On Tuesday, January 28th, President Obama will be giving the 2014 State of The Union Address. With an ambitious 6th year in office ahead, President Obama will be eager to get as much done as he can. Currently the President has an average of a 29% higher approval rating over Congressional Republicans, and he needs to use that, grow it, and pursue these 5, but not limited to, initiatives this year and lay them out on the 28th.
1. Give Power To Justice Department To Prosecute States Who Have The Voter-ID Laws
Last year, the Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act. This lead to currently 35 states pursuing Voter-ID laws, a requirement that requires you to present your ID at the time of voting. I know it sounds simple, but it is far from so. The biggest state to implement this law so far is Texas, and, according to the Justice Department, they have between 600,000 and 795,000 citizens that do not have IDs and do not have the money or time to acquire them. If Voter-ID is implemented in the 35 states currently pursuing it, over 23 Million Citizens may not have the ability to vote. We already have issues getting people out and able to vote. Do we really need to make it harder? These laws disproportionally affect the poor and minorities, and I call on the President to make Voting Rights a major part of 2014 and that he helps Attorney General Holder and other officials in the Justice Department to pressure and prosecute states that have Voter-ID on their books.
2. Universal Pre-School And Teacher Training
The President has been pushing for both of these programs for a long time, and I would like him to use the bully pulpit to pressure Congress to pass them. I would like to see a Pre-K program where we use the power of the Internet to connect classrooms, and help teach culture from an early age. Can you imagine the cultural benefits of using online translators to have little children from Detroit talk to little children in Seoul? Imagine all the possibilities! I also would like to see the Fed. partner with colleges to train 2 million teachers in 10 years. This training should prepare aspiring teachers to be able to teach their future classes to be able to compete with the world to keep the US as the makers and innovators.
3. Put Pressure On The House To Pass Immigration Reform
The Senate passed the bipartisan immigration reform bill last year overwhelmingly. I hope the President uses the moral argument to put pressure on the House to pass this by the end of the year. We need to make a leap forward on immigration, as it will strengthen our national security, make us a moral nation, and will significantly grow our GDP.
4. Energy Initiatives
Last year, the President and the EPA put historic caps on pollution. I would like to see a reduction in our oil and coal reliance in half in 10 years, even if that means using natural gas as a transition. I would like to see natural gas, solar, wind, nuclear, and hydroelectric power be invested in and take over as our primary source and then our sources of energy. Hopefully, in 25 years, we will be off coal, oil, and other fossil fuels for good. I would also like to see the President’s other proposals put into action, like preparing us for stronger storms and weather, and to train more workers for Green Jobs.
5. Pressure Congress To Pass Senator Gillibrand’s Military Sexual Assault Bill
For the last few years, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has been advocating for her bill to change the way sexual assault victims in the military prosecute their perpetrators. Earlier this week, the President gave a speech where he told sexual assault victims that he has their back. I would like him to call on Congress to pass Gillibrand’s bill, as it would be a huge step forward.
I look forward to this year’s State Of The Union Address and I hope you tune in!
(Credit for the photos to the White House)