National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial Issued the Following Statement in Response to President Obama’s Fifth State of the Union Address

We were encouraged to hear President Obama articulate a vision – and practical proposals – that speak to the hopes and aspirations of all Americans, particularly those who have yet to achieve their American dream.

In clear and unambiguous terms, President Obama expressed the critical point that the Urban League has long championed — that empowerment and prosperity begin with full employment and economic opportunity and equality.  The president offered a roadmap that supports those still striving for the dignity of employment at a living wage; invests in high-quality education for every child that prepares them for colleges and careers; and offers peace of mind and security for those with current or future healthcare challenges.

Our daily resolve to work on behalf of those whom economic, opportunity and income inequality affect most was further strengthened and fueled by the president’s expression of support for the kinds of “proven” jobs programs—like those included in our Jobs Rebuild America initiative —that help to put our communities across the nation back to work and on the road to recovery and empowerment.

As the nation moves forward from this speech, we urge Congress and our other elected officials  to abandon partisan politics and work cooperatively in the best interest of the millions of Americans who can no longer afford the American dream – no matter how hard they work.   We will continue to work to help ensure that the issues raised by the president do not get drowned in a sea of unproductive sarcasm and political posturing, but that they instead are the focus of real solutions that Americans so desperately need.

Yes, it is the job of all of us to reverse the trends – and put our country back on the right track.