By ArnE Williams
Special to the NNPA from the Arizona Informant
President Obama emphasized that good jobs with good wages and a home to call your own are his top priority.
During his visit to Phoenix last week, President Barack Obama laid out a lengthy wish list for making housing afford- able and stable.
The president told the crowd that things are getting better, but there is much room for improvement.
“As any middle-class family will tell you, we’re not where we need to be yet. Even before the crisis hit, we were living through
a decade where a few at the top were doing better and better, while most families were working harder and harder just to get by. Reversing this trend must be Washington’s highest priority. It’s certainly my highest priority.“
But for most of this year, an endless parade of distractions, political posturing, and phony scandals have shifted focus from what we need to do to shore up the middle class. And as Washington heads towards another budget debate, the stakes could not be higher.
“That’s why I’m laying out my ideas for how we must build on the cornerstones of what it means to be middle class in America. A good job with good wages. A home to call your own. A good education. Affordable health care that’s there for you when you get sick.”
“A secure retirement even if you’re not rich. And more chances for folks to earn their way into the middle class as long as they’re willing to work for it.”
Prior to speaking at Desert Vista High School, President Obama and HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan toured Erickson Construction, a framing company, in Chandler. The company makes pre- fabricated materials for new homes to speed construction. He cited its recent expansion from 100 workers to 580 as sign of new vigor in housing in Phoenix.
“You should be proud of what you’ve done,” he said of the Phoenix housing comeback.”
President also used his Phoenix visit to make a renewed push for comprehensive immigration reform. After praising Arizona Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake, both Republicans, for their efforts in crafting a bill as part of the bipartisan ‘Gang of Eight’ he called on the audience to encourage House Republicans to “stop dragging their feet” on the reform bill.
“Let’s get this done,” he said. The president called fixing the immigration system as “vital” to improving the housing market – a statement that was met with robust cheers from the assembled crowd.
During his remarks, he gave multiple shout outs to Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, a Democrat, telling the crowd that he’s doing “a great job” and praising his work to find solutions to the Valley’s homeless problem.
“Let’s get this done,” urged President Obama, calling on House Republicans to stop dragging their feet on immigration reform.