latino elected and appointed officials nationwide stands ready to work side-by-side with the President, Administration and Congress on policies and legislation that aim to fix the nation’s broken immigration system, ‘reignite the engine’ of our economy and improve our flawed election system. Working together across party aisles for a ‘stronger America’, we are confident that we can make the strides necessary to ensure that our political system and the American dream remain accessible for Latinos and all Americans in the years to come.”
You can find out more about the President’s State of the Union Address and plan for a strong middle class and a strong America at www.whitehouse.gov/sotu