Thursday, January 28, 2010

DB Sanchez, TNS Boxer, DB Logren Lên Tiếng Cho Phạm Thanh Nghiên & Trần Khải Thanh Thủy



DB Sanchez, TNS Boxer, DB Logren Lên Tiếng Cho Phạm Thanh Nghiên & Trần Khải Thanh Thủy

Kính gửi quý vị bản thông báo dưới đây.
Hôm nay, Dân Biểu Loretta Sanchez, TNS Barbara Boxer và Dân Biểu Zoe Lofgren đã gửi một lá thư đến với Chủ Tịch Việt Nam, Nguyễn Minh Triết lên tiếng cho cô Phạm Thanh Nghiên và nhà văn Trần Khải Thanh Thủy. Tối nay, tức sáng ngày 29 tại Việt Nam, thêm một nhà dân chủ dũng cảm, cô Phạm Thanh Nghiên sẽ bị đưa ra tòa và nhà văn Trần Khải Thanh Thủy cũng sẽ bị kết án trong những ngày sắp tới. Xin quý vị cùng văn phòng quảng bá.

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Dân Biểu Loretta Sanchez xin kính mời quý đồng hương Việt Nam tham dự cuộc đối thoại trên đài phát thanh Radio Bolsa, vào Thứ Sáu, ngày 29 tháng 1 năm 2010. Cuộc đối thoại bằng song ngữ (Anh-Việt) sẽ được diễn ra vào lúc 7:00pm chiều, giờ PST tại miền Nam California. Dân Biểu Sanchez sẽ lần lược trả lời câu hỏi từ các cư dân Việt Nam liên quan tới nhiều vấn đề như nhân quyền, tệ nạn buôn người, kinh tế, sức khỏe và thương mại, v.v.

Cuộc đối thoại sẽ được TRỰC TIẾP phát thanh trên đài Radio Bolsa, làn sóng 1480 AM. Để đặt câu hỏi cho Dân Biểu Sanchez, xin quý vị vui lòng gọi vào tổng đài số 1888-502-6572 hoặc số 714-418-2122 từ 7 giờ đến 7 giờ 45 chiều, hoặc gửi điện thư E-mail đến Lilly Ngọc Hiếu Nguyễn, địa chỉ Lilly.Nguyen@mail.house.gov .


Kính mến,


Thông Cáo Báo Chí

Dân Biểu Loretta Sanchez
Địa Hạt Liên Bang 47th, California
www.house.gov/sanchez
Ngày 28 tháng 1, 2010

XIN PHỔ BIẾN GẤP

Mọi Chi Tiết Xin Liên Lạc:
Caroline Hogan 714-621-0102

Lilly Ngọc Hiếu Nguyễn 714-621-0102

Sau giờ làm việc: 202-306-1440




DÂN BIỂU LORETTA SANCHEZ, THƯỢNG NGHỊ SĨ BARBARA BOXER, DÂN BIỂU LOFGREN LÊN ÁN VIỆT NAM ĐÃ GIAM GIỮ CÁC NHÀ DÂN CHỦ TẠI VIỆT NAM

Các vị Dân Cử Liên Bang Kêu Gọi Chủ tịch Việt Nam trả tự do
cho các nhà bất đồng chính kiến và tôn trọng nhân quyền

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Vào ngày 28 tháng Giêng, 2010, Dân biểu liên bang Loretta Sanchez, Thượng nghị sĩ Hoa Kỳ Barbara Boxer, và dân biểu Zoe Logren đã gửi một lá thư đúng lúc đến Chủ tịch Việt Nam, Nguyễn Minh Triết, yêu cầu nhà cầm quyền Việt Nam trả tự do và hũy bỏ tất cả các cáo trạng đối với nhà văn Trần Khải Thanh Thủy và cô Phạm Thanh Nghiên. Cả hai nhà dân chủ đang đối đầu với những tội danh chống phá nhà nước vì đã lên tiếng kêu gọi nhà cầm quyền Việt Nam tôn trọng các nhân quyền căn bản và có thể sẽ bị kết án tù trong những ngày sắp tới.





“Hôm nay, phái đoàn dân cử liên bang kêu gọi nhà cầm quyền Việt Nam hãy tôn trọng các quyền tự do ngôn luận, tự do biểu đạt tư tưởng và trả tự do cho hai nhà đấu tranh dân chủ đã bị tù đầy trong nhiều tháng vừa qua,” Dân biểu Sanchez nói. “Nhà cầm quyền Việt Nam sẽ không bao giờ được cộng đồng quốc tế, kể cả người dân Việt Nam tôn trọng nếu họ không cải thiện tình trạng nhân quyền của họ. Chúng tôi đang tạo cho họ một cơ hội để làm điều đó, và tự họ phải hũy bỏ các cáo trạng vô lý đối với cô Phạm Thanh Nghiên, nhà văn Trần Khải Thanh Thủy và tất cả các nhà bất đồng chính kiến khác.”

Dưới đây là lá thư đã được gửi đi ngày hôm nay:

His Excellency Nguyen Minh Triet
President of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam
c/o Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam
1233 20 Street NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20036

Dear President Triet:

We are writing to convey our serious concern regarding the detention and upcoming trials of Ms. Pham Thanh Nghien and Ms. Tran Khai Thanh Thuy, two prominent human rights activists. We request that the Vietnamese government act in a manner consistent with its own legal obligations and international law, and release these individuals immediately and without prejudice.

Based on information from the U.S. Department of State and international human rights organizations, it appears that the charges against Ms. Pham Thanh Nghien and Ms. Tran Khai Thanh Thuy are seriously flawed. Both women have consistently championed human rights in Vietnam, including freedom of expression and association. For those activities, they are now facing possible prison sentences.

Our understanding is that Ms. Pham Thanh Nghien is scheduled to go on trial this Friday, January 29, 2010 for “propagandizing against the state.” She was reportedly arrested by Vietnamese security officials in September 2008 and we have been told that her family has not been allowed to visit her in prison since her arrest.

We understand that writer and activist Ms. Tran Khai Thanh Thuy, who attempted to attend the trials of other democracy activists, is facing trial on February 5, 2010. She has reportedly had no contact with her family since her detention in October 2009. In addition, there has been no confirmation that medications supplied to the police to treat her diabetes and tuberculosis have been delivered.

According to the Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), to which Vietnam is a party, all citizens enjoy freedom of opinion, freedom of speech, freedom of religion and the right of association. Both your Constitution and the ICCPR also guarantee criminal defendants the presumption of innocence, the right to present a defense and the right to counsel. The imminent trials of Ms. Pham Thanh Nghien and Ms. Tran Khai Thanh Thuy appear to starkly contradict these principles.

We therefore respectfully request that the Vietnamese government immediately and unconditionally release Ms. Pham Thanh Nghien and Ms. Tran Khai Thanh Thuy and that while in detention, authorities take all measures to guarantee their physical and psychological security and well being, including access to medication and independent medical assistance and visits from family and friends.

Universal rights must be upheld for all people. It is time for Vietnam to allow its citizens to fully exercise the internationally recognized rights of freedom of assembly, expression, association and religion without fear of retribution from their government.

We thank you in advance for your assistance with this important and time sensitive matter.

# # #


Lilly Ngoc Hieu Nguyen
Field Representative
Office of Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez
12397 Lewis Street, Suite 101
Garden Grove, CA 92840
714-621-0102 (O)
714-621-0401 (F)
lilly.nguyen@mail.house.gov
Subscribe to our email newsletter:
http://www.lorettasanchez.house.gov/forms/newsletter.html

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GOP Response to State of the Union - Governor Bob McDonnell (R-Va.)

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Governor Bob McDonnell (R-Va.) spoke on behalf of the Republican Party in a formal rebuttal to President Obama's State of the Union address.

Good evening. I'm Bob McDonnell. Eleven days ago I was honored to be sworn in as the 71st governor of Virginia.

I'm standing in the historic House Chamber of Virginia's Capitol, a building designed by Virginia's second governor, Thomas Jefferson.

It's not easy to follow the President of the United States. And my twin 18-year old boys have added to the pressure, by giving me exactly ten minutes to finish before they leave to go watch SportsCenter.

I'm joined by fellow Virginians to share a Republican perspective on how to best address the challenges facing our nation today.

We were encouraged to hear President Obama speak this evening about the need to create jobs.

All Americans should have the opportunity to find and keep meaningful work, and the dignity that comes with it.

Many of us here, and many of you watching, have family or friends who have lost their jobs.

1 in 10 American workers is unemployed. That is unacceptable.

Here in Virginia we have faced our highest unemployment rate in more than 25 years, and bringing new jobs and more opportunities to our citizens is the top priority of my administration.

Good government policy should spur economic growth, and strengthen the private sector's ability to create new jobs.

We must enact policies that promote entrepreneurship and innovation, so America can better compete with the world.

What government should not do is pile on more taxation, regulation, and litigation that kill jobs and hurt the middle class.

It was Thomas Jefferson who called for "A wise and frugal Government which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry ....and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned..." He was right.

Today, the federal government is simply trying to do too much.

Last year, we were told that massive new federal spending would create more jobs 'immediately' and hold unemployment below 8%.

In the past year, over three million Americans have lost their jobs, yet the Democratic Congress continues deficit spending, adding to the bureaucracy, and increasing the national debt on our children and grandchildren.

The amount of this debt is on pace to double in five years, and triple in ten. The federal debt is already over $100,000 per household.

This is simply unsustainable. The President's partial freeze on discretionary spending is a laudable step, but a small one.

The circumstances of our time demand that we reconsider and restore the proper, limited role of government at every level.

Without reform, the excessive growth of government threatens our very liberty and prosperity.

In recent months, the American people have made clear that they want government leaders to listen and act on the issues most important to them.

We want results, not rhetoric. We want cooperation, not partisanship.

There is much common ground.

All Americans agree, we need a health care system that is affordable, accessible, and high quality.

But most Americans do not want to turn over the best medical care system in the world to the federal government.

