Info from the White House: On Wednesday, President Obama addressed the National Urban League, and discussed his Administration’s work to help strengthen our nation’s communities and support a strong and growing middle class.
“Let me tell you what I believe. I believe that strong communities are places that attract the best jobs and the newest businesses. And you don’t build that kind of community by giving tax breaks to companies that are shipping jobs overseas. You build it by giving tax breaks to companies that create jobs in Detroit and in Cleveland and in Chicago and right here in New Orleans, right here in America using American workers, making American products that we sell around the world, stamped with three proud words, Made In America.“
President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Urban League Convention at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, La., July 25, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
At the National Urban League, the President also announced that he is establishing the first-ever White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans so that every child has greater access to a complete and competitive education from the time they’re born all through the time they get a career.
To deliver a complete and competitive education for all African Americans, the Initiative will promote, encourage, and undertake efforts designed to meet several objectives, including:
· Increasing the percentage of African American children who enter kindergarten ready for success by improving access to high-quality early learning and development programs;
· Ensuring that all African American students have access to high-level, rigorous course work and support services that will prepare them for college, a career, and civic participation;
· Providing African American students with equitable access to effective teachers and principals in pursuit of a high-quality education, and supporting efforts to improve the recruitment, preparation, development, and retention of successful African American teachers and principals;
· Promoting a positive school climate that does not rely on methods that result in disparate use of disciplinary tools, and decreasing the disproportionate number of referrals to special education by addressing root causes of the referrals;
· Reducing the dropout rate of African American students and increasing the proportion of African American students who graduate from high school prepared for college and career;
· Increasing college access, college persistence, and college attainment for African American students;
· Strengthening the capacity of institutions of higher education that serve large numbers of African American students, including community colleges, HBCUs, Predominantly Black Institutions (PBIs), and other institutions; and
· Improving the quality of, and expanding access to, adult education, literacy, and career and technical education.
The President left us with these inspiring words:
“Sometimes being from the Big Easy means knowing hardship and heartbreak,” he said. “But what the city also knows is resilience, and determination, and heroism. That’s one of the reasons is it one of America’s jewels. It’s quintessentially American because of its resilience.” - President Barack Obama, July 25th, 2012, New Orleans
Central City To Gain Grocery Store Focused On Fresh and Healthy Foods
A local supplier, Jack and Jake’s, is bringing a new grocery store to O.C. Haley Blvd. in Central City by next year, with construction beginning soon. The store will connect local farmers to an aggregated market, providing fresh, Louisiana produce in District 5 and throughout New Orleans. From New Orleans City Business:
“CEO John Burns said the market will be located in the old Myrtle Banks School building on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard. In addition to renovating the existing school building, a new adjoining facility will also be built. Burns started his company last November to connect local farmers with neighborhood markets, schools and hospitals that lack access to fresh food.“New Orleans has more food deserts than just about any city in the United States and yet there is a supply of fresh food being grown year round,” Burns said.”
To learn more about Jack and Jake’s, and the new market, check them out on Facebook and online at JackandJakes.com. You can also read about them on Propeller, the Social Entrepreneurs of New Orleans.
DHH Announces Plan To Enact Steep Cuts
The fallout from the Governor’s and Louisiana GOP Congressional delegation’s leadership failure on our state’s Medicaid funding continues this week. As you know, the State announced it would lose over $859 million in Medicaid dollars this year, affecting every corner of our State’s health care system, especially our flagship LSU Public Hospitals. The Department of Health and Hospitals announced the specific service reductions associated with the cuts this week:
“The long-awaited report on how LSU would balance a loss that could reach nearly $330 million from its budget without closing public hospitals was submitted Friday to the LSU Board of Supervisors. No hospitals will be closed but some services will be curtailed. Physicians will take less money, purchases will be delayed and hospitals will divert existing state funds to match federal health care dollars that will help mitigate the cuts that are needed, according to the plan.
The reductions include the closure of an operating room in the Earl K. Long Medical Center on Airline Highway in Baton Rouge and half the operating rooms at the Leonard J. Chabert Medical Center in Houma. The University Medical Center at Lafayette will reduce the radiology maintenance and physician contracts, according to the plan.”
You can read more details of the proposed cuts in the Baton Rouge Advocate, here. The Jindal Administration announced they would use more “one-time monies” and “accounting strategies” to maintain services. Details of these actions were not yet available nor fully explained by late last week.
Forever New Orleans: Hubig’s Pies To Return After Fire – “We’ll Be Back”
After the early morning fire at Hubig’s pie factory this week, hearts broke throughout New Orleans. These little treats are a true New Orleans institution, and after the fire, we did get some good news:
“Sunrise revealed total destruction of the place where for nearly a century bakers prepared millions of the fried fruit pies popular with generations of New Orleanians. Last year, the factory churned out as many as 28,000 pies a day. As news of the fire spread, residents flocked to stores and left shelves nearly barren of the treats. And before firefighters could even declare the fire under control, Ramsey made a vow: “We’ll be back.”
Visit www.Hubigs.com to track rebuilding progress as a great New Orleans’ tradition begins the long road back.