The People’s State of the Union

As parts of the President’s State of the Union address are being leaked, and as the media is analyzing and attempting to read between the lines, News Junkie Post spoke to policy and advocacy experts about what they would say in a state of the union-style speech.

Here is what they had to say:

Representative Alan Grayson (D-FL):

“Action. It’s not about what comes out of the President’s mouth, there’s been plenty of talking for the past year. What people want to see now is action.”

Sheila Crowley, President of the National Low Income Housing Coalition on the economy:

“I am hopeful the President will have a clearly articulated agenda around the economy that will include both the so-called middle class fixes but also will have considerable attention to the needs of the people who are really struggling the most, and that’s the people in the low wage work force, people who are unemployed, people with disabilities.”

Crowley wants the President to demand that Congress support the National Housing Trust Fund for low income housing units.  $1 billion was promised in 2008, but the money has yet to materialize.

“We would really like to see the President say ‘It’s a priority. I want the bill on my desk. I want you guys to get this done.’

Tom Andrews, President of the Win Without War Coalition, and former member of Congress from Maine on the deficit. The help the deficit, the administration announced a freeze on nonmilitary discretionary spending.

“If you want to talk about deficits, we have a $2.2 trillion deficit when it comes to infrastructure in this country, it‘s crumbling before our very eyes.… So these are issues that are critical to our country’s economy, critical to putting people back to work, critical to the future of this country.”

Andrews also said:

“This president proposed to this Congress, and we have on the books right now, the largest defense budget in the history of the United States, but we’re taking that defense budget and we’re putting it off limits to cuts even though the Pentagon itself is asking for those cuts to be made. I mean that’s simply unacceptable.”

Jeremy Symons, Senior Vice President of the National Wildlife Foundation on green energy. The House of Representatives took a difficult vote last year and barely passed climate change legislation. The Senate has yet to act.

“The perfect energy formula is to deliver a bill promptly that gets us moving to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, cut pollution that’s causing global warming by 20% by the year 2020, and create more than a million clean energy jobs now.”

Sarahi Uribe, Organizer with the National Day Laborers Organizing Network in Washington DC on immigration.

“Suspensions of raids and deportations and family separations, and a roll back of programs like the 287 G program and Secure Communities that expand local enforcement of immigration laws.”

The President’s speech will begin at 9 pm eastern standard time.

You can follow Leigh Ann Caldwell on Twitter and listen to an audio version of this story on FSRN.

Editor’s Note: This article was published 3 hours before President Obama’s State of the Union speech. Please read the full transcript of President Obama’s speech.


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