Last night, I had the opportunity to attend the White House State of the Union Social. It was a great honor to be chosen to attend. While our group was not in the same room as the President and elected officials, we were located in the Executive Office building close by. We had our own watch party, while we tweeted, cheered, and commented throughout. I was posting pics from my Samsung Galaxy 2 camera, and my iPhone, while posting to Instagram from both and tweeting from my iPad. It was nuts. But looking around the room, I was definitely not alone.
The evening started, of course with getting through all of the security checkpoints before being led to the auditorium, where we got to connect, mix and mingle. I ran into some old friends, and got to meet some social media friends in real life.
There were so many great things that were shared in the President’s address, including a few hysterical moments of #shade. But here are a few State of the Union Highlights from the White House:
|“Will we accept an economy where only a few of us do spectacularly well? Or will we commit ourselves to an economy that generates rising incomes and chances for everyone who makes the effort?”|
|“So the verdict is clear. Middle-class economics works. Expanding opportunity works. And these policies will continue to work, as long as politics don’t get in the way.”|
|“If you truly believe you could work full-time and support a family on less than $15,000, then go try it”|
|“We believed we could reduce our dependence on foreign oil and protect our planet. And today, America is number one in oil and gas. America is number one in wind power. Every three weeks, we bring online as much solar power as we did in all of 2008. And thanks to lower gas prices and higher fuel standards, the typical family this year should save $750 at the pump.”|
|“Today, we’re the only advanced country on Earth that doesn’t guarantee paid sick leave or paid maternity leave to our workers. Forty-three million workers have no paid sick leave. Forty-three million. Think about that. And that forces too many parents to make the gut-wrenching choice between a paycheck and a sick kid at home. So I’ll be taking new action to help states adopt paid leave laws of their own. And since paid sick leave won where it was on the ballot last November, let’s put it to a vote right here in Washington. Send me a bill that gives every worker in America the opportunity to earn seven days of paid sick leave. It’s the right thing to do.”|
|“By the end of this decade, two in three job openings will require some higher education. Two in three. And yet, we still live in a country where too many bright, striving Americans are priced out of the education they need. It’s not fair to them, and it’s not smart for our future.
That’s why I am sending this Congress a bold new plan to lower the cost of community college – to zero.”
|“Let’s close loopholes so we stop rewarding companies that keep profits abroad, and reward those that invest in America. Let’s use those savings to rebuild our infrastructure and make it more attractive for companies to bring jobs home. Let’s simplify the system and let a small business owner file based on her actual bank statement, instead of the number of accountants she can afford. And let’s close the loopholes that lead to inequality by allowing the top one percent to avoid paying taxes on their accumulated wealth. We can use that money to help more families pay for childcare and send their kids to college. We need a tax code that truly helps working Americans trying to get a leg up in the new economy, and we can achieve that together.”|
But seriously, this was the best…
— Christine K. St.Vil (@MomsNCharge) January 21, 2015
Following the State of the Union address, there was a live chat with Sam Stein of the Huffington Post, and Dan Pfeiffer, Assistant to the President of the United States and Senior Advisor to the President for Strategy and Communications. They answered questions live from the audience as well as online.
Here were a few important questions asked: 1. Why didn’t the President talk about police brutality? 2. Why didn’t the President address gun control? 3. Why wasn’t the issue of campus assaults addressed? And more… If you missed it, you can catch the full live chat here: I also put together a short Storify with some of the tweets from the #STOUChat & #SOTUSocial hashtags.
All in all, I think the President’s Address was on point in many ways. It highlighted a lot of areas in which we’ve done well as a nation, and several more we need to continue working on. I’m definitely looking forward to where America is heading in the coming years. It’s going to take some work, but I think it’ll be worth it.
What was your favorite part of the State of the Union Address? Was there anything not covered that you would’ve liked to see?