Tag Archives president obama

President Obama Designates Monuments for Civil Rights

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This coming Monday our nation will celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but today President Obama celebrated by designating three new national monuments to civil rights history and to promote continued diversity in public spaces like our national parks.

The effort continues to build on the Administration’s aim to protect places that are important to the stories of the American people, this time the locations are in Alabama and South Carolina. The monuments are the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument, Freedom Riders National Monument, and Reconstruction Era National Monument.

The Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument projects the A.G. Watson Motel that served as the headquarters for Dr. Kin’s civil rights campaign, which led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The Freedom Riders National Monument in Anniston, Alabama has two sites that showcase the importance of the Freedom Riders to the civil rights movement, including the Greyhound Bus Station that hosted a racially integrated bus of Riders.

The Reconstruction Era National Monument is in coastal South Carolina and has four sites in Beaufort County that hold the story of the community that was developed by former slaves.

The Administration is calling for protection of the sites by everyone from the community to government officials to take care and protect each of these monuments.

President Obama Is First President in 36 Years To Leave Office With a Smaller Federal Prison Population

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President Obama has just 11 days left in office and people all around the country are already beginning to deal with this reality.

As his two terms come to an end, the work POTUS has done over the last eight years has been heavily analyzed and praised by many, while critiqued by others.

One thing folks can’t take away from him was his successful efforts to lower the federal prison population, and based on the work he’s done, President Obama will become the first president in 36 years to leave office with a smaller federal prison population than he inherited.

As Vox reports:

According to Pew Research, in 2015, the federal prison population was down to an estimated 196,455. Based on the latest estimates from the Federal Bureau of Prisons for January 2017, the federal prison population is at 189,333.

Despite President Obama’s amazing efforts, it’s clear that the federal prison population still needs to be reduced in a massive way. Hopefully this is the start of that.

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Happy Holidays! POTUS & FLOTUS Give Their Final Holiday Message From The White House

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Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays to everyone!

With the new year coming to a close, and the reality setting in that President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will be leaving office in just a month, the holiday season couldn’t have come sooner.

With a lot of “lasts” taking place, this holiday weekend we got the final annual holiday message from POTUS & FLOTUS, which always brings a smile to our face. Though it was the last one, these two powerful figures delivered a strong message once again.

“Together, we fought our way back from the worst recession in 80 years, and got unemployment to a nine-year low,” POTUS proudly said. “We secured health insurance for another twenty million Americans, and new protections for folks who already had insurance. We made America more respected around the world, took on the mantle of leadership in the fight to protect this planet for our kids, and much, much more.”

Always gracious, Barack closed with a thankful message to everyone listening. “The greatest gift that Michelle and I have received over the last eight years has been the honor of serving as your President and First Lady.”

Watch their full message below, and from the Live Civil team, we wish everyone a happy holiday!

President Obama Names 21 Recipients of The Presidential Medal of Freedom

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On January 20th, 2017, President Barack Obama will officially leave the White House and close out his 8-year historical presidency. We expect to see a lot of the POTUS in the next couple of months as he exits his role as Commander-In-Chief with grace.

Today, the President revealed 21 recipients, who will be honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. According to a press release, this honor is the “Nation’s highest civilian honor, presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States.”

President Obama said: “The Presidential Medal of Freedom is not just our nation’s highest civilian honor – it’s a tribute to the idea that all of us, no matter where we come from, have the opportunity to change this country for the better.  From scientists, philanthropists, and public servants to activists, athletes, and artists, these 21 individuals have helped push America forward, inspiring millions of people around the world along the way.”

Here are the recipients:

  • Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  • Elouise Cobell (posthumous)
  • Ellen DeGeneres
  • Robert De Niro
  • Richard Garwin
  • Bill and Melinda Gates
  • Frank Gehry
  • Margaret H. Hamilton
  • Tom Hanks
  • Grace Hopper (posthumous)
  • Michael Jordan
  • Maya Lin
  • Lorne Michaels
  • Newt Minow
  • Eduardo Padrón
  • Robert Redford
  • Diana Ross
  • Vin Scully
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Cicely Tyson

Congratulations to these inspiring 21 recipients on this amazing honor! They will be given their awards on November 22nd at a ceremony in the White House.

