I spoke at COP26 in Glasgow about what’s happened in the six years since the Paris Agreement, and how much further we still need to go to control climate change.
The good news is that countries around the world recognize this is a decisive decade if we want to avoid a climate disaster, and are setting important goals for 2030. They’ve also promised to help countries move away from fossil fuels and deal with the effects of climate change.
But once again, progress is partial. Most nations have failed to be as ambitious as they need to be, and the escalation of ambition that we anticipated in Paris six years ago has not been uniformly realized.
Right now, state legislatures across the country are setting new boundaries for state legislative and congressional districts. And in many states, Republicans are drawing maps that allow them to hold onto power.
In Texas, for example, Republicans recently passed a law making voting harder, especially for people of color. Now they’re advancing a new congressional map that’s tilted in their favor and doesn’t reflect the state’s growth.
And in Georgia, Republicans released a congressional map that decreases the voting power of communities of color – including African Americans in a historically Black district – and ignores how the state has changed.
Like so many of you, Michelle and I were heartbroken to hear about the terrorist attack outside the Kabul airport that killed and wounded so many U.S. service members, as well as Afghan men, women, and children.
As president, nothing was more painful than grieving with the loved ones of Americans who gave their lives serving our country. As President Biden said, these service members are heroes who have been engaged in a dangerous, selfless mission to save the lives of others.
Our hearts go out to the families who lost a loved one, and to everyone continuing the mission in Kabul. We’re also thinking of the families of the Afghans who died, many of whom stood by America and were willing to risk everything for a chance at a better life.
Today, the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act. Again. This ruling reaffirms what we have long known to be true: the Affordable Care Act is here to stay.
The principle of universal coverage has been established, and 31 million people now have access to care through the law we passed—with millions more who can no longer be denied coverage or charged more because of a preexisting condition.
Now we need to build on the Affordable Care Act and continue to strengthen and expand it. That’s what @POTUS Biden has done through the American Rescue Plan, giving more families the peace of mind they deserve.
As part of the American Rescue Plan, @POTUS just signed the largest expansion of health care since the Affordable Care Act. It’s an example of how government is supposed to work, and exactly what I hoped would happen when I signed the ACA into law 11 years ago today.
The Affordable Care Act has helped 20 million Americans get coverage—and up to 130 million Americans can no longer be denied coverage because of a preexisting condition. It has been a lifeline for Americans who've lost their jobs and their health insurance during the pandemic.
But I’ve always said that the ACA is like a starter home—it’s our job to keep tinkering with it and improving it over time.
In June, I called on elected officials across the country to work with their communities to take steps to review and reform their use of force policies. Already, we’re seeing progress:
In Madison, WI, community groups will now choose the members of a new civilian police oversight board, which must include at least one member who was previously incarcerated. madison.com/wsj/news/local…
In Washtenaw County, MI, the new Task Force on 21st Century Policing will include community members, faith and nonprofit leaders, and mental health professionals. Plus, residents will be a part of the selection process for new officers. clickondetroit.com/all-about-ann-…
Today is the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act––one of the crowning achievements of our democracy. But once the Supreme Court weakened it, some state legislatures unleashed a flood of laws designed specifically to make voting harder, especially in communities of color.
We've got to fight harder to protect the right to vote. It’s one of the most powerful tools we have––and we can start by passing the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. Once we pass that, we should continue marching forward to make it even better.
We can do this by making sure every American is automatically registered to vote, including formerly incarcerated people. Let’s also make sure to add more polling places, expand early voting, and make Election Day a national holiday.
