The White House Wire:News for the African American Community – First Edition

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President Obama on Passage of Senate Finance Committee Health Care Bill – “A Critical Milestone”

“Today we reached a critical milestone in our effort to reform our health care system. After many months of thoughtful deliberation, the fifth and final committee responsible for health care reform has passed a proposal that has both Democratic and Republican support. This effort was made possible by the tireless efforts of Chairman Max Baucus and the other members of the Senate Finance Committee. It’s a product of vigorous debate and difficult negotiations.” VIDEO/TEXT

“Restoring a Sense of Responsibility from Wall Street to Washington”

The President pushed one of the core pillars of his vision of a new economic foundation back to the fore. Reforming our financial system and restoring common sense regulation and oversight is the only way to ensure that the economic catastrophe that began a year ago never returns. Having met just before [the White House event] with those suffering as a result of abuse, fraud, and deception at the hands of financial institutions, the need was never more evident. LINK

Remarks by President Obama on Winning the Nobel Peace Prize

“I am both surprised and deeply humbled by the decision of the Nobel Committee.  Let me be clear:  I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments, but rather as an affirmation of American leadership on behalf of aspirations held by people in all nations.” LINK

Navy Vessel Named for Civil Rights Activist

A U.S. Navy ship will be named in honor of late civil rights leader Medgar Evers.
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus announced the honor Oct. 9 at Jackson State University in Jackson, Miss. The ship is a 700-foot ocean liner that will supply food and ammunition to other ships at sea.  LINK

HHS Unveils New Features on

Evaluation Guide, Flu Myths and Facts, Flu Essentials Flyers Among New Resources

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today unveiled several new resources on the federal government’s one-stop resource for flu information —  The Web site now features a new H1N1 Flu Self-Evaluation guide for adults 18 and older along with a new Flu Myths and Facts section, which provides the public with the latest and most accurate information about the flu.  LINK

Attorney General and Education Secretary Call for National Conversation on Values and Student Violence

U.S. Department of Justice to Release Study on Children’s Exposure to Violence

U.S. Department of Education to Provide $500,000 Grant to Help Fenger Community

Attorney General Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan today joined with Chicago city officials to call for a national conversation on values to address youth violence in the wake of the fatal beating of a Chicago high school student. The announcement followed meetings with City officials, community leaders, students, and parents.  LINK

In Other News…

President Obama Nominates Judge O. Rogeriee Thompson for United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Obama nominated Judge Denny Chin for a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Judge O. Rogeriee Thompson for a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Judge Chin currently serves as a U.S. District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York. Judge Thompson currently serves as an Associate Justice on the Rhode Island Superior Court. LINK

Attorney General Eric Holder Welcomes Thomas E. Perez as Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division

WASHINGTON – Attorney General Eric Holder today welcomed the confirmation of Thomas E. Perez as the new Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. Perez was confirmed today by the U.S. Senate.  LINK

A Small Town Doing Big Things for the Global Economy

Posted by Adolfo Carrión, Jr.

We believe that through regional collaboration we can bridge the urban-rural divide. We can invest in urban centers in a way that will benefit suburbs, exurbs, and rural communities, and vice versa. It does not have to, and can no longer be, a zero-sum game. Our fates are inextricably linked. As the Urban Tour (aka, the National Conversation on the Future of Cities and Metros) has continually demonstrated, smart regional plans succeed when there are strong public-private partnerships and everyone is brought to the table. LINK

U.S. Ambassador Susan E. Rice Delivers Lecture at Howard University

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan E. Rice delivered the Clarence Clyde Ferguson, Jr. Annual Lecture at the Howard University School of Law on Thursday, October 8, 2009, in the Moot Court Room.

Ambassador Rice’s lecture, titled “America and the UN in a New Era of Engagement” discussed the approach the Obama Administration has taken in using the United Nations to advance the administration’s foreign policy goals and to keep America safe. The lecture is in honor of Mr. Ferguson, who was Dean of Howard Law School from 1963 to 1969. His legacy at Howard University School of Law is well-known. In addition, Ferguson was a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs and United States Ambassador to Uganda. LINK

Obama Administration Releases New Data On Making Home Affordable Program,
Achieves Key Milestone Weeks Ahead of Schedule

Almost one month ahead of a November 1 benchmark set earlier this year, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced a new milestone of more than 500,000 trial loan modifications in progress under the Making Home Affordable program.  LINK

Recovery Act Changes to SBA Loan Programs Sparked

September loan volume highest since August 2007

WASHINGTONChanges under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to U.S. Small Business Administration loan programs led to a rebound in SBA-backed loans for small businesses and greater access to much-needed capital.  LINK