Republicans in Congress have offered legislation to reform healthcare, without shifting Medicaid costs to the states, without cutting Medicare, and without raising your taxes.

We will do that by implementing common sense reforms, like letting families and businesses buy health insurance policies across state lines, and ending frivolous lawsuits against doctors and hospitals that drive up the cost of your healthcare.

And our solutions aren't thousand-page bills that no one has fully read, after being crafted behind closed doors with special interests.

In fact, many of our proposals are available online at solutions.gop.gov, and we welcome your ideas on Facebook and Twitter.

All Americans agree, this nation must become more energy independent and secure.

We are blessed here in America with vast natural resources, and we must use them all.

Advances in technology can unleash more natural gas, nuclear, wind, coal, and alternative energy to lower your utility bills.

Here in Virginia, we have the opportunity to be the first state on the East Coast to explore for and produce oil and natural gas offshore.

But this Administration's policies are delaying offshore production, hindering nuclear energy expansion, and seeking to impose job-killing cap and trade energy taxes.

Now is the time to adopt innovative energy policies that create jobs and lower energy prices.

All Americans agree, that a young person needs a world-class education to compete in the global economy. As a kid my dad told me, "Son, to get a good job, you need a good education." That's even more true today.

The President and I agree on expanding the number of high-quality charter schools, and rewarding teachers for excellent performance. More school choices for parents and students mean more accountability and greater achievement.

A child's educational opportunity should be determined by her intellect and work ethic, not by her zip code.

All Americans agree, we must maintain a strong national defense. The courage and success of our Armed Forces is allowing us to draw down troop levels in Iraq as that government is increasingly able to step up. My oldest daughter, Jeanine, was an Army platoon leader in Iraq, so I'm personally grateful for the service and the sacrifice of all of our men and women in uniform, and a grateful nation thanks them.

We applaud President Obama's decision to deploy 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan. We agree that victory there is a national security imperative. But we have serious concerns over recent steps the Administration has taken regarding suspected terrorists.

Americans were shocked on Christmas Day to learn of the attempted bombing of a flight to Detroit. This foreign terror suspect was given the same legal rights as a U.S. citizen, and immediately stopped providing critical intelligence.

As Senator-elect Scott Brown says, we should be spending taxpayer dollars to defeat terrorists, not to protect them.

Here at home government must help foster a society in which all our people can use their God-given talents in liberty to pursue the American Dream. Republicans know that government cannot guarantee individual outcomes, but we strongly believe that it must guarantee equality of opportunity for all.

That opportunity exists best in a democracy which promotes free enterprise, economic growth, strong families, and individual achievement.

Many Americans are concerned about this Administration's efforts to exert greater control over car companies, banks, energy and health care.

Over-regulating employers won't create more employment; overtaxing investors won't foster more investment.

Top-down one-size fits all decision making should not replace the personal choices of free people in a free market, nor undermine the proper role of state and local governments in our system of federalism. As our Founders clearly stated, and we Governors understand, government closest to the people governs best.

And no government program can replace the actions of caring Americans freely choosing to help one another. The Scriptures say "To whom much is given, much will be required." As the most generous and prosperous nation on Earth, it is heartwarming to see Americans giving much time and money to the people of Haiti. Thank you for your ongoing compassion.

Some people are afraid that America is no longer the great land of promise that she has always been. They should not be.

America will always blaze the trail of opportunity and prosperity.

America must always be a land where liberty and property are valued and respected, and innocent human life is protected.

Government should have this clear goal: Where opportunity is absent, we must create it. Where opportunity is limited, we must expand it. Where opportunity is unequal, we must make it open to everyone.

Our Founders pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor to create this nation.

Now, we should pledge as Democrats, Republicans and Independents--Americans all---to work together to leave this nation a better place than we found it.

God Bless you, and God Bless our great nation.

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Groups Ask Governor McDonnell to Stand on a Platform for Main Street, Not Wall Street


Richmond, VA- After Governor Bob McDonnell’s State of the Union response last night, many of the state’s progressive non-profit groups have expressed concern that the Governor was delivering an address for Wall Street, not Main Street. While the Governor’s elaborate rally at the General Assembly provided a welcome national spotlight on the Commonwealth, the proceedings were in large part paid for by the financial industry, McDonnell’s largest supporter.

Governor McDonnell’s PAC, Opportunity Virginia, footed the bill for the rally, website, webcast and other promotion of the Governor’s response last night.

According to the Virginia Public Access Project, McDonnell’s largest support came from the financial industry, followed closely by big coal companies and big banks. Groups are concerned that while the Governor literally stood on a platform paid for by the financial industry, he gave a speech advocating for Congress to dial back financial reforms that would protect consumers from financial industry practices which caused the Great Recession.

To the disappointment of financial reform advocates, Governor McDonnell expressed his opposition to a financial responsibility fee to share the financial burden of the bailouts with the firms that benefitted from them. He also expressed his opposition to regulations for big banks and financial firms.

“How will the Governor help Virginia’s small businesses and poor and middle class families when he is clearly speaking for Wall Street’s interests? We should be holding the financial firms and big banks who caused the recession accountable and that is what financial reform will do. Any leader who stands in opposition to financial reform is clearly putting the interests of Wall Street ahead of the interests of Main Street,” said Janice “Jay” Johnson, Chairperson of the Virginia Organizing Project.

In addition to concerns that Governor McDonnell was speaking for the financial sector, groups noted that the Governor’s response showed support for many other corporate special interests including the coal and oil industry. Governor McDonnell expressed his opposition to a national renewable electricity standard estimated to save the nation billions of dollars in electricity and natural gas bills.

"Virginia can create thousands of new jobs by increasing energy efficiency and powering the commonwealth with clean renewable energy. Unfortunately, Governor McDonnell would rather increase our dependence on fossil fuels by drilling off our coasts. What the governor did not tell the American people, nor has he shared this with Virginians, is that in a best case scenario it will take more than ten years for any oil off Virginia's shores to hit the market,” said JR Tolbert, State Director of Environment Virginia.“Instead of grandiose promises of oil revenue, the governor should be focused on those energy sources which can't be outsourced like energy efficiency and power from the wind and sun."

With one million uninsured Virginians and health care premiums rising 90 percent over the past ten years, McDonnell also expressed his opposition to health care reform legislation in Congress, preferring the GOP health care reform platform, the content of which he did not specify.

According to CBO estimates the GOP plan the Governor supports costs $61 billion and leaves 52 million Americans uninsured. “The Governor is advocating for a health care reform plan that would do nothing to make health care more affordable for those who have it and do even less to help the one million uninsured Virginia residents who don’t. We have to work towards real solutions. If we don’t get the job done now, there will be 54 million people without health insurance by 2019, Medicare will be in the red, and the costs of health care will strangle our families and economy,”
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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

President Obama - State of the Union Address - 2010

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release January 27, 2010

Remarks by the President in State of the Union Address

9:11 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Madam Speaker, Vice President Biden, members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans:

Our Constitution declares that from time to time, the President shall give to Congress information about the state of our union. For 220 years, our leaders have fulfilled this duty. They've done so during periods of prosperity and tranquility. And they've done so in the midst of war and depression; at moments of great strife and great struggle.

It's tempting to look back on these moments and assume that our progress was inevitable -– that America was always destined to succeed. But when the Union was turned back at Bull Run, and the Allies first landed at Omaha Beach, victory was very much in doubt. When the market crashed on Black Tuesday, and civil rights marchers were beaten on Bloody Sunday, the future was anything but certain. These were the times that tested the courage of our convictions, and the strength of our union. And despite all our divisions and disagreements, our hesitations and our fears, America prevailed because we chose to move forward as one nation, as one people.

Again, we are tested. And again, we must answer history's call.

One year ago, I took office amid two wars, an economy rocked by a severe recession, a financial system on the verge of collapse, and a government deeply in debt. Experts from across the political spectrum warned that if we did not act, we might face a second depression. So we acted -– immediately and aggressively. And one year later, the worst of the storm has passed.

But the devastation remains. One in 10 Americans still cannot find work. Many businesses have shuttered. Home values have declined. Small towns and rural communities have been hit especially hard. And for those who'd already known poverty, life has become that much harder.

This recession has also compounded the burdens that America's families have been dealing with for decades –- the burden of working harder and longer for less; of being unable to save enough to retire or help kids with college.

So I know the anxieties that are out there right now. They're not new. These struggles are the reason I ran for President. These struggles are what I've witnessed for years in places like Elkhart, Indiana; Galesburg, Illinois. I hear about them in the letters that I read each night. The toughest to read are those written by children -– asking why they have to move from their home, asking when their mom or dad will be able to go back to work.

For these Americans and so many others, change has not come fast enough. Some are frustrated; some are angry. They don't understand why it seems like bad behavior on Wall Street is rewarded, but hard work on Main Street isn't; or why Washington has been unable or unwilling to solve any of our problems. They're tired of the partisanship and the shouting and the pettiness. They know we can't afford it. Not now.

So we face big and difficult challenges. And what the American people hope -– what they deserve -– is for all of us, Democrats and Republicans, to work through our differences; to overcome the numbing weight of our politics. For while the people who sent us here have different backgrounds, different stories, different beliefs, the anxieties they face are the same. The aspirations they hold are shared: a job that pays the bills; a chance to get ahead; most of all, the ability to give their children a better life.

You know what else they share? They share a stubborn resilience in the face of adversity. After one of the most difficult years in our history, they remain busy building cars and teaching kids, starting businesses and going back to school. They're coaching Little League and helping their neighbors. One woman wrote to me and said, "We are strained but hopeful, struggling but encouraged."

It's because of this spirit -– this great decency and great strength -– that I have never been more hopeful about America's future than I am tonight. (Applause.) Despite our hardships, our union is strong. We do not give up. We do not quit. We do not allow fear or division to break our spirit. In this new decade, it's time the American people get a government that matches their decency; that embodies their strength. (Applause.)
And tonight, tonight I'd like to talk about how together we can deliver on that promise.

It begins with our economy.