As communities around the country try to reimagine how law enforcement can operate in a just, effective and non-discriminatory way, these articles provide some useful background and differing viewpoints on the issue. vox.com/policy-and-pol…
Over the past few weeks, we’ve seen young people in every corner of the country step up and become leaders. Through organization and mobilization, they’re showing us how we can sustain this momentum to bring about real change. time.com/5847228/george…
Real change requires protest to highlight a problem, and politics to implement practical solutions and laws. As I mentioned yesterday in our @MBK_Alliance town hall, there are several steps our mayors and elected officials can take right now:
First, there are specific evidence-based reforms that would build trust, save lives, and lead to a decrease in crime, too. You can find clear, actionable recommendations right here: obama.org/anguish-and-ac…
Second, every mayor should review their use of force policies with members of their community and commit to report on planned reforms. We need mayors, county executives, and those in positions of power to make this a priority. Take the pledge: obama.org/mayor-pledge
As millions of people across the country take to the streets and raise their voices in response to the killing of George Floyd and the ongoing problem of unequal justice, I’ve heard many ask how we can sustain momentum to bring about real change.
Ultimately, it’s going to be up to a new generation of activists to shape strategies that best fit the times. But I want to highlight some basic lessons from past efforts that are worth remembering:
1. The protests represent a genuine and legitimate frustration over a decades-long failure to reform police practices and the broader criminal justice system. We should condemn the few who resort to violence––not the overwhelming majority who deserve our respect and support.
Some great stories of big-hearted people coming up with new ways to come together—even while remaining apart—to help the vulnerable who face some very tough times ahead. washingtonpost.com/local/neighbor…
Young people all over the world are leading the way in the fight to protect our planet because they know their future depends on it. This Earth Day, I want to celebrate the courageous, committed young leaders who are stepping up to save the one planet we've got.
They're people like 16-year-old @GretaThunberg, whose protests at Swedish parliament sparked a movement. Inspired by Greta's action, Fridays for Future brought together more than a million strikers on every continent last month to demand action on climate. ted.com/talks/greta_th…
I met 23-year-old @luisamneubauer in Berlin earlier this month. Luisa, the organizer behind the student movement in Germany, says, “It’s our future and we’re not going to stop fighting for it.” latimes.com/world/la-fg-ge…
On International Women’s Day, I’m reflecting on the future we all want for our daughters: one where they can live out their aspirations without limits. And I’m celebrating some of the women who are building that future for all of us today.
.@preethiherman is helping women unleash their power to change their societies. As head of the Change.org Foundation, she’s leading an initiative that combines online tools with in-person organizing, giving women a voice in her native India—and beyond.
.@BarbeAlice is helping refugees resettle into welcoming communities in France, offering them job training and language immersion, as well as a place to stay. More importantly, she’s fighting a narrative that suggests our differences are more important than our shared humanity.
As the year winds down and we look toward 2019, I’m asking you to make a commitment: find something you want to change in your community and take the first step toward changing it. If you need some inspiration, take a look at some of the young leaders who inspired me this year.
Leaders like Dejah Powell, who started an organization to bring health and wellness resources to communities on the South Side of Chicago, expanding food access and providing people the space and time to take care of themselves.
Leaders like Moussa Kondo and Sandor Lederer, who are each doing their part to fight corruption in their native countries of Mali and Hungary. Two people separated by continents but united in their pursuit of a more just, transparent society. obama.org/fellowship/mou…
Tomorrow’s elections might be the most important of our lifetimes. The health care of millions is on the ballot. Making sure working families get a fair shake is on the ballot. The character of our country is on the ballot.
When we've been at such crossroads before, Americans have made the right choice. Not because we sat back and waited for history to happen -- but because we marched, and mobilized, and voted. We made history happen.
When you vote, you have the power to protect voting rights. To make sure our criminal justice system treats everyone equally under the law. To strengthen laws that protect women in the workplace from harassment – and make sure they’re paid equally.
As we count down to the new year, we get to reflect and prepare for what’s ahead. For all the bad news that seemed to dominate our collective consciousness, there are countless stories from this year that remind us what's best about America.
Kat Creech, a wedding planner in Houston, turned a postponed wedding into a volunteer opportunity for Hurricane Harvey victims. Thirty wedding guests became an organization of hundreds of volunteers. That’s a story from 2017. click2houston.com/news/couple-po…
Chris Long gave his paychecks from the first six games of the NFL season to fund scholarships in Charlottesville, VA. He wanted to do more, so he decided to give away an entire season’s salary. That’s a story from 2017. philly.com/philly/sports/…