#ThankObamaIn4Words: Reflecting On Barack Obama’s Presidency

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Yesterday was a heart-rending day for the nation, we realized that we are moments away from saying goodbye to our beloved president of 2 terms, Barack Obama. President Obama set the standard for what it means to be a true leader filled with integrity, humility, and respect no matter what was thrown his way he handled every situation with pure grace. Having to hold the entire nation on your back is one hell of a job, and no matter how many times nay-sayers tried to rip him apart and make him crumble he stood tall with his head up high. Obama came into office with a mission to change The United States of America for the better, and for the people and that is exactly what he has done. Just to name a few of his accomplishments, over the past 8 years President Obama has:

  1. Passed Health Care Reform – After five presidents failed to create universal health insurance, Obama brought the Affordable Care Act to life and now over 32 million uninsured Americans are covered.
  2. Ended The War in Iraq – Obama took all U.S military forces out of Iraq.
  3. Legalized Same-Sex Marriage – Love finally won, same-sex couples now have the constitutional right to marry.
  4. Won A Noble Peace Prize – Obama is one of few presidents to win a Noble Peace Prize. Obama won in March 2010 for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.
  5. Ended the 2008 recission – Obama’s $787 billion economic stimulus package was approved by congress in 2009. The stimulus package cut taxes, extended unemployment benefits, and funded public work projects and ended the recession.

Obama’s greatest accomplishment however may not be written down on paper with contracts and signatures. Obama’s greatest accomplishment is showing our nation that it is okay to be who you are and to embrace and respect others for who they are. No matter your religion, race, economic status, or sexuality we are all Americans and our differences is what truly make America great. Obama supporters took to twitter to thank him in four words, here are some of our favorite tweets from #ThankObamain4Words:

President Obama Releases Statement On Results Of 2016 Election

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Start at 9:50 mark

Last night shocked the world in an unexpected way as Donald Trump beat out Hillary Clinton for the 2016 election to become President of the United States. While we’re all digesting what that is going to mean for our country moving forward, we can’t help but to worry and fear “what’s next?”

While everyone is weighing in, we have an official statement made by our beloved current president Barack Obama, who calls for a peaceful transition of power and for America to keep their heads held high. That’s all we can do, folks. Spread happiness and positivity as often as you can.

Here’s President Obama’s entire statement from earlier today (November 9th):

THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, everybody. Yesterday, before votes were tallied, I shot a video that some of you may have seen in which I said to the American people: Regardless of which side you were on in the election, regardless of whether your candidate won or lost, the sun would come up in the morning.

And that is one bit of prognosticating that actually came true. The sun is up. And I know everybody had a long night. I did, as well. I had a chance to talk to President-elect Trump last night — about 3:30 in the morning, I think it was — to congratulate him on winning the election. And I had a chance to invite him to come to the White House tomorrow to talk about making sure that there is a successful transition between our presidencies.

Now, it is no secret that the President-elect and I have some pretty significant differences. But remember, eight years ago, President Bush and I had some pretty significant differences. But President Bush’s team could not have been more professional or more gracious in making sure we had a smooth transition so that we could hit the ground running. And one thing you realize quickly in this job is that the presidency, and the vice presidency, is bigger than any of us.

So I have instructed my team to follow the example that President Bush’s team set eight years ago, and work as hard as we can to make sure that this is a successful transition for the President-elect — because we are now all rooting for his success in uniting and leading the country. The peaceful transition of power is one of the hallmarks of our democracy. And over the next few months, we are going to show that to the world.

I also had a chance last night to speak with Secretary Clinton, and I just had a chance to hear her remarks. I could not be prouder of her. She has lived an extraordinary life of public service. She was a great First Lady. She was an outstanding senator for the state of New York. And she could not have been a better Secretary of State. I’m proud of her. A lot of Americans look up to her. Her candidacy and nomination was historic and sends a message to our daughters all across the country that they can achieve at the highest levels of politics. And I am absolutely confident that she and President Clinton will continue to do great work for people here in the United States and all around the world.

Now, everybody is sad when their side loses an election. But the day after, we have to remember that we’re actually all on one team. This is an intramural scrimmage. We’re not Democrats first. We’re not Republicans first. We are Americans first. We’re patriots first. We all want what’s best for this country. That’s what I heard in Mr. Trump’s remarks last night. That’s what I heard when I spoke to him directly. And I was heartened by that. That’s what the country needs — a sense of unity; a sense of inclusion,; a respect for our institutions, our way of life, rule of law; and a respect for each other. I hope that he maintains that spirit throughout this transition, and I certainly hope that’s how his presidency has a chance to begin.

I also told my team today to keep their heads up, because the remarkable work that they have done day in, day out — often without a lot of fanfare, often without a lot of attention — work in agencies, work in obscure areas of policy that make government run better and make it more responsive, and make it more efficient, and make it more service-friendly so that it’s actually helping more people — that remarkable work has left the next President with a stronger, better country than the one that existed eight years ago.