MBDA Allocates Nearly $1 Million to Minority Business Centers to Increase Minority Businesses’ Access to Recovery Act Contracting Opportunities

The U.S. Commerce Department’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) today allocated a total of $900,000 to seven minority business centers across the country to increase minority business access to American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) contracting opportunities.  LINK

Secretary Shinseki Announces $17 Million in Homeless Grants

Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki has announced that 19 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico will share more than $17 million in grants to community groups to create 1,155 beds for homeless Veterans this year.  LINK

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces Administration Wide Effort to Combat Distracted Driving

WASHINGTON – At the conclusion of a two-day summit on distracted driving in Washington, D.C. today, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced a series of concrete actions the Obama Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) are taking to help put an end to distracted driving.  LINK

Energy Department Announces New Private Sector Partnership to Accelerate Renewable Energy Projects
U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced the Department of Energy (DOE) will provide up to $750 million in funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to help accelerate the development of conventional renewable energy generation projects.  This funding will cover the cost of loan guarantees which could support as much as $4 to 8 billion in lending to eligible projects, and the Department will invite private sector participation to accelerate the financing of these renewable energy projects.  LINK

Funding helps to make low-income housing safer and healthier

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is awarding more than $118 million in grants to 46 local projects to conduct a wide range of activities that include eliminating lead hazards in more than 9,000 homes; training workers in lead safety methods; increasing public awareness about childhood lead poisoning; and evaluating outreach on controlling housing-based hazards. The awards were announced by HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan yesterday at the Council on Foundations conference in San Antonio, Texas. Lead is a known toxin that can impair children’s development and have effects lasting into adulthood and other materials in the home can trigger allergic responses and asthma.  LINK

In Case You Missed It…

President Obama Addresses the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Phoenix Awards Dinner

President ObamaBringing hope and opportunity to places where they’re in short supply — that’s not easy.  It will take a focused and sustained effort to eradicate the structural inequalities in our communities — structural inequalities that make it difficult for children of color to make a success of their lives, no matter how smart or how driven or how talented they are.  That’s why we’re launching Promise Neighborhoods to build on Geoffrey Canada’s success in Harlem with a comprehensive approach to ending poverty by giving people the tools they need to pull themselves up.  That’s why I’ve created an Office of Urban Affairs to lift up our cities with a coordinated strategy to unleash their potential.  That’s why my administration — under the leadership of Attorney General Eric Holder — is serious about enforcing our civil rights laws and tearing down barriers to equal opportunity.” LINK

Things You Should Know…

· President Obama is scheduled to visit New Orleans and the Gulf Coast this week to see firsthand the status of the recovery efforts in the region.  LINK

· President Barack Obama is scheduled to join the Points of Light Institute and former President George H. W. Bush to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the vision of a thousand “Points of Light,” which catalyzed the modern volunteer service movement, by hosting a presidential forum on community service at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum at Texas A&M University. LINK

Stories of the Week – Interview with Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius

The Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius opened up to theGrio. David asks questions from our readers about everything from H1N1 vaccinations to health care reform and HIV rates in the black community.  LINK

Insight News (NNPA) – The cost of health inequality

The notion that national health care reform will actually reduce health-related spending is turning out to be a tough sell for many Americans.  Just ask President Obama.   But the experience of racial and ethnic minorities under our current health care system serves as object lesson on how reform that improves opportunities for good health can actually be good for the nation’s fiscal health, as well.  Currently, not everyone in the United States enjoys the same health opportunities.  Studies show that minority Americans experience poorer than average health outcomes from cradle to the grave.  They are much more likely to die as infants, have higher rates of diseases and disabilities, and have shorter life spans.  LINK

Washington Afro – Obama Bans Texting for Federal Employees

President Barack Obama has banned federal employees from texting behind the wheel while on the job, effective Oct. 1.  LINK

Insight News (NNPA) – President Obama extends Gulf Coast Rebuilding Office, pushes for improved long-term recovery following catastrophic disasters

Washington, D.C. – Signalling his continued commitment to Katrina-Rita recovery, President Barack Obama announced he will visit the Gulf Coast in mid-October and see first-hand the progress in the region.  President Obama also today signed an Executive Order extending the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Gulf Coast Recovery and Rebuilding for six months.  The Office of the Gulf Coordinator was first established November 1, 2005.  LINK

And Finally…

The Obama Health Care Plan (in 4 minutes)

Learn the basic principles of President Obama’s health insurance reform plan as presented to Congress on September 9, 2009. LINK

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