Commentary from all over regarding the State of the Union

“As we celebrate our 70th year, UNCF continues to lead the fight to provide post-secondary educational access to African Americans and other communities of color. We remain committed to opening the door for low-income students of color to achieve sustainable economic security and asset building opportunities. 


“In order to reach our goal, our students must be prepared to succeed. The Common Core curriculum is an essential ingredient to college success. We all must do more to ensure its effective implementation.


“It is our collective responsibility as a nation to take action and recommit to expanding educational access for all Americans, especially low-income communities of color who have the greatest need and opportunity for success.”

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) released the following statement after President Obama delivered his annual State of the Union Address to Congress:


The President struck an optimistic tone tonight, and for good reason: unemployment continues to creep downward and most sectors of the economy are finally growing again. But while new jobs are being created and the economy is recovering, millions of working and middle class Americans are being left behind.  We have to restore and expand opportunity for more people in this country, and the President laid out how we do that in practical, specific terms: by raising the federal minimum wage, lowering the cost of a college education, reinvesting in America’s manufacturers, helping workers feel secure when they retire, and ensuring that health care is accessible and affordable.  


Over the past decade, families in Connecticut and around the country have seen the cost of things they need—whether it’s groceries, gas, or a college education—increase faster than their wages. Rising prices across the board mean that more Americans are working harder and still struggling to make ends meet. Simply put, family income just isn’t keeping pace with the cost of living in this country. We can and we must do better.


The President was clear that while not every American will lift themselves out of poverty if given the opportunity, we have to ensure that those opportunities exist for everybody willing to work hard enough to take them. That’s not only a smart economic game plan—it’s a fair one that will give more Americans the chance to succeed.


I also applaud the President for his commitment to ending the epidemic of gun violence on our city streets and in our schools. Since tragedy struck Newtown, Connecticut on December 14, 2012, tens of thousands more innocent people have been killed by gun violence – a reality that will continue without meaningful changes to our gun laws. But the Administration can only do so much to reduce this violence. Congress needs to reverse course and take action on common sense measures, such as improving background checks and investing in mental health, so that our schools and streets are safer for future generations.


Governor Dannel P. Malloy today released the following statement in response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address:


“Tonight, President Obama once again challenged Congress to work constructively with him to enact common-sense laws that strengthen our nation and foster economic opportunity and prosperity for all Americans.


“Too often during the past year – and despite the efforts of the President and many in Congress, particularly Connecticut’s congressional delegation – Washington has been mired in political gridlock.  But as the President highlighted tonight, regardless of inaction in Washington, progress is being made.


“In Connecticut, we enacted common-sense gun laws to make our communities safer; we raised the minimum wage to increase family incomes; we implemented health care reform to provide affordable, high-quality coverage to our citizens so they’re healthier and more economically secure; we’ve invested in our roads, bridges and rail systems to enhance economic growth and our quality of life; and we’re doing more to educate our children and train our workforce than at any time in the past two decades.  No question there is more work to be done, but these accomplishments are progress by any measure.


“I commend the President’s agenda and I urge Congress to work with him, to find common ground, and to act in the best interest of all Americans.  And I look forward to working with the President over the course of this year to build upon the progress we’ve made as a state and a nation and to continue doing the work we were elected by the people to do.”


Tonight, Connecticut Democratic Party Chairwoman Nancy DiNardo released the following statement regarding the State of the Union address:

“Tonight, President Obama addressed the country and laid out a vision of opportunity, action and optimism for all Americans.

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