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Assessing the State of the Union
Now a couple of days removed from the 2011 State of the Union address, we take a look around at some of the reactions from the democracy arena:
- National Conference on Citizenship points out President Obama’s stressing of civic participation and public works as ways to jumpstart the country. NCoC brings the speech back to their report from 2011 on the connection between civic health and unemployment.
- The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights released a statement touching on the importance of closing the student opportunity gap; the loss of public sector jobs; and the pay gap between men and women, and women of color in particular.
- Public Campaign notes that the President pushed for an end to lobbyist bundling, which they say is a positive step. However, United Republic mentions that the President also receives bundled contributions, though not from lobbyists.
- Sunlight Foundation also touches on lobbying, saying that it is very unlikely for President Obama’s proposal from his speech to pass both houses of Congress. Instead, Sunlight suggests focusing on increasing lobbyist disclosure and tightening requirements for who must register as lobbyists.
- TechPresident has a rundown of some of the ways in which technology enhanced the State of the Union viewing experience, including the White House’s interactive feed, and twitter reactions.
- From ColorOfChange, executive director Rashad Robinson says that the organization applauds the creation of a governmental unit to investigate banks, but still demands full accountability from banks.
- In the Huffington Post, Sayu Bhojwani of the New American Leaders Project said that although President Obama spoke about the need for immigration reform, his actions so far in his presidency have not backed up what he has said.
- NoLabels pushed for Senators and representatives to sit together in the House during the speech. The New York Times reports that not many chose to intermingle with the other party (though most who did were Senators)
- In Nonprofit Quarterly, Rick Cohen examines the omission of the nonprofit sector from the speech.
- Research!America says that the President’s call for enhanced training in science and technology is a very positive development, but notes that funding must be preserved for progress to truly be made.
- Politico reports that one of the items President Obama spoke about in the speech, the STOCK Act, is coming closer to getting a vote and heading to the President for a signature. The bill would ban insider stock trading by members of Congress.
- Finally, Colorlines has word clouds for all three of President Obama’s State of the Union addresses.