Pocan Statement on President Obama’s State of the Union Address
Washington, DC – U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02) released the following statement after President Obama delivered his final State of the Union Address in front of a joint session of Congress. Rep. Pocan invited Madison Ald. Samba Baldeh, a local Muslim community leader, as his guest to the State of the Union Address to show solidarity with the American-Muslim community at a time of escalating bigotry and discrimination.
“At a time when our country faces complex challenges both home and abroad, the President delivered a positive, aspirational message on how we can meet these challenges through constructive cooperation between elected officials, community leaders and everyday Americans.
“The President stressed the tolerance of ideas and encouraged cooperation, things that I think elected in officials in Washington can agree are sorely needed. While this speech may have not contained a laundry list of specific policy items to tackle in 2016, I believe, as the President does, that we can find common ground on many important things here in Washington which will benefit the American people. Specifically, I am pleased the President mentioned criminal justice reform, as this is an issue I have been working on since my days in the Wisconsin State Assembly and something I hope to continue to fight for in the year ahead, as well as the need for a more fair redistricting and campaign finance process. The American people deserve a Congress that can rise to the occasion, find common ground, and get some things accomplished.
“As the President said, now is not the time to turn inwards as a nation and turn against each other as a people. Instead, we should join together to help make sure hard working Americans are getting a fair shot at the American Dream and that we leave this country a better place for the next generation. This begins with standing up to the hateful and vitriolic rhetoric directed at certain groups or individuals in our communities. It begins with celebrating the diversity of the American people and building off the past challenges we have overcome as a nation.”
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