Obama to Address Economic Divide and Women’s Issues in SOTU

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Tonight when President takes to the podium for his State of the Union address, he will make it clear that “he will not wait for Congress to act on reversing the tide of economic disparity, as he uses his annual State of the Union address to outline a list of actions he will take without legislative approval.” Needless to say he’s already drawing fire from the GOP, as Speaker of the House John Boehner warns, Obama is heading for a “Brick Wall.” Personally, I think President Obama is on the right track…

In excerpts of the speech released by the White House, Mr. Obama vows to confront growing economic inequality in America, noting that “upward mobility has stalled” and that “too many Americans are working more than ever just to get by.” But as he lays out his agenda for the coming year, he challenged an often balky Congress to get on board or watch him take action on his own.

“I’m eager to work with all of you,” Mr. Obama says in the excerpts of the speech, to be delivered to legislators and a national television audience from the chamber of the House of Representatives starting at 9 p.m. “But America does not stand still — and neither will I. So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more Americans families, that’s what I’m going to do.”

President Obama is also expected to put women’s issues and the economic divide in the forefront of his State of the Union address tonight, stressing the struggles of working women as part of his broad plan to combat income inequality. CNN reports:

During his speech, Obama will call for an end to the wage gap between men and women. On average, women earn 77 cents to every dollar a man makes in the workplace.

He will also highlight the struggles working moms face providing for their families.

Speaking from personal experience, I know how tough it is to be a single mother and a working mother. We are still not doing enough to lift women and children out of poverty. To end the wage gap between men and women would go along way to help, as would raising the minimum wage.

Joining Michelle Obama tonight in the first lady’s box, will “Sabrina Simone Jenkins, a single mom who worked her way through college after serving in the Air Force.”

I think we need to focus more on women who are trying,” Jenkins told CNN as she arrived in Washington on Monday. “They’re living almost from paycheck to paycheck and they’re trying to do the best that they can, you know they’re trying to go back to school, trying to raise children.”

Jenkins said she would like to hear Obama say “that he knows that women are struggling.”

President Obama’s senior advisor, Valerie Jarrett, said that the message “to women will just be one part of his overall message on combating inequity.”

He often says, look, we’re half the workforce. Women are now graduating college at the same rate, if not higher, than men. Graduate school, a higher rate. Yet there are still women only earning 77 cents on the dollar. And that basic inequality is troubling to him,” she told CNN in an interview. “People shouldn’t be left behind because of their ZIP code and certainly their gender.”

Will you be watching? I will be. Follow me on Twitter

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About Pamela Leavey

Pamela Leavey is the Editor in Chief, Owner/Publisher of The Democratic Daily as well as a freelance writer and photographer. Pamela holds a certificate in Contemporary Communications from UMass Lowell, a Journalism Certificate from UMass Amherst and a B.A. in Creative Writing and Digital Age Communications from UMass Amherst UWW.
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