So win or lose in this election, that was always our mission. That was our mission from day one. And everyone on my team should be extraordinarily proud of everything that they have done, and so should all the Americans that I’ve had a chance to meet all across this country who do the hard work of building on that progress every single day. Teachers in schools, doctors in the ER clinic, small businesses putting their all into starting something up, making sure they’re treating their employees well. All the important work that’s done by moms and dads and families and congregations in every state. The work of perfecting this union.

So this was a long and hard-fought campaign. A lot of our fellow Americans are exultant today. A lot of Americans are less so. But that’s the nature of campaigns. That’s the nature of democracy. It is hard, and sometimes contentious and noisy, and it’s not always inspiring.

But to the young people who got into politics for the first time, and may be disappointed by the results, I just want you to know, you have to stay encouraged. Don’t get cynical. Don’t ever think you can’t make a difference. As Secretary Clinton said this morning, fighting for what is right is worth it.

Sometimes you lose an argument. Sometimes you lose an election. The path that this country has taken has never been a straight line. We zig and zag, and sometimes we move in ways that some people think is forward and others think is moving back. And that’s okay. I’ve lost elections before. Joe hasn’t. (Laughter.) But you know.

(The Vice President blesses himself.) (Laughter.)

So I’ve been sort of —

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Remember, you beat me badly. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: That’s the way politics works sometimes. We try really hard to persuade people that we’re right. And then people vote. And then if we lose, we learn from our mistakes, we do some reflection, we lick our wounds, we brush ourselves off, we get back in the arena. We go at it. We try even harder the next time.

The point, though, is, is that we all go forward, with a presumption of good faith in our fellow citizens — because that presumption of good faith is essential to a vibrant and functioning democracy. That’s how this country has moved forward for 240 years. It’s how we’ve pushed boundaries and promoted freedom around the world. That’s how we’ve expanded the rights of our founding to reach all of our citizens. It’s how we have come this far.

And that’s why I’m confident that this incredible journey that we’re on as Americans will go on. And I am looking forward to doing everything that I can to make sure that the next President is successful in that. I have said before, I think of this job as being a relay runner — you take the baton, you run your best race, and hopefully, by the time you hand it off you’re a little further ahead, you’ve made a little progress. And I can say that we’ve done that, and I want to make sure that handoff is well-executed, because ultimately we’re all on the same team.

All right? Thank you very much, everybody.

President Barack Obama Proclaims August 26, 2016 ‘Women’s Equality Day’

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President Barack Obama has proclaimed August 26, 2016 as Women’s Equality Day, which is set to celebrate the achievements of women and promote gender equality throughout.

The proclamation stems from August 26, 1920, which the 19th Amendment was certified and women were allowed to cast a vote. The achievement occurred after women marched and acted toward making a change and allowing for their voices to be heard.

“In the decades that followed, that precious right has bolstered generations of women and empowered them to stand up, speak out, and steer the country the love in a more equal direction,” the proclamation states. “Today, as we celebrate the anniversary of this hard-won achievement and pay tribute to the trailblazers and suffragists who moves us loser to a more just and prosperous future, we must resolve to protect this constitutional reign and pledge to continue fighting for equality for women and girls.”

The Proclamation highlights the levels of progress and leadership that are led by women, the proactive nature of women to coordinate action and response against challenges that are issued to women and girls, no woman should earn less than a man in an equal position and highlighting achievements such as the Affordable Care Act and more that has assisted in positive reform for women in America.

Be sure, on this day, to celebrate the achievements of women and promote gender equality. After all, we’re nothing without em.

President Obama Pens Powerful Essay For ‘Glamour’: “It’s Men’s Responsibility to Fight Sexism Too”

Today is President Barack Obama’s 55th birthday, and in honor of it, POTUS penned out some insightful words on feminism in the latest issue of Glamour.

In the September issue, Obama opens up about raising his two daughters Sasha and Malia with First Lady Michelle Obama and the need for men to fight sexism.

He begins the essay by reflecting on how much progress has been made in the fight for gender equality during his lifetime, but also acknowledges there’s more work to be done. “In fact, the most important change may be the toughest of all — and that’s changing ourselves,” he wrote.

Addressing gender stereotypes, Obama reflected on his time in the Chicago state legislature and admitted that the First Lady shouldered most of the childcare responsibility during that time. “The burden disproportionately and unfairly fell on Michelle.”