Our most urgent task upon taking office was to shore up the same banks that helped cause this crisis. It was not easy to do. And if there's one thing that has unified Democrats and Republicans, and everybody in between, it's that we all hated the bank bailout. I hated it -- (applause.) I hated it. You hated it. It was about as popular as a root canal. (Laughter.)

But when I ran for President, I promised I wouldn't just do what was popular -– I would do what was necessary. And if we had allowed the meltdown of the financial system, unemployment might be double what it is today. More businesses would certainly have closed. More homes would have surely been lost.

So I supported the last administration's efforts to create the financial rescue program. And when we took that program over, we made it more transparent and more accountable. And as a result, the markets are now stabilized, and we've recovered most of the money we spent on the banks. (Applause.) Most but not all.

To recover the rest, I've proposed a fee on the biggest banks. (Applause.) Now, I know Wall Street isn't keen on this idea. But if these firms can afford to hand out big bonuses again, they can afford a modest fee to pay back the taxpayers who rescued them in their time of need. (Applause.)

Now, as we stabilized the financial system, we also took steps to get our economy growing again, save as many jobs as possible, and help Americans who had become unemployed.

That's why we extended or increased unemployment benefits for more than 18 million Americans; made health insurance 65 percent cheaper for families who get their coverage through COBRA; and passed 25 different tax cuts.

Now, let me repeat: We cut taxes. We cut taxes for 95 percent of working families. (Applause.) We cut taxes for small businesses. We cut taxes for first-time homebuyers. We cut taxes for parents trying to care for their children. We cut taxes for 8 million Americans paying for college. (Applause.)

I thought I'd get some applause on that one. (Laughter and applause.)

As a result, millions of Americans had more to spend on gas and food and other necessities, all of which helped businesses keep more workers. And we haven't raised income taxes by a single dime on a single person. Not a single dime. (Applause.)

Because of the steps we took, there are about two million Americans working right now who would otherwise be unemployed. (Applause.) Two hundred thousand work in construction and clean energy; 300,000 are teachers and other education workers. Tens of thousands are cops, firefighters, correctional officers, first responders. (Applause.) And we're on track to add another one and a half million jobs to this total by the end of the year.

The plan that has made all of this possible, from the tax cuts to the jobs, is the Recovery Act. (Applause.) That's right -– the Recovery Act, also known as the stimulus bill. (Applause.) Economists on the left and the right say this bill has helped save jobs and avert disaster. But you don't have to take their word for it. Talk to the small business in Phoenix that will triple its workforce because of the Recovery Act. Talk to the window manufacturer in Philadelphia who said he used to be skeptical about the Recovery Act, until he had to add two more work shifts just because of the business it created. Talk to the single teacher raising two kids who was told by her principal in the last week of school that because of the Recovery Act, she wouldn't be laid off after all.

There are stories like this all across America. And after two years of recession, the economy is growing again. Retirement funds have started to gain back some of their value. Businesses are beginning to invest again, and slowly some are starting to hire again.

But I realize that for every success story, there are other stories, of men and women who wake up with the anguish of not knowing where their next paycheck will come from; who send out resumes week after week and hear nothing in response. That is why jobs must be our number-one focus in 2010, and that's why I'm calling for a new jobs bill tonight. (Applause.)

Now, the true engine of job creation in this country will always be America's businesses. (Applause.) But government can create the conditions necessary for businesses to expand and hire more workers.

We should start where most new jobs do –- in small businesses, companies that begin when -- (applause) -- companies that begin when an entrepreneur -- when an entrepreneur takes a chance on a dream, or a worker decides it's time she became her own boss. Through sheer grit and determination, these companies have weathered the recession and they're ready to grow. But when you talk to small businessowners in places like Allentown, Pennsylvania, or Elyria, Ohio, you find out that even though banks on Wall Street are lending again, they're mostly lending to bigger companies. Financing remains difficult for small businessowners across the country, even those that are making a profit.

So tonight, I'm proposing that we take $30 billion of the money Wall Street banks have repaid and use it to help community banks give small businesses the credit they need to stay afloat. (Applause.) I'm also proposing a new small business tax credit
-– one that will go to over one million small businesses who hire new workers or raise wages. (Applause.) While we're at it, let's also eliminate all capital gains taxes on small business investment, and provide a tax incentive for all large businesses and all small businesses to invest in new plants and equipment. (Applause.)

Next, we can put Americans to work today building the infrastructure of tomorrow. (Applause.) From the first railroads to the Interstate Highway System, our nation has always been built to compete. There's no reason Europe or China should have the fastest trains, or the new factories that manufacture clean energy products.

Tomorrow, I'll visit Tampa, Florida, where workers will soon break ground on a new high-speed railroad funded by the Recovery Act. (Applause.) There are projects like that all across this country that will create jobs and help move our nation's goods, services, and information. (Applause.)

We should put more Americans to work building clean energy facilities -- (applause) -- and give rebates to Americans who make their homes more energy-efficient, which supports clean energy jobs. (Applause.) And to encourage these and other businesses to stay within our borders, it is time to finally slash the tax breaks for companies that ship our jobs overseas, and give those tax breaks to companies that create jobs right here in the United States of America. (Applause.)

Now, the House has passed a jobs bill that includes some of these steps. (Applause.) As the first order of business this year, I urge the Senate to do the same, and I know they will. (Applause.) They will. (Applause.) People are out of work. They're hurting. They need our help. And I want a jobs bill on my desk without delay. (Applause.)

But the truth is, these steps won't make up for the seven million jobs that we've lost over the last two years. The only way to move to full employment is to lay a new foundation for long-term economic growth, and finally address the problems that America's families have confronted for years.

We can't afford another so-called economic "expansion" like the one from the last decade –- what some call the "lost decade" -– where jobs grew more slowly than during any prior expansion; where the income of the average American household declined while the cost of health care and tuition reached record highs; where prosperity was built on a housing bubble and financial speculation.

From the day I took office, I've been told that addressing our larger challenges is too ambitious; such an effort would be too contentious. I've been told that our political system is too gridlocked, and that we should just put things on hold for a while.

For those who make these claims, I have one simple question: How long should we wait? How long should America put its future on hold? (Applause.)

You see, Washington has been telling us to wait for decades, even as the problems have grown worse. Meanwhile, China is not waiting to revamp its economy. Germany is not waiting. India is not waiting. These nations -- they're not standing still. These nations aren't playing for second place. They're putting more emphasis on math and science. They're rebuilding their infrastructure. They're making serious investments in clean energy because they want those jobs. Well, I do not accept second place for the United States of America. (Applause.)

As hard as it may be, as uncomfortable and contentious as the debates may become, it's time to get serious about fixing the problems that are hampering our growth.

Now, one place to start is serious financial reform. Look, I am not interested in punishing banks. I'm interested in protecting our economy. A strong, healthy financial market makes it possible for businesses to access credit and create new jobs. It channels the savings of families into investments that raise incomes. But that can only happen if we guard against the same recklessness that nearly brought down our entire economy.

We need to make sure consumers and middle-class families have the information they need to make financial decisions. (Applause.) We can't allow financial institutions, including those that take your deposits, to take risks that threaten the whole economy.

Now, the House has already passed financial reform with many of these changes. (Applause.) And the lobbyists are trying to kill it. But we cannot let them win this fight. (Applause.) And if the bill that ends up on my desk does not meet the test of real reform, I will send it back until we get it right. We've got to get it right. (Applause.)

Next, we need to encourage American innovation. Last year, we made the largest investment in basic research funding in history -– (applause) -- an investment that could lead to the world's cheapest solar cells or treatment that kills cancer cells but leaves healthy ones untouched. And no area is more ripe for such innovation than energy. You can see the results of last year's investments in clean energy -– in the North Carolina company that will create 1,200 jobs nationwide helping to make advanced batteries; or in the California business that will put a thousand people to work making solar panels.

But to create more of these clean energy jobs, we need more production, more efficiency, more incentives. And that means building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country. (Applause.) It means making tough decisions about opening new offshore areas for oil and gas development. (Applause.) It means continued investment in advanced biofuels and clean coal technologies. (Applause.) And, yes, it means passing a comprehensive energy and climate bill with incentives that will finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy in America. (Applause.)

I am grateful to the House for passing such a bill last year. (Applause.) And this year I'm eager to help advance the bipartisan effort in the Senate. (Applause.)

I know there have been questions about whether we can afford such changes in a tough economy. I know that there are those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change. But here's the thing -- even if you doubt the evidence, providing incentives for energy-efficiency and clean energy are the right thing to do for our future -– because the nation that leads the clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the global economy. And America must be that nation. (Applause.)

Third, we need to export more of our goods. (Applause.) Because the more products we make and sell to other countries, the more jobs we support right here in America. (Applause.) So tonight, we set a new goal: We will double our exports over the next five years, an increase that will support two million jobs in America. (Applause.) To help meet this goal, we're launching a National Export Initiative that will help farmers and small businesses increase their exports, and reform export controls consistent with national security. (Applause.)

We have to seek new markets aggressively, just as our competitors are. If America sits on the sidelines while other nations sign trade deals, we will lose the chance to create jobs on our shores. (Applause.) But realizing those benefits also means enforcing those agreements so our trading partners play by the rules. (Applause.) And that's why we'll continue to shape a Doha trade agreement that opens global markets, and why we will strengthen our trade relations in Asia and with key partners like South Korea and Panama and Colombia. (Applause.)

Fourth, we need to invest in the skills and education of our people. (Applause.)

Now, this year, we've broken through the stalemate between left and right by launching a national competition to improve our schools. And the idea here is simple: Instead of rewarding failure, we only reward success. Instead of funding the status quo, we only invest in reform -- reform that raises student achievement; inspires students to excel in math and science; and turns around failing schools that steal the future of too many young Americans, from rural communities to the inner city. In the 21st century, the best anti-poverty program around is a world-class education. (Applause.) And in this country, the success of our children cannot depend more on where they live than on their potential.

