The Presidential Perspective
President Obama's Take on Critical International Issues
February 21st is President's Day - a day to remember the leaders of our country both present and past. Many of you might have listened to the State of the Union address recently given by President Obama that discussed the state of our nation and his vision for the future. This speech highlighted our nation's strengths, while also acknowledging the areas in which our country needs growth.
What famous lines have US Presidents said in history?
"Believe you can and you're halfway there." - Theodore Roosevelt
"Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth." - John F. Kennedy
"A house divided against itself cannot stand." - Abraham Lincoln
State of the Union
On the evening of January 25th, President Obama gave his State of the Union address to our nation and the world. Some of the highlights of his speech included:
Shooting in Tuscon, Arizona: "Tucson reminded us that no matter who we are or where we come from, each of us is a part of something greater -– something more consequential than party or political preference."
Creating Jobs: "We need to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world. We have to make America the best place on Earth to do business. We need to take responsibility for our deficit and reform our government."
Renewable Energy: Obama wants to see 1 million electric vehicles on American roads by 2015, and 80 percent of the nation’s power to come from green sources by 2035.
Improving Education: (1) Over the next 10 years, prepare 100,000 new teachers in STEM: science, technology, engineering and math. (2) End subsidies that went to banks, and use the savings to make college affordable for millions of students. (3) Obama asked Congress to make the tuition tax credit permanent–- worth $10,000 for four years of college.
Obama's Foreign Policy
Cuba: President Obama ordered the closure of the prison at Guantanamo Bay and a review of our detention and interrogation policy, and prohibited the use of torture.
War in Iraq: On February 27, 2009, President Obama announced a plan to end the war in Iraq. The President intends to remove all of our troops from Iraq by the end of 2011.
Al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan: The President adopted a new strategy to "disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan."
Promoting Peace and Security in Israel and the Middle East: The President appointed a Special Envoy for Middle East Peace to support peace with Israel and its neighbors.
Sudan: One of Obama's "top priorities" is ending the crisis in Darfur. The President appointed a Special Envoy for Sudan to reach a lasting settlement to the violence and instability in the region.
- Contact President Obama Directly. One of the fastest and most direct ways to contact President Obama is to visit the White House's website and email his administration directly.
- Contact your Senator. While the President makes many decisions about our country, a great deal of power rests with the US Senators and Representatives. To find out who your Senators are and how to contact them, click here.
- Get Active. Letters are great, but why limit yourself to paper and pencil? Use your creativity to advocate for the issues that are important to you! Check out the Youth Activism Project for ideas about getting involved in your local and national government.
YUGA Central This Month's Most Popular...
Facebook Message: One year ago, people around the world woke up to a different world. Find out what Plan has done in Haiti since the earthquake on January 12, 2010. January 13 at 7:31am
Tweet: Visit the RI State House to see Plan USA's Haiti Earthquake Photo Exhibit, featuring images taken by Haitian teens! Open 1/13-1/14. January 13 at 3:46pm
Blog Entry: Blake Middle School Skypes with Haiti To commemorate the one-year anniversary of the earthquake, nearly 750 students in sixth, seventh, and eighth grade joined on a Skype call with Haitian youth and Plan staff. January 27
The DC Dance-a-Thon scheduled for January 28th was POSTPONED due to the weather. Check the YUGA Facebook and Twitter for the rescheduled date.
Blake Middle School Skypes with Haiti
Near the one-year anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti, students at Blake Middle School chatted with Plan Haiti staff member Maureen. If you're interested in being highlighted in a School Spotlight, send your story to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pick of the Month
Books to Read: American Foreign Policy: The Dynamics of Choice in the 21st Century By Bruce Jentleson
Film to Watch: "Miracle" Rated as one of the top 10 most patriotic movies, Miracle tells the incredible true story of the rookie US Hockey Team at the 1980 Olympics.
March - Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH): March 8 is International Women's Day, and March 22 is World Water Day. To honor these two international observances, we'll be taking a special look at the importance of WASH- particularly for women. This special focus will include information about the upcoming fundraiser and event, Walk for Wells, with full online toolkit about how to make it happen!