What Experts Hope to See Covered in the State of the Union Address

Written by

Shanel Adams
Shanel Adams Shanel Adams is an editorial assistant with GlobalPolicy.tv. She is a public relations major, political science minor at Howard University originally from Detroit. Shanel is passionate about poverty alleviation and political participation.

Tonight, President Obama will do the State of the Union Address. Experts and officials have expectations of what the president should address in this year’s speech. In honor of this occasion, we asked those featured on GPTV what they hope to see mentioned in tonight’s address.

“Now that the door is open to address the problems with our immigration system, in his State of the Union speech I expect the president to continue to emphasize the need for broad, commonsense reforms that include equal access to health care.  This is a critical time for our nation and the President must make sure that the policies being developed now, whether to fix our immigration system or avert the fiscal crisis, build on the success of the past four years and move America forward.  With the ACA taking effect shortly, and major public health initiatives aimed at preventing and treating chronic diseases underway, it’s important that we take the necessary steps to guarantee that everyone in our society is provided the chance for better health, and that begins with extending health care coverage to all.” 

~Zul Surani, Chair of the Asian Pacific Islander National Cancer Survivors Network 

“I would like to hear the President discuss his budget and deficit reduction priorities as well as discuss what his administration will do to prevent the horrible impact that sequestration would have on the conduct of research, prevention and public health programs, health care quality improvement, and the achievement of health equity. I would also like to hear the President discuss health reform and what his administration will be doing to implement the law this year.”

~Attorney Daniel Dawes

“The United States of America has one of the largest wealth gaps, particularly across race and gender lines. Inequities in the education and justice systems are major contributors.  We must invest in our greatest asset – our children.  I propose we strengthen our child care services and early childhood education, thus giving all children a better start.   Our nation also needs a crime bill for alternative sentencing for non-violent juvenile offenders. Prison does not produce model citizens.”

~Dr. M. Starita Boyd Ansari, MSBphilanthropy Advisors 

“Watching President Obama evolve in his positions on the rights of the gay and lesbian community and on addressing the need for solving the immigration as it affects so many has been very reassuring. It is my fervent hope that he will evolve in his thinking on the plight of African American men and boys in this nation. He needs to demonstrate that their struggles and marginalization, even segregation into jails and prison is an injustice that will be solved only by courageous words and actions that emanate FIRST from the highest leadership position in this nation. President Obama must evolve, he must speak out, he must enable policy actions, and he must affirm that segregation as evidenced and continually practiced by mass incarceration is wrong and has no place in what is supposed to be the greatest democracy on our planet!”

~Dr. Henrie Treadwell, Community Voices of Morehouse College of Medicine 

“Under President Obama’s leadership, the United States has focused on improving the global effort to ending preventable childhood deaths; improving the health and food security of the world’s poorest people; and providing lifesaving emergency responses to famine in the Horn of Africa and cholera in West Africa. These investments and expressions of political will are essential for global financial stability, peace and security, and US moral authority, and each of them depends upon safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene for their success. I can think of no better legacy for the Obama Administration than to prioritize water and sanitation as one of the most basic human needs and most essential common goods a government can provide. 
The Obama Administration rarely mentions water and sanitation, despite its ongoing support for the issue, a National Intelligence Estimate highlighting its importance, and keen awareness that integration of water and sanitation with these other priorities is essential; the State of the Union is an outstanding opportunity to tell the American public of US support for safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene, one of the most cost-effective, efficient, and impactful uses of international aid, and for President Obama set an agenda for the way forward.”

~Lisa Schechtman, WaterAid in America

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