When we renew the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, we will work with Congress to expand these reforms to all 50 states. Still, in this economy, a high school diploma no longer guarantees a good job. That's why I urge the Senate to follow the House and pass a bill that will revitalize our community colleges, which are a career pathway to the children of so many working families. (Applause.)

To make college more affordable, this bill will finally end the unwarranted taxpayer subsidies that go to banks for student loans. (Applause.) Instead, let's take that money and give families a $10,000 tax credit for four years of college and increase Pell Grants. (Applause.) And let's tell another one million students that when they graduate, they will be required to pay only 10 percent of their income on student loans, and all of their debt will be forgiven after 20 years –- and forgiven after 10 years if they choose a career in public service, because in the United States of America, no one should go broke because they chose to go to college. (Applause.)

And by the way, it's time for colleges and universities to get serious about cutting their own costs -– (applause) -- because they, too, have a responsibility to help solve this problem.

Now, the price of college tuition is just one of the burdens facing the middle class. That's why last year I asked Vice President Biden to chair a task force on middle-class families. That's why we're nearly doubling the child care tax credit, and making it easier to save for retirement by giving access to every worker a retirement account and expanding the tax credit for those who start a nest egg. That's why we're working to lift the value of a family's single largest investment –- their home. The steps we took last year to shore up the housing market have allowed millions of Americans to take out new loans and save an average of $1,500 on mortgage payments.

This year, we will step up refinancing so that homeowners can move into more affordable mortgages. (Applause.) And it is precisely to relieve the burden on middle-class families that we still need health insurance reform. (Applause.) Yes, we do. (Applause.)

Now, let's clear a few things up. (Laughter.) I didn't choose to tackle this issue to get some legislative victory under my belt. And by now it should be fairly obvious that I didn't take on health care because it was good politics. (Laughter.) I took on health care because of the stories I've heard from Americans with preexisting conditions whose lives depend on getting coverage; patients who've been denied coverage; families –- even those with insurance -– who are just one illness away from financial ruin.

After nearly a century of trying -- Democratic administrations, Republican administrations -- we are closer than ever to bringing more security to the lives of so many Americans. The approach we've taken would protect every American from the worst practices of the insurance industry. It would give small businesses and uninsured Americans a chance to choose an affordable health care plan in a competitive market. It would require every insurance plan to cover preventive care.

And by the way, I want to acknowledge our First Lady, Michelle Obama, who this year is creating a national movement to tackle the epidemic of childhood obesity and make kids healthier. (Applause.) Thank you. She gets embarrassed. (Laughter.)

Our approach would preserve the right of Americans who have insurance to keep their doctor and their plan. It would reduce costs and premiums for millions of families and businesses. And according to the Congressional Budget Office -– the independent organization that both parties have cited as the official scorekeeper for Congress –- our approach would bring down the deficit by as much as $1 trillion over the next two decades. (Applause.)

Still, this is a complex issue, and the longer it was debated, the more skeptical people became. I take my share of the blame for not explaining it more clearly to the American people. And I know that with all the lobbying and horse-trading, the process left most Americans wondering, "What's in it for me?"

But I also know this problem is not going away. By the time I'm finished speaking tonight, more Americans will have lost their health insurance. Millions will lose it this year. Our deficit will grow. Premiums will go up. Patients will be denied the care they need. Small business owners will continue to drop coverage altogether. I will not walk away from these Americans, and neither should the people in this chamber. (Applause.)

So, as temperatures cool, I want everyone to take another look at the plan we've proposed. There's a reason why many doctors, nurses, and health care experts who know our system best consider this approach a vast improvement over the status quo. But if anyone from either party has a better approach that will bring down premiums, bring down the deficit, cover the uninsured, strengthen Medicare for seniors, and stop insurance company abuses, let me know. (Applause.) Let me know. Let me know. (Applause.) I'm eager to see it.

Here's what I ask Congress, though: Don't walk away from reform. Not now. Not when we are so close. Let us find a way to come together and finish the job for the American people. (Applause.) Let's get it done. Let's get it done. (Applause.)

Now, even as health care reform would reduce our deficit, it's not enough to dig us out of a massive fiscal hole in which we find ourselves. It's a challenge that makes all others that much harder to solve, and one that's been subject to a lot of political posturing. So let me start the discussion of government spending by setting the record straight.

At the beginning of the last decade, the year 2000, America had a budget surplus of over $200 billion. (Applause.) By the time I took office, we had a one-year deficit of over $1 trillion and projected deficits of $8 trillion over the next decade. Most of this was the result of not paying for two wars, two tax cuts, and an expensive prescription drug program. On top of that, the effects of the recession put a $3 trillion hole in our budget. All this was before I walked in the door. (Laughter and applause.)

Now -- just stating the facts. Now, if we had taken office in ordinary times, I would have liked nothing more than to start bringing down the deficit. But we took office amid a crisis. And our efforts to prevent a second depression have added another $1 trillion to our national debt. That, too, is a fact.

I'm absolutely convinced that was the right thing to do. But families across the country are tightening their belts and making tough decisions. The federal government should do the same. (Applause.) So tonight, I'm proposing specific steps to pay for the trillion dollars that it took to rescue the economy last year.

Starting in 2011, we are prepared to freeze government spending for three years. (Applause.) Spending related to our national security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will not be affected. But all other discretionary government programs will. Like any cash-strapped family, we will work within a budget to invest in what we need and sacrifice what we don't. And if I have to enforce this discipline by veto, I will. (Applause.)

We will continue to go through the budget, line by line, page by page, to eliminate programs that we can't afford and don't work. We've already identified $20 billion in savings for next year. To help working families, we'll extend our middle-class tax cuts. But at a time of record deficits, we will not continue tax cuts for oil companies, for investment fund managers, and for those making over $250,000 a year. We just can't afford it. (Applause.)

Now, even after paying for what we spent on my watch, we'll still face the massive deficit we had when I took office. More importantly, the cost of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will continue to skyrocket. That's why I've called for a bipartisan fiscal commission, modeled on a proposal by Republican Judd Gregg and Democrat Kent Conrad. (Applause.) This can't be one of those Washington gimmicks that lets us pretend we solved a problem. The commission will have to provide a specific set of solutions by a certain deadline.

Now, yesterday, the Senate blocked a bill that would have created this commission. So I'll issue an executive order that will allow us to go forward, because I refuse to pass this problem on to another generation of Americans. (Applause.) And when the vote comes tomorrow, the Senate should restore the pay-as-you-go law that was a big reason for why we had record surpluses in the 1990s. (Applause.)

Now, I know that some in my own party will argue that we can't address the deficit or freeze government spending when so many are still hurting. And I agree -- which is why this freeze won't take effect until next year -- (laughter) -- when the economy is stronger. That's how budgeting works. (Laughter and applause.) But understand –- understand if we don't take meaningful steps to rein in our debt, it could damage our markets, increase the cost of borrowing, and jeopardize our recovery -– all of which would have an even worse effect on our job growth and family incomes.

From some on the right, I expect we'll hear a different argument -– that if we just make fewer investments in our people, extend tax cuts including those for the wealthier Americans, eliminate more regulations, maintain the status quo on health care, our deficits will go away. The problem is that's what we did for eight years. (Applause.) That's what helped us into this crisis. It's what helped lead to these deficits. We can't do it again.

Rather than fight the same tired battles that have dominated Washington for decades, it's time to try something new. Let's invest in our people without leaving them a mountain of debt. Let's meet our responsibility to the citizens who sent us here. Let's try common sense. (Laughter.) A novel concept.

To do that, we have to recognize that we face more than a deficit of dollars right now. We face a deficit of trust -– deep and corrosive doubts about how Washington works that have been growing for years. To close that credibility gap we have to take action on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue -- to end the outsized influence of lobbyists; to do our work openly; to give our people the government they deserve. (Applause.)

That's what I came to Washington to do. That's why -– for the first time in history –- my administration posts on our White House visitors online. That's why we've excluded lobbyists from policymaking jobs, or seats on federal boards and commissions.

But we can't stop there. It's time to require lobbyists to disclose each contact they make on behalf of a client with my administration or with Congress. It's time to put strict limits on the contributions that lobbyists give to candidates for federal office.

With all due deference to separation of powers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests –- including foreign corporations –- to spend without limit in our elections. (Applause.) I don't think American elections should be bankrolled by America's most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities. (Applause.) They should be decided by the American people. And I'd urge Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps to correct some of these problems.

I'm also calling on Congress to continue down the path of earmark reform. Applause.) Democrats and Republicans. (Applause.) Democrats and Republicans. You've trimmed some of this spending, you've embraced some meaningful change. But restoring the public trust demands more. For example, some members of Congress post some earmark requests online. (Applause.) Tonight, I'm calling on Congress to publish all earmark requests on a single Web site before there's a vote, so that the American people can see how their money is being spent. (Applause.)

Of course, none of these reforms will even happen if we don't also reform how we work with one another. Now, I'm not naïve. I never thought that the mere fact of my election would usher in peace and harmony -- (laughter) -- and some post-partisan era. I knew that both parties have fed divisions that are deeply entrenched. And on some issues, there are simply philosophical differences that will always cause us to part ways. These disagreements, about the role of government in our lives, about our national priorities and our national security, they've been taking place for over 200 years. They're the very essence of our democracy.

But what frustrates the American people is a Washington where every day is Election Day. We can't wage a perpetual campaign where the only goal is to see who can get the most embarrassing headlines about the other side -– a belief that if you lose, I win. Neither party should delay or obstruct every single bill just because they can. The confirmation of -- (applause) -- I'm speaking to both parties now. The confirmation of well-qualified public servants shouldn't be held hostage to the pet projects or grudges of a few individual senators. (Applause.)

Washington may think that saying anything about the other side, no matter how false, no matter how malicious, is just part of the game. But it's precisely such politics that has stopped either party from helping the American people. Worse yet, it's sowing further division among our citizens, further distrust in our government.

So, no, I will not give up on trying to change the tone of our politics. I know it's an election year. And after last week, it's clear that campaign fever has come even earlier than usual. But we still need to govern.

