Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Change We've Been Looking For.

Our president is black. 

It's now official, our 44th president is an African American. Not only is he hot, but it's finally great to have such a intelligent, articulate president who can speak w. great poise & motivation. His inauguration speech was absolutely wonderful, it even brought tears to my eyes as he showed how far African Americans have progressed. Once upon a time we weren't able to sit in the same restaurants as white folks, but now look -- we have an African American as our United States of America president. 

So I usually would follow along w. the Obama-Biden progress on Change.gov -- but when I went there today I saw that they have now moved to Whitehouse.gov. Curious, I went on the website & the first thing that caught my eye was Obama's agenda. We spent numerous amounts of months hearing about the change that Obama was going to bring to our nation -- I actually wanted to see all that he had planned. So aside from all the changes that he campaigned during the election -- you know, tax-cuts, bringing our troops back home & all those goodies, I found some of his plans that were less mainstream that I thought were excellent & I'm looking forward too, as well as some changes I thought were pretty interesting & I'll even explain why. 

Civil Rights Agenda will include: 
End Racial Profiling: President Obama and Vice President Biden will ban racial profiling by federal law enforcement agencies and provide federal incentives to state and local police departments to prohibit the practice. 

-- About time. Although they are going to attempt to end this, it's still going to happen. It's one of those inevitable things that we can't avoid, no matter how hard we try. There will always be a group of ignorant people. 
Eliminate Sentencing Disparities: President Obama and Vice President Biden believe the disparity between sentencing crack and powder-based cocaine is wrong and should be completely eliminated.
-- So basically, if charged w. selling of crack cocaine (which, is typically found in the urban areas .. . meaning us black folks) you could face up to life in jail -- although, I question this because I know plenty of people that have & do BUT.. . moving on. W. powered-based cocaine (which is typically found in the suburbs) you could face up to several years in jail as opposed to life -- which wasn't fair. So now, whether it be a couple of years or life its the same ordeal now, which is fair..
Expand Use of Drug Courts: President Obama and Vice President Biden will give first-time, non-violent offenders a chance to serve their sentence, where appropriate, in the type of drug rehabilitation programs that have proven to work better than a prison term in changing bad behavior.
-- I think this is a great change. Keep our jails available for the real criminals out there -- like the murderers & such. 

Education Agenda will include: 
Make Math and Science Education a National Priority: Obama and Biden will recruit math and science degree graduates to the teaching profession and will support efforts to help these teachers learn from professionals in the field. They will also work to ensure that all children have access to a strong science curriculum at all grade levels.
-- We just might be giving Russia a run for their money soon & show them that the US really isn't as dumb as we're portrayed to be. 

Prepare Teachers: Obama and Biden will require all schools of education to be accredited. Obama and Biden will also create a voluntary national performance assessment so we can be sure that every new educator is trained and ready to walk into the classroom and start teaching effectively. Obama and Biden will also create Teacher Residency Programs that will supply 30,000 exceptionally well-prepared recruits to high-need schools.

-- I never looked at this a problem since I went to Catholic school all my life, so I thought all schools were accredited. Come to find out.. . that's not true. 
Support College Credit Initiatives: Barack Obama and Joe Biden will create a national "Make College A Reality" initiative that has a bold goal to increase students taking AP or college-level classes nationwide 50 percent by 2016, and will build on Obama's bipartisan proposal in the U.S. Senate to provide grants for students seeking college level credit at community colleges if their school does not provide those resources.
-- Because of all my college-level & AP courses that were mandatory for us, I am a semester & a half ahead w. college credits. If every child could have this opportunity, 4 years of college could be lessen down to 2 or 3.
Create the American Opportunity Tax Credit: Obama and Biden will make college affordable for all Americans by creating a new American Opportunity Tax Credit. This universal and fully refundable credit will ensure that the first $4,000 of a college education is completely free for most Americans, and will cover two-thirds the cost of tuition at the average public college or university and make community college tuition completely free for most students. Recipients of the credit will be required to conduct 100 hours of community service.
-- When it comes to college, any amount of money helps & $4000 is definitely a great start. 

Simplify the Application Process for Financial Aid: Obama and Biden will streamline the financial aid process by eliminating the current federal financial aid application and enabling families to apply simply by checking a box on their tax form, authorizing their tax information to be used, and eliminating the need for a separate application.

-- Anyone whose ever had to fill out that damn FASFA form can be happy about the new change. Unfortunately this change should have occurred 3 years ago to save me the headache since I'm that person that always forget that stupid 4 digit PIN. 
Require 100 Hours of Service in College: Establish a new American Opportunity Tax Credit worth $4,000 a year in exchange for 100 hours of public service a year.
-- Now everyone can have a nice looking resume. This would save so many people the hassle of trying to make their resumes for companies during their senior year of college as opposed to balancing it out all four years of your undergrad. 
Promote College Serve-Study: Ensure that at least 25 percent of College Work-Study funds are used to support public service opportunities instead of jobs in dining halls and libraries.
-- Sounds way better than cleaning tables or sitting behind a desk staring at people all day.

Women Agenda will include:
Investing in Women-Owned Small Businesses: Women are majority owners of more than 28 percent of U.S. businesses, but head less than 4 percent of venture-capital-backed firms. Women business owners are more likely than white male business owners to have their loan applications denied. President Obama and Vice President Biden will encourage investing in women-owned businesses, providing more support to women business owners, and reducing discrimination in lending.
-- The bank shall be hearing from me as soon as I work up my business plan now. Holla! 
Fighting for Pay Equity: Despite decades of progress, women still make only 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. Throughout their careers, President Obama and Vice President Biden have championed the right of women to receive equal pay for equal work. In the Illinois State Senate, President Obama cosponsored and voted for the Illinois Equal Pay Act, which provided 330,000 more women protection from pay discrimination. In the U.S. Senate, Obama joined a bipartisan group of Senators to introduce the Fair Pay Restoration Act, a bill to overturn the Supreme Court's recent 5-4 decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. The bill will restore the clear intent of Congress that workers must have a reasonable time to file a pay discrimination claim after they become victims of discriminatory compensation. The President was also a cosponsor of Senator Tom Harkin's (D-IA) Fair Pay Act, and President Obama will continue to promote paycheck equity and close the wage gap between men and women.
-- Since I will soon be entering the 'real world' I am looking forward to this new change in the US. We now have a black president -- & now women can get paid equally. 

Family Agenda will include:
Extend Paid Sick Days to All Workers: Half of all private sector workers have no paid sick days and the problem is worse for employees in low-paying jobs, where less than a quarter receive any paid sick days. Barack Obama and Joe Biden will require that employers provide seven paid sick days per year.
-- The way I look at it is can take a day off every month.. for 7 months, or take a week off. Lol. Either way, I'm demanding my paid sick days.

Anyways, enough of my commentary -- read more of his policies & plans at whitehouse.gov/agenda & feel free to leave comments on any of the things you read from that site that you considered interesting & why. :)


Miss.Stefanie said...

I have faith in him. I hope he doesnt let us down.

i'm so nyc. said...

i didn't even read it ; but that's maaaad long b00gie.

Sarah Noelle said...

Yea thanks to you I stayed up until 4am reading the agenda. Good shit. I just hope that everyone remembers they have to do their part. He's not a wizard. He has no wand. He has to answer to mad people. Everyone's been walking around like, "Obama is going to do THIS & THAT". Obama is going to set US up so that WE can do things. ::sigh::