He continues, “I’ve witnessed how women have won the freedom to make your own choices about how you’ll live your lives—about your bodies, your educations, your careers, your finances. Gone are the days when you needed a husband to get a credit card. In fact, more women than ever, married or single, are financially independent.

Read President Barack Obama’s powerful essay on Glamour here, or see the full thing below.

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By President Barack Obama

In his final months in office, President Barack Obama reflects on “tough guys,” “bossy girls,” and how stereotypes limit us all.

There are a lot of tough aspects to being President. But there are some perks too. Meeting extraordinary people across the country. Holding an office where you get to make a difference in the life of our nation. Air Force One.

But perhaps the greatest unexpected gift of this job has been living above the store. For many years my life was consumed by long commutes-—from my home in Chicago to Springfield, Illinois, as a state senator, and then to Washington, D.C., as a United States senator. It’s often meant I had to work even harder to be the kind of husband and father I want to be.

But for the past seven and a half years, that commute has been reduced to 45 seconds—the time it takes to walk from my living room to the Oval Office. As a result, I’ve been able to spend a lot more time watching my daughters grow up into smart, funny, kind, wonderful young women.

That isn’t always easy, either—watching them prepare to leave the nest. But one thing that makes me optimistic for them is that this is an extraordinary time to be a woman. The progress we’ve made in the past 100 years, 50 years, and, yes, even the past eight years has made life significantly better for my daughters than it was for my grandmothers. And I say that not just as President but also as a feminist.

In my lifetime we’ve gone from a job market that basically confined women to a handful of often poorly paid positions to a moment when women not only make up roughly half the workforce but are leading in every sector, from sports to space, from Hollywood to the Supreme Court. I’ve witnessed how women have won the freedom to make your own choices about how you’ll live your lives—about your bodies, your educations, your careers, your finances. Gone are the days when you needed a husband to get a credit card. In fact, more women than ever, married or single, are financially independent.

So we shouldn’t downplay how far we’ve come. That would do a disservice to all those who spent their lives fighting for justice. At the same time, there’s still a lot of work we need to do to improve the prospects of women and girls here and around the world. And while I’ll keep working on good policies—from equal pay for equal work to protecting reproductive rights—there are some changes that have nothing to do with passing new laws.

In fact, the most important change may be the toughest of all—and that’s changing ourselves.

This is something I spoke about at length in June at the first-ever White House Summit on the United State of Women. As far as we’ve come, all too often we are still boxed in by stereotypes about how men and women should behave. One of my heroines is Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm, who was the first African American to run for a major party’s presidential nomination. She once said, “The emotional, sexual, and psychological stereotyping of females begins when the doctor says, ‘It’s a girl.’ ” We know that these stereotypes affect how girls see themselves starting at a very young age, making them feel that if they don’t look or act a certain way, they are somehow less worthy. In fact, gender stereotypes affect all of us, regardless of our gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

Now, the most important people in my life have always been women. I was raised by a single mom, who spent much of her career working to empower women in developing countries. I watched as my grandmother, who helped raise me, worked her way up at a bank only to hit a glass ceiling. I’ve seen how Michelle has balanced the demands of a busy career and raising a family. Like many working mothers, she worried about the expectations and judgments of how she should handle the trade-offs, knowing that few people would question my choices. And the reality was that when our girls were young, I was often away from home serving in the state legislature, while also juggling my teaching responsibilities as a law professor. I can look back now and see that, while I helped out, it was usually on my schedule and on my terms. The burden disproportionately and unfairly fell on Michelle.

So I’d like to think that I’ve been pretty aware of the unique challenges women face—it’s what has shaped my own feminism. But I also have to admit that when you’re the father of two daughters, you become even more aware of how gender stereotypes pervade our society. You see the subtle and not-so-subtle social cues transmitted through culture. You feel the enormous pressure girls are under to look and behave and even think a certain way.

And those same stereotypes affected my own consciousness as a young man. Growing up without a dad, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out who I was, how the world perceived me, and what kind of man I wanted to be. It’s easy to absorb all kinds of messages from society about masculinity and come to believe that there’s a right way and a wrong way to be a man. But as I got older, I realized that my ideas about being a tough guy or cool guy just weren’t me. They were a manifestation of my youth and insecurity. Life became a lot easier when I simply started being myself.

So we need to break through these limitations. We need to keep changing the attitude that raises our girls to be demure and our boys to be assertive, that criticizes our daughters for speaking out and our sons for shedding a tear. We need to keep changing the attitude that punishes women for their sexuality and rewards men for theirs.