To Democrats, I would remind you that we still have the largest majority in decades, and the people expect us to solve problems, not run for the hills. (Applause.) And if the Republican leadership is going to insist that 60 votes in the Senate are required to do any business at all in this town -- a supermajority -- then the responsibility to govern is now yours as well. (Applause.) Just saying no to everything may be good short-term politics, but it's not leadership. We were sent here to serve our citizens, not our ambitions. (Applause.) So let's show the American people that we can do it together. (Applause.)

This week, I'll be addressing a meeting of the House Republicans. I'd like to begin monthly meetings with both Democratic and Republican leadership. I know you can't wait. (Laughter.)

Throughout our history, no issue has united this country more than our security. Sadly, some of the unity we felt after 9/11 has dissipated. We can argue all we want about who's to blame for this, but I'm not interested in re-litigating the past. I know that all of us love this country. All of us are committed to its defense. So let's put aside the schoolyard taunts about who's tough. Let's reject the false choice between protecting our people and upholding our values. Let's leave behind the fear and division, and do what it takes to defend our nation and forge a more hopeful future -- for America and for the world. (Applause.)

That's the work we began last year. Since the day I took office, we've renewed our focus on the terrorists who threaten our nation. We've made substantial investments in our homeland security and disrupted plots that threatened to take American lives. We are filling unacceptable gaps revealed by the failed Christmas attack, with better airline security and swifter action on our intelligence. We've prohibited torture and strengthened partnerships from the Pacific to South Asia to the Arabian Peninsula. And in the last year, hundreds of al Qaeda's fighters and affiliates, including many senior leaders, have been captured or killed -- far more than in 2008.

And in Afghanistan, we're increasing our troops and training Afghan security forces so they can begin to take the lead in July of 2011, and our troops can begin to come home. (Applause.) We will reward good governance, work to reduce corruption, and support the rights of all Afghans -- men and women alike. (Applause.) We're joined by allies and partners who have increased their own commitments, and who will come together tomorrow in London to reaffirm our common purpose. There will be difficult days ahead. But I am absolutely confident we will succeed.

As we take the fight to al Qaeda, we are responsibly leaving Iraq to its people. As a candidate, I promised that I would end this war, and that is what I am doing as President. We will have all of our combat troops out of Iraq by the end of this August. (Applause.) We will support the Iraqi government -- we will support the Iraqi government as they hold elections, and we will continue to partner with the Iraqi people to promote regional peace and prosperity. But make no mistake: This war is ending, and all of our troops are coming home. (Applause.)

Tonight, all of our men and women in uniform -- in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and around the world –- they have to know that we -- that they have our respect, our gratitude, our full support. And just as they must have the resources they need in war, we all have a responsibility to support them when they come home. (Applause.) That's why we made the largest increase in investments for veterans in decades -- last year. (Applause.) That's why we're building a 21st century VA. And that's why Michelle has joined with Jill Biden to forge a national commitment to support military families. (Applause.)

Now, even as we prosecute two wars, we're also confronting perhaps the greatest danger to the American people -– the threat of nuclear weapons. I've embraced the vision of John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan through a strategy that reverses the spread of these weapons and seeks a world without them. To reduce our stockpiles and launchers, while ensuring our deterrent, the United States and Russia are completing negotiations on the farthest-reaching arms control treaty in nearly two decades. (Applause.) And at April's Nuclear Security Summit, we will bring 44 nations together here in Washington, D.C. behind a clear goal: securing all vulnerable nuclear materials around the world in four years, so that they never fall into the hands of terrorists. (Applause.)

Now, these diplomatic efforts have also strengthened our hand in dealing with those nations that insist on violating international agreements in pursuit of nuclear weapons. That's why North Korea now faces increased isolation, and stronger sanctions –- sanctions that are being vigorously enforced. That's why the international community is more united, and the Islamic Republic of Iran is more isolated. And as Iran's leaders continue to ignore their obligations, there should be no doubt: They, too, will face growing consequences. That is a promise. (Applause.)

That's the leadership that we are providing –- engagement that advances the common security and prosperity of all people. We're working through the G20 to sustain a lasting global recovery. We're working with Muslim communities around the world to promote science and education and innovation. We have gone from a bystander to a leader in the fight against climate change. We're helping developing countries to feed themselves, and continuing the fight against HIV/AIDS. And we are launching a new initiative that will give us the capacity to respond faster and more effectively to bioterrorism or an infectious disease -– a plan that will counter threats at home and strengthen public health abroad.

As we have for over 60 years, America takes these actions because our destiny is connected to those beyond our shores. But we also do it because it is right. That's why, as we meet here tonight, over 10,000 Americans are working with many nations to help the people of Haiti recover and rebuild. (Applause.) That's why we stand with the girl who yearns to go to school in Afghanistan; why we support the human rights of the women marching through the streets of Iran; why we advocate for the young man denied a job by corruption in Guinea. For America must always stand on the side of freedom and human dignity. (Applause.) Always. (Applause.)

Abroad, America's greatest source of strength has always been our ideals. The same is true at home. We find unity in our incredible diversity, drawing on the promise enshrined in our Constitution: the notion that we're all created equal; that no matter who you are or what you look like, if you abide by the law you should be protected by it; if you adhere to our common values you should be treated no different than anyone else.

We must continually renew this promise. My administration has a Civil Rights Division that is once again prosecuting civil rights violations and employment discrimination. (Applause.) We finally strengthened our laws to protect against crimes driven by hate. (Applause.) This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are. (Applause.) It's the right thing to do. (Applause.)

We're going to crack down on violations of equal pay laws -– so that women get equal pay for an equal day's work. (Applause.) And we should continue the work of fixing our broken immigration system -– to secure our borders and enforce our laws, and ensure that everyone who plays by the rules can contribute to our economy and enrich our nation. (Applause.)

In the end, it's our ideals, our values that built America -- values that allowed us to forge a nation made up of immigrants from every corner of the globe; values that drive our citizens still. Every day, Americans meet their responsibilities to their families and their employers. Time and again, they lend a hand to their neighbors and give back to their country. They take pride in their labor, and are generous in spirit. These aren't Republican values or Democratic values that they're living by; business values or labor values. They're American values.

Unfortunately, too many of our citizens have lost faith that our biggest institutions -– our corporations, our media, and, yes, our government –- still reflect these same values. Each of these institutions are full of honorable men and women doing important work that helps our country prosper. But each time a CEO rewards himself for failure, or a banker puts the rest of us at risk for his own selfish gain, people's doubts grow. Each time lobbyists game the system or politicians tear each other down instead of lifting this country up, we lose faith. The more that TV pundits reduce serious debates to silly arguments, big issues into sound bites, our citizens turn away.

No wonder there's so much cynicism out there. No wonder there's so much disappointment.

I campaigned on the promise of change –- change we can believe in, the slogan went. And right now, I know there are many Americans who aren't sure if they still believe we can change –- or that I can deliver it.

But remember this –- I never suggested that change would be easy, or that I could do it alone. Democracy in a nation of 300 million people can be noisy and messy and complicated. And when you try to do big things and make big changes, it stirs passions and controversy. That's just how it is.

Those of us in public office can respond to this reality by playing it safe and avoid telling hard truths and pointing fingers. We can do what's necessary to keep our poll numbers high, and get through the next election instead of doing what's best for the next generation.

But I also know this: If people had made that decision 50 years ago, or 100 years ago, or 200 years ago, we wouldn't be here tonight. The only reason we are here is because generations of Americans were unafraid to do what was hard; to do what was needed even when success was uncertain; to do what it took to keep the dream of this nation alive for their children and their grandchildren.

Our administration has had some political setbacks this year, and some of them were deserved. But I wake up every day knowing that they are nothing compared to the setbacks that families all across this country have faced this year. And what keeps me going -– what keeps me fighting -– is that despite all these setbacks, that spirit of determination and optimism, that fundamental decency that has always been at the core of the American people, that lives on.

It lives on in the struggling small business owner who wrote to me of his company, "None of us," he said, "…are willing to consider, even slightly, that we might fail."

It lives on in the woman who said that even though she and her neighbors have felt the pain of recession, "We are strong. We are resilient. We are American."

It lives on in the 8-year-old boy in Louisiana, who just sent me his allowance and asked if I would give it to the people of Haiti.

And it lives on in all the Americans who've dropped everything to go someplace they've never been and pull people they've never known from the rubble, prompting chants of "U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A!" when another life was saved.

The spirit that has sustained this nation for more than two centuries lives on in you, its people. We have finished a difficult year. We have come through a difficult decade. But a new year has come. A new decade stretches before us. We don't quit. I don't quit. (Applause.) Let's seize this moment -- to start anew, to carry the dream forward, and to strengthen our union once more. (Applause.)

Thank you. God bless you. And God bless the United States of America. (Applause.)

END 10:20 P.M. EST


http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-state-union-address

The 1/26/2010 Resolution/ Recognition of the Fairfax County Census 2010 Complete Count Coummittee

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On Tuesday, January 26, 2010, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a Resolution to urge all Fairfax County residents to fill out and return their census form by April 1, 2010. The U.S. Constitution requires that a census be conducted every 10 years to count everyone living in this country. It is important that every Fairfax County resident be counted, as the census helps decide how federal funds get distributed to cities and counties every year.

The 1/26/2010 Resolution/Recognition of the Fairfax County Census 2010 Complete Count Committee can be seen in youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pXJAzqpgoVE

Voice of Vietnamese Americans participates in the Fairfax County Census 2010 Complete Count Committee. Genie Giao Nguyen also was appointed by Former Governor Tim Kaine to serve in the Virginia State Complete Count Committee, Non-English Speaking Sub-Committee, specialized in Asian Americans and Vietnamese Americans.

Census Will Start in Fairfax County in Mid-March

News Highlights
Board of Supervisors encourages everyone to fill out and return their census form by April 1.
Census data helps determine how much federal money Fairfax County receives for schools, roads and other local services and programs.
Everyone must fill out the census form, not just citizens. Answers on census forms cannot be shared with any local, state or federal government.

