Since taking office, President Obama has recognized that change cannot just happen in Washington, DC, but must take place across the country.
That’s why the President has prioritized partnering with local and state elected officials to address the issues that matter most to Americans – from supporting working families, to improving education, to creating good new jobs, to increasing affordable housing, and a whole range of other issues impacting families and communities across the country. In the President’s 2015 State of the Union, he stated that “It’s now up to us to choose who we want to be over the next fifteen years, and for decades to come.” State and local elected officials and communities across the country have chosen, and on America’s most important priorities, they are not standing still:
17 states and the District of Columbia have increased their minimum wage since the President first called for an increase in his 2013 State of the Union;
17 cities and counties have implemented paid sick leave policies and 10 cities and counties have implemented paid family leave policies since January 2014;
34 Governors proposed increasing funding for early education since the President announced preschool for all in 2013.
Since its launch in March 2015, 31 cities, states, and tribal communities have joined the President’s TechHire initiative to rapidly train workers for technology jobs that pay 50 percent more than the average private-sector American job;
More than 50 communities that participated in the MBK Community Challenge have completed their own local action plans;
More than 700 state, county and city officials have joined the Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness since the First Lady announced the program in June 2014.
And that’s just a sampling of the progress that’s taken place over the last several years. While Congress has stood in the way of addressing these issues, mayors and governors of both parties are working with the President to make progress. Below are a few examples of the ways state and local elected officials and communities are taking action to help hardworking American families get ahead.