NEW YORK – President Obama delivered his seventh State of the Union address this evening, laying out his plans not only for the next year, but through the end of his presidency. Following the address, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) Chair Susan W. Turnbull and President Rabbi Steve Gutow released the following statement:
“This evening, having heard President Obama’s vision for America’s future, we are eager to continue working with the Administration and Congress on the priorities of the American Jewish community. These include promoting opportunity for all Americans, preserving programs that support the most vulnerable, protecting our environment and curbing climate change, confronting terrorism and the countries that support it, and continuing our nation’s strong support for peace in the Middle East.
“Our nation is built on the idea that all Americans should have the ability to pursue their potential. In the next year, Congress is due to reauthorize crucial programs aimed at bringing children out of poverty. We urge the Administration and Congress to capture this moment to expand opportunity for all of our children, especially in the areas of education and nutrition.
“In the next year, because American leadership is critical in the effort to slow, and ultimately reverse, climate change we hope to work collaboratively with the President and Congress on sensible policies to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
“Because our challenges abroad will continue in the next year, we urge a vibrant foreign policy that prioritizes national engagement, supports human rights, and works to secure peace. At the same time, we must aggressively confront terrorist groups and rogue states that continue to threaten the security of the United States and our allies. Specifically, Iran obtaining nuclear weapons is a matter of the gravest concern and of utmost urgency for the global community.
“Finally, we are also thankful for the recent release of Alan Gross from Cuba. Alan’s presence as the First Lady’s guest at the State of the Union was clearly a symbol of our hopes for the future.”