President Obama discussed America’s important issues in the State of the Union address Tuesday night. Among the topics mentioned were ones we found pertinent to the UC Davis community. Obama’s speech mentioned many of the pressing matters the United States is faced with today. It is the hope of The Editorial Board that not only will these matters get the attention they deserve, but that the government will continue to acknowledge important issues in the daily lives of Americans.
Mention of LGBT Community
The 2015 State of the Union was the first to ever mention the words “lesbian,” “bisexual” or “transgender.” In the context, the president made remarks that a safer America is one where human dignity is respected. It is refreshing that these marginalized communities are gaining the recognition they deserve and will hopefully gain equal marriage rights if the State of Marriage Defense Act is passed. For UC Davis, a public university that provides extensive resources for the LGBTQ communities, this support from the government is an encouraging sight.
Accessible Higher Education
Another featured topic was Obama’s recently proposed plan to make the first two years of community college free. He stressed that higher education needs to be just as accessible as high school and that a more educated America is in everyone’s best interest. Obama made a point to address that students have to earn this help by keeping their grades up and graduating on time. The Editorial Board agrees that the cost of higher education is pricing people out of their goals and futures. We are glad that Obama acknowledges the burden of debt that many young Americans are facing in order to gain an education and ultimately become hardworking citizens. To hear more of our thoughts on this topic, visit our recent article.
On a similar note, Obama brought up the need of equal pay for men and women and also the need to raise the minimum wage. He claimed that these changes, if enacted, will make a meaningful difference. We believe that fair pay is essential to a strong working class and sustainable economic future. Additionally, the prospect of more jobs is encouraging to us.
He addressed the need for America to treat the threat of climate change as an immediate risk to national security and mentioned how America will double their efforts to reduce carbon pollution and China agreed to limit their emissions. We applaud the steps the government had taken to reduce the effects of climate change, not only in America, but around the world and we are looking forward to seeing further action moving forward.
Graphic by Jennifer Wu