Call to Governors: On Monday, President Obama and Vice President Biden delivered remarks to the National Governor Association. The President drew attention to the importance of infrastructure and education, while praising the group for their great work and accomplishments across America. The President also urged the governors to push Congress to end the harmful and automatic budget cuts known as the sequester, set to take effect March 1.
“As governors, you’re the ones who are on the ground, seeing firsthand every single day what works, what doesn’t work, and that's what makes you so indispensable,” he said. “Whatever your party, you ran for office to do everything that you could to make our folks’ lives better.”
The First Lady and Dr. Biden also spoke and covered the importance of committing to our veterans in their transition to civilian life. Both highlighted states that have made progress in changing laws to make it easier for military spouses to attain new credentials when they move to a new state, and challenged all 50 states to follow through.
Rosa Parks Statue: On Wednesday, leaders gathered at Capitol Hill to honor civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks with the unveiling of her statue. The piece marks the first full-bodied statue of an African-American woman inside the Capitol’s Statuary Hall.
Over half a century ago, Parks courageously refused to give up her seat on a bus and became a catalyst for the civil rights movement. President Obama acknowledged she opened doors for millions by noting, “It is because of these men and women that I stand here today.”
Defense Threats from Sequester: On Tuesday, President Obama traveled to Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia to warn of the sequester and promote his solutions for deficit reduction. Watch the full speech here.
“So these cuts are wrong. They’re not smart. They’re not fair,” said President Obama. “They’re a self-inflicted wound that doesn’t have to happen.”
Let’s Move! Tour: This week, the First Lady launched the start of her Let’s Move! tour to celebrate the third anniversary of the initiative that is challenging childhood obesity. On Tuesday, the First Lady appeared on “Good Morning America” to discuss childhood obesity and introduce a new partnership that highlights healthier recipes through MyPlate, a way to learn about healthy eating.
On Wednesday, the First Lady and Rachel Ray stopped in Clinton, Mississippi to visit 400 elementary school children and recognize their state’s achievements in tackling obesity. Three years ago Mississippi was declared the most obese state in America and now has seen obesity rates drop 13 percent among elementary school-aged children.
Taking Action: On Wednesday, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano hosted over 100 leaders to discuss making our schools and houses of worship safer through high-quality emergency management plans. In January, the President signed 23 Executive Actions to protect our communities and high-quality emergency management was a piece of this framework.