The 2010 Census officially began this week in Noorvik, Alaska;and it will start in Fairfax County in mid-March, when forms are mailed to residents
. County officials want everyone to be counted because the census brings back millions of dollars for schools, roads and other important local services.

For this reason, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution today to encourage every county resident to answer and return their census form by April 1. Forms will be mailed to every county household starting in mid-March.

“Census data determines whether we get our fair share of federal money for our schools, roads and other important local services and programs,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova. “In these days of tight budgets, it’s critical that we get every federal dollar we’re entitled to receive. To ensure we do, everyone must fill out and mail back their census form by April 1. It doesn’t matter whether you are a citizen or not — you count.”

Based on census results alone,Fairfax County received more than $359 million in federal funds in Fiscal Year 2008. This money helped to fund the county’s schools, roads and social services. As an example, the county received more than $50 million for schools.

It is quick and easy to answer the census form because it is one of the shortest in history. It is only 10 questions that should take about 10 minutes to answer.

By federal law, information from census forms cannot be shared with any local, state or federal government agency, including Fairfax County. Census workers also take an oath for life to keep this information confidential. There are stiff penalties for U.S. Census Bureau employees who disclose this information, including fines of up to $250,000, up to five years in prison or both.

The U.S. Constitution requires that a census be conducted every 10 years to count everyone living in this country. Everyone must be counted — not just citizens — as stipulated by the Constitution.

More information about the 2010 census can be found online.




http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news/2010/board_presentations_jan26.htm

Statement of Senator Webb on Conviction of Vietnamese Democracy Activists

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Senator Jim Webb




PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release:
Contact: Jessica Smith – 202-228-5185
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Annie Hughes – 202-224-4447

Statement of Senator Webb on Conviction of Vietnamese Democracy Activists

Washington, DC– U.S. Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) today issued the following statement in response to the conviction of Vietnamese democracy activists under charges of state subversion. Senator Webb serves as chairman of the East Asia and Pacific Affairs Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“I am concerned by the Government of Vietnam’s sentencing of Le Cong Dinh, Nguyen Tien Trung, Tran Huynh Duy Thuc, and Le Thang Long under charges of state subversion. The arrest and trial of these individuals illustrates the growing pressure in Asia towards government censorship and authoritarian control. The emergence of this trend underscores the need for the United States to demonstrate through our words and deeds the benefits that can be gained from a free society.

“Moreover, these trials underscore the need for high-level engagement with the Government of Vietnam on human rights issues. Rather than isolate Vietnam for its actions, I encourage the Obama Administration to continue to raise issues of freedom of association and rule of law with the Government of Vietnam, and consistently advocate for the protection of internationally-recognized individual rights.”


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http://webb.senate.gov/newsroom/pressreleases/2010-01-27-01.cfm"

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

CENSUS NEWS FLASH #84

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January 26,

Editor's note: The Funders Census Initiative today issued the press release below.


NEW MAPPING WEBSITE HIGHLIGHTS CHALLENGES
TO ACCURATE 2010 CENSUS IN HARD-TO-COUNT AREAS


Interactive Maps Help Guide Outreach Strategies in Support of Full Count;
Academia, Nonprofits, Business & Philanthropy Join Forces on Project

Community groups and local governments working to boost census response in historically hard-to-count neighborhoods will be able to target their efforts with a new web-based, interactive mapping site unveiled today by the City University of New York (CUNY) Mapping Service at the Center for Urban Research, CUNY Graduate Center.
The Census 2010 Hard-To-Count Interactive Mapnot only pinpoints census tracts that the U.S. Census Bureau considers difficult to enumerate, it also displays the detailed demographic and housing characteristics that the Census Bureau believes will create challenges to achieving an accurate count in certain communities, allowing census advocates to tailor their activities and messages to address specific barriers, such as language difficulties or low educational attainment. The URL is www.CensusHardToCountMaps.org.


"This web site will help groups promoting 2010 census participation across the nation get the biggest bang for their buck by focusing precisely on the communities that will be hardest to count," said Steven Romalewski, director of the CUNY Mapping Service. "The tool will also help these advocates communicate effectively with people in hard-to-count areas because the maps reveal why each location will likely face enumeration challenges." Mr. Romalewski pointed to language barriers, large numbers of renters, high poverty rates, and a prevalence of non-traditional households as some of the characteristics - alone or in combination - that the Census Bureau's research indicates will contribute to a difficult environment for the census. "The website provides visual evidence of those challenges with powerful maps and interactive data," he noted.

The project's development represents an effective partnership between academia, business, nonprofits, and the philanthropic community. The mapping site was made possible by a grant from the Long Island-based Hagedorn Foundation and is supported by the Funders Census Initiative (FCI), a unique and unprecedented ad hoc coalition of foundations and philanthropic affinity groups interested in a fair and accurate census. "The decennial U.S. Census provides data that are critical to the welfare and equity of American society, and therefore to the philanthropic community," said Hagedorn Foundation Executive Director Darren Sandow. "Without special efforts to reach the most vulnerable, hardest to count residents, millions of our neighbors will lose essential human services as well as political representation. That's why we're supporting this extraordinarily sophisticated resource."

The Leadership Conference Education Fund (www.civilrights.org), which is leading a national campaign in support of the 2010 census, is producing a video tutorial to help guide users through the site's features. The Leadership Conference is among dozens of nonprofits that have tested a beta version of the mapping tool and offered feedback to the development team. "The census is a critical tool for protecting the civil rights of every person living in the United States, from the drawing of fair voting districts to the enforcement of laws prohibiting discrimination in education, employment and housing, which is why organizations like ours and our national and community-based partners have a real stake in ensuring no one is left out of the census," said Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference Education Fund. "The CUNY interactive maps will be invaluable tools as we reach out to those communities, disproportionately minority and low-income, most at risk of being missed."

The site incorporates Google Maps©; Google provided technical advice and access to server resources, in anticipation of heavy use among state and local governments and grassroots organizations working to boost census participation this year.

The mapping tool is based on the Census Bureau's Tract Level Planning Database (http://2010.census.gov/partners/research/), which identified twelve population and housing characteristics associated with low mail response in the 2000 census. In addition to showing these characteristics within hard-to-count census tracts, the database shows tracts with low 2000 census mail return rates and high foreclosure risk. Site users can view hard-to-count census tracts within states, counties, metro areas, cities, and Tribal lands, as well as congressional districts and ZIP Codes. Location-specific links to the Census Bureau's web site allows users to access demographic and economic profiles of each area, including racial and ethnic composition, from either the 2000 census or American Community Survey (which replaced the census long form starting in 2005).

Background: The Mapping Service at the Center for Urban Research (CUR) (www.urbanresearch.org) is part of The Graduate Center of The City University of New York (CUNY). It undertakes many mapping initiatives and amplifies the spatial dimension of research undertaken by CUR, including that of the CUNY Data Service and New York City Labor Market Information Service. The Mapping Service's expertise lies in the use of geographic information systems (GIS) to understand, visualize, and analyze data sets for a variety of urban planning issues including demographic change, land use trends, social service availability, educational needs, public health, and environmental quality. In addition to Mr. Romalewski, the CUNY Mapping Service team that developed the Census 2010 Hard To Count site includes David Burgoon, Application Architect, and Christina Spielman, GIS Design Consultant.

The Funders Census Initiative (http://funderscommittee.org/funderscensusinitiative) was established in late 2008 and has since worked at the national, state, and local levels to direct resources to nonprofits for 2010 census outreach and promotion activities targeting underserved communities and hard-to-count populations. The Hagedorn Foundation is a founding member of the FCI.

The 2010 Census Planning Database uses six "person" characteristics:
· language isolation;
· unemployment;
· mobility;
· below poverty level;
· receiving public assistance; and
· no high school diploma ...


... and six housing characteristics:
· crowded housing;
· multi-unit buildings;
· lack of telephone in home;
· vacancy rate;
· renter occupied;and
· complex households ...

...to calculate "hard-to-count" scores, ranging from 0 - 132 for every census tract in the country. The new mapping site uses a threshold score of 61 or higher to identify hard-to-count census tracts. The cutoff score of 61+ identifies roughly the top 20% of all tracts nationwide that are the hardest-to-count.

The Census Bureau's hard-to-count scores do not incorporate mail response rates or race and Hispanic origin in the calculation but research shows a strong correlation between hard-to-count neighborhoods, low mail response, and high percentages of people of color. Mail response rates represent the percent of all housing units, occupied and vacant, which do not return a census form by mail; final response rates build on this measure to include telephone responses and late mail returns. Mail return rates represent the percent of occupied housing units (e.g. households) that return a form by mail or respond by telephone. None of these measures include responses from the second major census operation - door-to-door visits to collect information from unresponsive homes (called Nonresponse Follow-Up).

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Census News Briefs and Census News Flashes are prepared by Terri Ann Lowenthal, an independent legislative and policy consultant specializing in the census and federal statistics. All views expressed in the News Briefs are solely those of the author. Please direct questions about the information in this News Brief/Flash to Ms. Lowenthal at TerriAnn2K@aol.com. Please feel free to circulate this document to other interested individuals and organizations. Previous Census News Briefs are posted on The Census Project web site at www.thecensusproject.org.



Contact Information:

TerriAnn2K@aol.com
Phone: 203-353-4364

Monday, January 25, 2010

"Looking back, moving forward - Ôn Cố, Tri Tân" Hội Luận của GS Đinh Xuân Quân, GS Tạ Văn Tài, GS Lê Xuân Khoa, GS Nguyễn Ngọc Bích

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RADIO VIỆT NAM HẢI NGOẠI
LẬP PHÁP và CỘNG ĐỒNG
do Voice of Vietnamese Americans phụ trách
Chương trình ngày Thứ Hai 25 tháng 01 năm 2010
MP3 - xin bấm vào đây để nghe.

audio file này chỉ có hiệu lực đến thứ hai Feb 1st, 2010.
Xin download nếu quý vị muốn giữ làm tài liệu.