We need to keep changing the attitude that permits the routine harassment of women, whether they’re walking down the street or daring to go online. We need to keep changing the attitude that teaches men to feel threatened by the presence and success of women.

We need to keep changing the attitude that congratulates men for changing a diaper, stigmatizes full-time dads, and penalizes working mothers. We need to keep changing the attitude that values being confident, competitive, and ambitious in the workplace—unless you’re a woman. Then you’re being too bossy, and suddenly the very qualities you thought were necessary for success end up holding you back.

We need to keep changing a culture that shines a particularly unforgiving light on women and girls of color. Michelle has often spoken about this. Even after achieving success in her own right, she still held doubts; she had to worry about whether she looked the right way or was acting the right way—whether she was being too assertive or too “angry.”

As a parent, helping your kids to rise above these constraints is a constant learning process. Michelle and I have raised our daughters to speak up when they see a double standard or feel unfairly judged based on their gender or race—or when they notice that happening to someone else. It’s important for them to see role models out in the world who climb to the highest levels of whatever field they choose. And yes, it’s important that their dad is a feminist, because now that’s what they expect of all men.

It is absolutely men’s responsibility to fight sexism too. And as spouses and partners and boyfriends, we need to work hard and be deliberate about creating truly equal relationships.

The good news is that everywhere I go across the country, and around the world, I see people pushing back against dated assumptions about gender roles. From the young men who’ve joined our It’s On Us campaign to end campus sexual assault, to the young women who became the first female Army Rangers in our nation’s history, your generation refuses to be bound by old ways of thinking. And you’re helping all of us understand that forcing people to adhere to outmoded, rigid notions of identity isn’t good for anybody—men, women, gay, straight, transgender, or otherwise. These stereotypes limit our ability to simply be ourselves.

This fall we enter a historic election. Two hundred and forty years after our nation’s founding, and almost a century after women finally won the right to vote, for the first time ever, a woman is a major political party’s presidential nominee. No matter your political views, this is a historic moment for America. And it’s just one more example of how far women have come on the long journey toward equality.

I want all of our daughters and sons to see that this, too, is their inheritance. I want them to know that it’s never been just about the Benjamins; it’s about the Tubmans too. And I want them to help do their part to ensure that America is a place where every single child can make of her life what she will.

That’s what twenty-first century feminism is about: the idea that when everybody is equal, we are all more free.

Live Stream: President Obama Gives Commencement Speech At Rutgers University

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President Obama is currently giving the commencement speech at Rutgers University, adding another one to this list this year. Speaking on all the major topics, while still keeping things light, the POTUS reminds us why we’ll miss him so much next year.

Enjoy the livestream below of his commencement speech below.

President Obama Grants Commutation Of Sentence To 58 Individuals

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Although President Barack Obama will be leaving the White House behind very soon, he is making sure to continue and help those in need.

According to The White House, POTUS has commuted the sentences of 58 individuals. Those who received reduced prison terms were primarily charged with distribution of drugs and had been sentenced when the government was most aggressively prosecuting men of color.

Phillip Emmert was among those who was sentenced back in 1992 at the age of 27.

The president stated, “Today, I commuted the sentences of an additional 58 individuals just as deserving as Phillip — individuals who can look to him as inspiration for what is possible in their lives.” He continued with “As President, I’ve been working to bring about a more effective approach to our criminal justice system, particularly when it comes to drug crimes.”

Read the entire story here.

 

President Obama To Travel To Flint, MI To Help With Water Crisis

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What’s happening in Flint, Michigan is nothing short of a terrible tragedy. This week, on Wednesday May 4th, President Obama will make a special trip to the troubled city to offer assistance in numerous ways.

In addition to being fully briefed on the relief plans for the city, the POTUS will hear first-hand from Flint residents about the devastating health crisis and their specific concerns. The president plans to address several community members about the country’s plans to fix this issue and make sure we never have another crisis like this again.

Stay tuned for recap footage from the President’s visit this Wednesday.

ICYMI: Watch President Obama’s Full Speech At His Final White House Correspondents’ Dinner

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President Obama nailed it at his final White House Correspondents’ Dinner that took place this past Saturday evening (April 30).

Coming out with zinger after zinger, the POTUS made sure to fire off several memorable jokes that touched on everything from Donald Trump, to the Kardashians and even his own staff and our beautiful First Lady.

The most epic part came at the very end, however, when Obama hit us with an infamous “mic drop” saying “Obama Out,” a spinoff from Kobe’s “Mamba Out” following his last game. Can’t Obama stay in office another 4 years?

In case you missed it, watch the full speech below and grab some popcorn because this one’s for the books.