Mayor DeStefano Issues Account of White House Meeting with President Obama
(3/12/2012) Mayor John DeStefano Jr. today met with President Barack Obama in the Roosevelt Room of the White House. The Mayor has issued following account of the meeting:
ďI had the opportunity today to meet with President Obama in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, along with 13 other elected officials in Washington D.C. this week for a National League of Cities conference.
We met first with Gene Sperling, the Director of the National Economic Council, a senior domestic policy advisor to the President. At around 2:50 p.m., we were joined by Valerie Jarrett and the President. The President spoke with us for around 40 minutes, and focused largely on growing the economy, supporting families, and energy policy.
The President also engaged each Mayor on issues of importance in their cities. When it was my turn, I spoke about the changing nature of work here in New Haven. Years ago, our largest employer was the Winchester factory. Today, itís Yale University and Yale-New Haven Hospital-jobs that require higher skill levels. I asked the President to support training programs and interventions that help individuals grow skills that match the jobs available today. I told him I supported his focus on community colleges as an important workforce development tool. I also shared New Havenís experience with our immigrant communities-that robust immigration is important for growing the economy. Here in New Haven, our immigrant communities are disproportionately entrepreneurial, growing numerous healthy businesses and jobs despite a challenging economy.
I also spoke to the President about our School Change initiative, and asked that competitive federal grants like the Race to the Top and Investing in Innovation funds go directly to school districts carrying out reforms, rather than to states or non-profits that are more removed from classrooms.
I feel fortunate to have had this opportunity to sit down with the President. We are all fortunate to have a President who understands and supports the needs and concerns of cities like New Haven.Ē
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