Friday, July 19, 2024

Comentarios from Maria: It is the Time for Action

Maria-CNN-HeadshotLast Tuesday, President Obama delivered the State of the Union address which was based on three fundamental principles: opportunity, action and optimism.

The central idea of the speech is the reason why we all came to this country; if you work hard and follow the rules, you should have the opportunity to succeed. In the U.S., the opportunity for every person to succeed should be determined by the will to work, the ambition and goals of each person, not under the circumstances they are born in to.

During the speech, President Obama presented a series of proposals to grow the economy, strengthen the middle class and give tools to all those who aspire to join the middle class. These same proposals will also help the Latino community achieve a better life for their families.

The President said very clearly that he will seek to work with Congress when he can, for example, to achieve immigration reform, which Republicans must support if they want to win the presidency in the near-future. But he also said that when he can take executive order to continue driving the country forward, he will. President Obama has already indicated taking executive order for the following:

  • Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 for federal contractors – The President also continues to urge Congress to raise the national minimum wage to $ 10.10, because no one who works full-time should have to raise a family living in poverty.
  • Create a new Savings Account, known as “myRA”, to help millions of people save for retirement – The President shall take an executive order to create a retirement savings account which is simple, safe, affordable and available through employers to help the millions of people living in the United States to save for retirement.
  • Build a place of work in the United States for the twenty-first century working family – The President will host a summit on working families to highlight policies that ensure global economic competitiveness in the United States. Also, the President will present companies that are doing exemplary work in this area, and highlight the model laws and policies of cities and states across the country in areas such as discrimination, flexibility and paid leave. All these actions will help Latino families economically and secure a future for our children.

What is missing are for Republicans to realize the work that must be done with the President to continue to implement measures to help families of the middle class, the same measures that have been left behind in the fragile recovery from the Great Recession caused by failed Republican policies.

Republicans could begin by helping the President with equal pay for women, a minimum wage that can support a family, creating good jobs, training for our workers, improving schools and finding ways to ensure a college education for all our youth. In addition, they should stop with their obsession of wanting to repeal a Healthcare Law that grants access to more than 10 million Latinos across the country.

It is time for action and cooperation, not obstruction. Let us leave the political games aside to achieve the promise of the great American dream for everyone.


This piece originally appeared in Spanish in the Washington Hispanic