NAACP Leadership Responds to State of Union Address

Washington, DC,  January 27, 2011 /The Black Report/ – Yesterday, leaders of the NAACP responded to President Obama’s State of the Union Address:

NAACP Chairman of the Board of Directors Roslyn M. Brock:

“President Obama gave a broad, far-reaching vision for the future and stressed that the deliberations about how to move this country forward must be civil and respectful. We will look to the members of the 112th Congress to work with the administration to implement many of the innovative approaches the President outlined on strategic investments in job creation, heath care, and education.

We must be smarter in our job creation. We need to create jobs in this country, but not “just jobs” – we need quality jobs that will pay a living wage, provide health benefits and ensure retirement benefits. Congress must focus on smart policies that reflect and address the needs of our nation’s neediest citizens. We need sensible legislation, like the Miller Bill proposed in the last Congress, which would have added one million public sector jobs and especially help the hardest-hit parts of the country.”

NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous:

“As President Obama did in Tucson, he helped move our country beyond petty posturing. He clearly understands that if we are going to pull this country together, we have to put this country to work. As a former community organizer, he knows that while our country is seeking to come out of the Great Recession, black America is hoping to emerge from a Great Depression and our policies have to solve the problem that those twin crises represent

We cannot build a strong, competitive America without investing in every American. As we rebalance our national budget, we must also work towards a balanced society, in which all people have the same opportunities regardless of race, national origin, religion, sexual orientation or ethnicity. We must make smart sacrifices, while maintaining our commitment to care for our nation’s most vulnerable and investing in infrastructure and programs that create jobs and keep this country moving forward. Education, health care, and social programs are the investments in our nation’s future that will allow us to compete in the global marketplace over the long term.”

NAACP National Field Director & Director of Youth and College Division Stefanie Brown:

“If we measure a man by where he stands in times of challenge and controversy, we must measure our country by how it addresses the challenges of its young people. The state of young, black Americans continues to worsen in this country. More than half of black teens are unemployed and nearly the same amount fail to graduate from high school. And yet black youth are expected to succeed in states that seem to be better at putting them behind bars than educating them with books.

President Obama called on America’s youth to reenergize and revitalize the nation, and in response we must call on the President and Congress to support us as we prepare to lead this country. If black Americans want to win their own future, they need to stand up and advocate for spending on education and research and development. Policies like the tuition tax credit, which provides $10,000 for families of students attending college, allow our generation’s brightest minds to benefit from a college education, regardless of their family’s wealth. President Obama made overtures toward this kind of support, but we must ensure that the President and Congress follow through.”

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.

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