I - "ÔN CỐ, TRI TÂN" - HỘI LUẬN (Phần 1/4):

1 - GSTS ĐINH XUÂN QUÂN - Bối cảnh kinh tế và cơ cấu hành chánh của Việt Nam.

2 - GSTS TẠ VĂN TÀI - Bối cảnh chính trị, các vấn đề và thái độ cần có của VN

3 - GS NGUYỄN NGỌC BÍCH - Vai trò của khối người Việt đấu tranh cho dân chủ, nhân quyền trong và ngoài nước. Sự đàn áp các hoạt động nhân quyền của chính quyền Cộng Sản Việt Nam. Thế đứng của người Mỹ gốc Việt trong vị thế đối lập với chính quyền Cộng Sản.

4 - GS Lê Xuân Khoa: Vai trò của các NGOs - các Hội Thiện Nguyện ngoài chính phủ - Thế đứng của người Mỹ gốc Việt trong công cuộc cứu trợ, tiếp sức đa số dân Việt trên căn bản giáo dục, y tế - liên kết với các hội đoàn thế giới - Các thách thức người Việt hải ngoại phải vượt qua để giúp đẩy mạnh tiến trình dân chủ tự do tại Việt Nam

Trên đây là phần trình bày nhận định của các Giáo Sư. Sang phần Hội Luận, VVA hy vọng có thể mời quý vị gọi vào để đóng góp và đặt câu hỏi. Xin quý vị sửa soạn câu hỏi, và nếu muốn, có thể email trước cho Ngọc Giao tại glenguyen@gmail.com

Phần Hội Luận sẽ được tiếp tục trong các kỳ sau, tổng cộng 4 kỳ.


II - Bản tin Lập Pháp và Cộng Đồng ngày 25 tháng 01:

1 - Bản án ngày 20 tháng 01 cho các nhà tranh đấu cho dân chủ nhân quyền tại Việt Nam - Phản ứng của Thế Giới, các cơ quan nhân quyền, Ngoại Trưởng Hoa Kỳ Clinton, Đại Sứ Hoa Kỳ tại Việt Nam, và phản ứng của người Việt.

2 - Tin Lập Pháp cấp Liên Bang tại Hoa Kỳ

- Tin từ Tòa Bạch Ốc

- Tin từ Thượng Viện Hoa Kỳ: Cuộc thắng cử vào Thượng Viện của tân TNS Scott Brown (R), Massachusetts và sự cân bằng 41 R/ 59 D tại Thượng Viện liệu có ảnh hưởng đến Dự Luật Cải Tổ Bảo Hiểm Y Tế?

- Census 2010

3 - Tin Lập Pháp cấp Tiểu Bang

Học Bổng của NSRCF - Nisei Student Relocation Commenmorative Fund

Học Bổng của NSRCF - Nisei Student Relocation Commenmorative Fund

XIN PHỔ BIẾN NGAY
Liên lạc: Diane Hibino, Chủ Tịch
NSRC Fund 2010 Local Committee
301-263-0976 (nsrcfund2010@gmail.com)

BẢN TIN BÁO CHÍ

$45,000 tiền học bổng dành cho Học Sinh Đông Nam Á vùng Hoa Thịnh Đốn trong năm 2010.

Năm 2010, $45,000 tiền thưởng bằng học bổng được dành riêng cho học sinh trung học đệ nhị cấp đang sắp vào đại học, đại học cộng đồng, hay trường kỹ thuật. Học bổng do một nhóm người Mỹ gốc Nhật (thế hệ “Nisei” thứ hai) trong thời kỳ Đệ Nhị Thế Chiến, vào lúc ấy bị bắt ngưng học đại học, và phải vào trại tập trung. Bốn mươi năm sau, họ quyết định vinh danh sự rộng lượng của những người đã giúp họ trong giai đoạn khủng hoảng này. Năm 1980, tổ chức Nisei Student Relocation Commemorative (NSRC) Fund được thành lập để “đáp ơn” bằng cách giúp các học sinh có nhu cầu. Các Sáng lập viên chọn cộng đồng tỵ nạn Đông Nam Á gồm Việt, Miên, Lào, để phát học bổng, với điều kiện vì họ chia sẻ cùng một kinh nghiệm, việc học bị cắt ngang, và bị bắt buộc phải rời ngôi nhà mình đang ở - cùng kinh nghiệm chiến tranh như chiến tranh Việt Nam.

Mỗi năm, quỹ NSRC Fund chọn một vùng có nhiều dân Á Đông tại Hoa Kỳ để trao tặng học bổng. Sau nhiều năm, có đến khoảng 570 học sinh và $540,000 tiền học bổng được tặng cho các em học sịnh Trong dịp kỷ niệm năm thành lập lần thứ 30th, khu vực Hoa Thịnh Đốn, Virginia, và Maryland được chọn.

Ủy ban chọn xét học bổng muốn tìm các học sinh trung học đệ nhị cấp thuộc các sắc tộc Việt, Lào, và Cam Bốt.

Ủy ban chọn xét học bổng tìm các em có học lực khá, nhưng gia cảnh thiếu hụt, và cần các em hăng hái tham dự mọi sinh hoạt cộng đồng. và muốn được học lên cao.

Đơn xin học bổng có tại website:
www.nsrcfund.org, và liên lạc với ủy ban này qua địa chỉ email: nsrcfund2010@gmail.com . Hạn chót để nộp đơn là ngày 5 tháng 03 năm 2010.




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CENSUS NEWS BRIEF - No. 83 - January 24, 2010

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CENSUS NEWS BRIEF
January 24, 2010 - No. 83


In this issue

Census Bureau Kicks Off 2010 Promotion Campaign

Advocates Ramp Up Outreach Activities

New Bill Would Tighten Census Hiring Rules

The Rest of the News ...

New Resources for Census Advocates

COUNTDOWN TO 2010 CENSUS:
PAID MEDIA LAUNCH; ADVOCATES RAMP-UP OUTREACH;
ENUMERATION STARTS THIS WEEK IN ALASKA


STAKEHOLDER SPOTLIGHT

NEW LEGISLATION: NO CRIMINAL HISTORY FOR ENUMERATORS
PEW SURVEY ON CENSUS ATTITUDES; RACE QUESTION CONCERNS; AND MORE

NEW RESOURCES FOR CENSUS ADVOCATES

QUICK LINKS


CENSUS BUREAU LAUNCHES PAID MEDIA, ROAD TOUR

ENUMERATION STARTS THIS WEEK IN ALASKA


The Census Bureau formally launched its massive promotion and paid advertising campaign this month, with a road tour that will stop at major national events and local activities in each census region and with advertisements hitting the national airwaves during the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend.

Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Census Director Robert Groves announced the start of the "Portrait of American" Road Tour on The Today Show on January 4. The goal, they said, is to let Americans know that the census is coming, that participation is easy, and that they should mail back their forms. It is "very important that everyone be fully counted," Secretary Locke told Today co-host Meredith Viera, while Dr. Groves said the biggest misconception about the census is that it is "boring and long," adding that mailing back the form "is the safe thing to do."

The national road tour -- expected to cover 150,000 miles -- will travel to prominent national events such as the Super Bowl and NASCAR races, while 12 smaller vehicles will stop at local events in each of the Census Bureau's regions. The regional vehicles have been coordinating stops with local officials and community-based groups that are partnering with the Census Bureau to promote census participation. Census staff will be blogging and tweeting from road tour stops. All road tour schedules are posted on an interactive map on the 2010 census web site (Census Road Tour Census Road Tour .)

Advertising campaign aims to boost awareness: The Census Bureau began a $133 million paid media campaign, hoping to increase the mail-back rates with ads in 28 languages across television, radio, print publications, outdoor locations, and the Internet. CBS sportscaster James Brown joined Commerce Under Secretary for Economic Affairs Rebecca Blank, Dr. Groves, and representatives of national partner organizations to unveil the advertisements and show off the 2010 census-sponsored NASCAR vehicle at a Census Bureau event on January 14.

The Census Bureau said its plan "represents the most extensive and diverse outreach campaign in U.S. history" and is designed to reach the average person 42 times over the course of the enumeration. The focus on raising awareness will shift to motivational messages when census forms are mailed or hand-delivered to most American homes in March, and targeted ads urging cooperation with census takers will start when door-to-door visits to unresponsive households begin in May. The Census Bureau saves $80 - $90 million in follow-up costs for each one percent of households that return their census forms by mail.

Census count starts this week in Alaska: The 2010 census count starts on January 25 with enumeration of the Inupiat Eskimo village in Noorvik, Alaska. Director Groves will be on hand to help launch the enumeration in Native Alaskan villages, which the bureau must count earlier than most American communities because residents disperse for hunting and fishing after the still-frozen ground begins to thaw, making access to the villages difficult.

The Native areas are counted using the "Update-Enumerate" operation, during which census takers visit homes to update the address list by confirming the location of each housing unit and then enumerate residents on the spot. The procedure is used in other remote areas of the country, including American Indian reservations, where it is difficult to compile accurate address lists.

Rural communities where homes do not have city-style addresses (e.g. 123 Main Street) are counted using the "Update-Leave" operation, when census workers will visit homes to update the address list, add missing addresses they might uncover, and leave questionnaires for residents to mail back. Update-Leave procedures also will be used in several counties along the Gulf Coast still recovering from Hurricane Katrina and in some communities where residents only receive mail at Post Office boxes (census forms will not be delivered to P.O. boxes). The Update-Leave operation starts March 1, while Update-Enumerate starts in most areas on March 22.

STAKEHOLDER SPOTLIGHT

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) launched its Yes We Count census campaign on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday, in an effort to mobilize grassroots organizations in Black communities. The civil rights group is focused on raising awareness about the upcoming count, encouraging house parties, phone banking, and door-to-door canvassing in hard-to-count census tracts in 11 states and six metropolitan areas. The NAACP will target youth and college students through a program starting February 22, focusing on colleges with significant Black student populations, and will reach out to senior citizens the last weekend in February.

