Obama called for faith and perseverance today in the face of roadblocks and failures to an audience at a school in Hyde Park in Chicago. The president’s visit was the last stop on his national tour to promote his second term agenda, and came after more than 13 months of record-breaking bloodshed on Chicago’s streets.
The president’s speech lasted 26 minutes. In it, he called for financial incentives to keep families together, an expansion of early childhood education, and promoted the growth of “College to Career” programs that he said would act as incentives for business owners to invest in poor black and Latino neighborhoods.
Many organizers in Chicago were hopeful that President Obama’s speech would help put more of a national focus on the city’s battle against gun violence. This week I spoke to allies and members of the Black Youth Project about their hopes for the president’s speech, and they said they wanted to president to offer up a substantive speech that addressed the root causes of violence.
“We may not be able to help everybody, but if we help a few, then that propels progress forward,” the president said today.
Stay tuned for more news and analysis on the President’s speech.