Karen Finney responded to your questions about President Obama’s fifth State of the Union address. Here are some of the highlights from the #disrupters’ chat:
Creekfish: Small Business Development and Bus Rapid Transit and mass transit systems go a long way in reducing poverty areas in major urban areas and near urban areas. I believe this is an area that the Republicans can win ground against the Democrats. Very seldom is it being spoken of by Democrats.
KFinney: Agree both are important. The Obama Admin has used its authority to increase flexibility in implementation of regulations for small businesses. Would like to see more talk about Bus Rapid Transit.
I would like to know what can be done to help Dreamers remain in the country, become citizens and not get deported, which I think should be considered a humane issue rather than an immigration issue, because they were brought here as babies or children and they didn’t break any laws. Also, they are Americans in every way except they weren’t born here. But they were raised here, educated here, and have established roots here. Most don’t know the language or the customs of their native country.
: Will be very curious to see if/how the GOP addresses this in whatever they will propose on immigration reform. The “KIDS” act Cantor proposed last year fell way too short. At this point, it’s my understanding that the President has done what he can do since the executive order he signed in Aug. 2012.
firetomfriedman: Why do you think Obama doesn’t get more credit for saying he wants to slowly wind down the war in Afghanistan during his 6th year in office?
KFinney: Probably because the situation in Afghanistan seems uncertain given the lack of cooperation from Karzai. What happens if he truly won’t sign the Status of Forces Agreement? Also I think people are suspicious about what a residual force would look like and frankly because not enough people in this country are paying attention to the fact that we still have tens of thousands of American troops in Afghanistan, and what a blessing it will be when the majority of them get to come home!
2Dots: Ms. Finney, from your experience in politics what is the best execeutive order Pesident Obama can do for our economy and what area should be the main focus to give hope for 2014?
KFinney: Increasing the minimum wage for Federal contractors is a big one. Particularly because it is against that backdrop which Congress, heading into an election year will be debating whether or not to support an increase in the minimum wage. Also, by helping support efforts in other states, my hope is that it creates additional political momentum. Not sure if it’s the most important, but it’s certainly a big step in the right direction.
I’d also like to see an infrastructure bank—create jobs and modernize our country.