The Leadership Conference Education Fund and its four national census partners -- the NAACP, National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund, Asian American Justice Center (AAJC), and National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) -- are planning a National Week of Action from March 22 - 28. Grassroots organizations and faith institutions will conduct a wide range of activities to encourage people in historically hard-to-count communities to mail back their census forms. The Leadership Conference developed posters, signs, and palm cards posters, signs, and palm cards for census-related King Day events.

The Unity Diaspora Coalition, a collaborative effort of organizations focused on native-born and immigrant Black communities, is planning events for Black History Month to promote the 2010 census.

Broward County, Florida and other municipalities organized a "Paint the Town Red" day on January 5, encouraging all county employees to wear red to promote awareness of the census. County workers also include the census logo on all business e-mail communications they send, to draw attention to the upcoming count.

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) will kick-off its 2010 census campaign with a discussion and reception on January 28 at 4:00PM at the group's office (1732 Wisconsin Ave., NW, Washington, DC). The event will feature remarks by Philadelphia Regional Census Director Fernando Armstrong and Arab American Institute Foundation Executive Director Helen Samhan, a long time member of the Census Bureau's decennial census advisory committee. All organizations are welcome to attend; RSVP to Abed Ayoub at aayoub@adc.org.

Groups representing Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders will organize census activities in conjunction with the Lunar New Year in February, while NALEO and other Latino advocacy and faith groups participating in the ya es hora ¡HAGASE CONTAR¡ campaign are planning events in conjunction with Cesar Chavez Day on March 31.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce became the 150,000th 2010 Census Partner earlier this month, pledging to encourage census participation through its three million member businesses. The Chamber is a member of the 2010 Census Advisory Committee. According to the Census Bureau, the number of 2010 census partner organizations has exceeded the number in 2000, the first year of the program; 99 percent of partners are at the local level.

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority is planning a Census Awareness Day for February 27. The Rainbow PUSH Coalition will promote the 2010 census through churches, asking ministers to spread the message to their congregations.

NEW BILL AIMS TO TIGHTEN RESTRICTIONS
ON HIRING 'CRIMINALS' FOR CENSUS JOBS



Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), a member of the House census oversight subcommittee, introduced legislation on January 21 that would prohibit individuals convicted of any crime or facing pending charges for any crime from serving as census enumerators. H.R. 4484 defines "crime" as "any criminal offense other than a minor traffic offense."

In a press statement, Rep. Chaffetz said that enumerators with criminal records "can have serious detrimental effects on the American people's confidence in the Census. The safety and security of Americans in their homes are at stake." The congressman said he asked the Census Bureau last fall for data on the number of temporary employees hired for the 2010 census with criminal offenses on their records but did not receive the information. Subsequent meetings with Census Bureau and FBI staff, Rep. Chaffetz said, indicated that people convicted of "'certain' property crimes; minimal marijuana use; prostitution; Peeping Tom (unless it leads to sex offender registration); and DUI" would not be disqualified from 2010 census jobs. Enumerators are sent door-to-door starting in May, to collect information from households that do not respond to the census by mail or telephone.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in an October 2009 report (GAO-10-132T) that "fingerprinting during [Spring 2009] address canvassing was problematic," noting that 22 percent of 162,000 address canvassing staff had "unclassifiable prints that the FBI could not process" due to poor quality. Of those, the GAO said, more than 200 workers "might have had [disqualifying] criminal records." The Census Bureau was taking steps, the GAO noted, to improve the finger-printing process. Rep. Chaffetz said the GAO report prompted his concern about the hiring of people with criminal histories.

Census Director Groves issued a statement on October 13, emphasizing that 2010 census job applicants must undergo an FBI name background check and, for the first time, a fingerprint check. "Our goal is clear: Americans must be confident that if ... a census taker must come to their door to count them, we've taken steps to ensure their safety." Census informational materials do not specifically say which criminal convictions would make an applicant ineligible for employment.

The Chaffetz bill, which currently has no cosponsors, was referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

THE REST OF THE NEWS ...

Survey on census attitudes: A new survey by the Pew Research Center revealed that most Americans have a positive view of the decennial census, with 90 percent of people saying the census is "very" or "somewhat" important and 80 percent reporting that they will "definitely" or "probably" participate. The Center conducted the survey for People & the Press in early January, a week before the Census Bureau launched its multi-million dollar paid advertising campaign that will blanket television, radio, print, and social media from now through the spring.

The survey also found that about one in six Americans (16 percent) "might not" or "will not" answer the census; more than a third of those people said they had not heard of the census, indicating the importance of the awareness phase of the promotional campaign now underway. The Pew report says lack of knowledge about the census is highest among young adults and Hispanics, but at least two-thirds of each group is aware of the upcoming count and more than four in five report that they are familiar with the census after it is described to them.

The Pew Research Center is a "a nonpartisan 'fact tank' that provides information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. It does not take positions on policy issues." The full report and survey results are available through the Pew Research Center's web site at "Most View Census Positively, But Some Have Doubts."

Black leaders issue statement on census race question: The leaders of three civil rights organizations issued a statement earlier this month on use of the word "Negro" on the 2010 census race question, seeking to address concerns that the Census Bureau was not sensitive to cultural preferences in the Black community. Wade Henderson (Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights), Melanie Campbell (National Coalition on Black Civic Participation), and Benjamin Jealous (NAACP) said in their January 13 statement that the 2010 census is a "critical civil rights issue" and that "fair political representation and access to a fair share of the nation's public and private resources are riding on the 2010 count."

The leaders noted that the census race question includes a category for "Black, African American, or Negro" and that the Census Bureau included the latter word in large part because more than 56,000 respondents checked off "Some Other Race" in the 2000 census and wrote in "Negro." Their organizations commended the Bureau for "using the 2010 census as a test-bed for alternative wording on the questions" for future enumerations and the ongoing American Community Survey.

The three organizations issued their statement after TheGrio.com, a web site focused on African American news and commentary, posted an article questioning the decision to include the word "Negro" in 2010 (it appeared on the census forms in 1990 and 2000, as well), raising alarm bells in some Black communities around the country. The article's author, David Wilson, subsequently appeared on The Rachel Maddow Show (MSNBC) on January 6.

Better Business Bureau victim of census scam: The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is warning Americans about a phony e-mail that purports to be from the consumer-business mediation group. The message, circulating on the Internet, cautions against sharing personal information such as social security and bank account numbers with people claiming to be census takers, but also tells people that they only have to provide the number of people in their household. Federal law requires respondents to answer all questions on the census.

Last fall, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) made news by saying in several interviews that she would only answer the census question on the number of people in her home. In a press statement on its web site, the BBB urged Americans to "get the facts" about how to identify census takers and assured people that the "census is safe."

NEW RESOURCES FOR CENSUS ADVOCATES

✍ The Census Project is now on Facebook. Go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Census-Project/251237523383 to see the weekly blog, become a fan, and follow Census Project activities.

✍ The Census Bureau has launched a new 2010 census web site in Spanish, "to demonstrate to the Hispanic community that participation is easy, important and safe," according to the announcement of the site's launch last week.

✍ The Arab American Institute, a member of the 2010 Census Advisory Committee, has issued an Arab American Toolkit for the 2010 census. The toolkit includes resources in English and Arabic to help community leaders conduct outreach and promote participation in the count. Go to AAI's web site to download a kit; an on-line version, which AAI will update to reflect new activities, also is available.

✍ The Pew Research Center has launched a new web page, All Things Census, featuring information about census methods, resources, and findings. Senior Writer D'Vera Cohn, a former Washington Post reporter who covered census issues, is overseeing the new Pew resource, which includes an audio recording of Census Director Groves' remarks at the Center earlier this month.

✍ The Brookings Institution has issued updated national tables showing the allocation of Fiscal Year 2008 federal program funds based in whole or in part on census data. Brookings analyzed census-driven federal assistance programs by state, by program, and by program function. The new analysis shows that almost $438 billion was distributed to states, counties, and localities through 212 programs using data derived from the decennial census. The average national per capita expenditure was $1,440. The updated tables are available on The Census Project web site under Fact Sheets. The Brookings Institution will issue a full report next month on the FY2008 analysis, including program-by-program allocation tables for all states and the 200 largest counties and metropolitan areas.




QUICK LINKS:

2010 Census Web Site: The Census Bureau's new 2010 census web site offers useful basic information on the census process, as well as sample questionnaires, information on job opportunities, and in-language materials. Add it to your "Bookmarks" bar to track mail response rates daily for your state and locality starting in late March.

2010 Census Web Site in Spanish: New official 2010 census Spanish language web site.

The Census Project : Visit the Census Project web site for previous Census News Briefs, fact sheets, and a weekly blog in support of an accurate 2010 census.

Leadership Conference Education Fund: The LCEF 2010 Census campaign offers fact sheets, a toolkit, data on the census undercount, and promotional materials to reach historically hard-to-count communities.

Nonprofits Count: The Nonprofit Voter Engagement Network's 2010 census campaign features fact sheets, a toolkit, posters and swag, and state-specific resources to help nonprofits promote census participation.

ya es hora ¡HAGASE CONTAR¡: Resources and promotional materials, in Spanish and English, targeting the Latino population.

National Urban League: This Census Information Center web page includes links to demographic information on the Black population, job opportunities, and other 2010 census materials.

Asian American Justice Center : Resources and information, including in-language census forms, targeting the Asian American and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander populations.

Indian Country Counts : Region-specific information, events, job listings, and tools for the American Indian and Alaska Native populations.


Census News Briefs are prepared by Terri Ann Lowenthal, an independent legislative and policy consultant specializing in the census and federal statistics. All views expressed in the News Briefs are solely those of the author. Please direct questions about the information in this News Brief to Ms. Lowenthal at TerriAnn2K@aol.com. Please feel free to circulate this document to other interested individuals and organizations. Ms. Lowenthal is a consultant to the nonpartisan Census Project, organized by the Communications Consortium Media Center in Washington, DC. Previous Census News Briefs are posted at www.thecensusproject.org.


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