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To-Do List for Congress, Marriage Equality, and Empowering American Consumers: Deputies' Download

President Obama calls on Congress to act on his "To-Do List," the White House holds a Summit on Financial Capability and Empowerment, and the President discusses his support for marriage equality.

Honoring Mothers

On behalf of the Office of Public Engagement, we hope that all the mothers across the country had a wonderful Mother’s Day! In honor of Military Spouse Appreciation Day on May 11th and in support of military families celebrating Mother’s Day, last week First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden hosted a Joining Forces Mother’s Day event at the White House. Watch the video and learn how you can show your support for military moms by visiting our Joining Forces site.

President Obama’s “To-Do List” for Congress

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the economy at the State University of New York, in Albany

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the economy at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering’s Albany NanoTech Complex at the State University of New York, in Albany, N.Y., May 8, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

On Tuesday, President Obama called on Congress to move forward with a “To-Do List” that will create jobs and help restore middle class security. The President traveled to the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering’s NanoTech Complex in Albany, New York, where he described a list of initiatives that have bipartisan support and will help create an economy built to last.

In Albany, President Obama discussed the first item on the list: rewarding companies who bring jobs back to the U.S. with lower taxes, and paying for it by eliminating tax incentives for companies to ship jobs overseas.

The President traveled to Reno, Nevada on Friday to highlight another piece of the To-Do List: helping responsible homeowners refinance. Congress needs to pass legislation to cut red tape in the mortgage market so that responsible families who have been paying their mortgages on time can feel secure in their home by refinancing at today’s lower rates.

The proposals on the President’s To-Do List are important steps that Congress can take right now to create jobs. It’s time for Congress to act. Check out the full To-Do List, then join the conversation and make your voice heard with the hashtag #CongressToDoList.

President Barack Obama delivers a statement to neighbors at the home of Valerie and Paul Keller (May 11, 2012)

President Barack Obama delivers a statement to neighbors at the home of Valerie and Paul Keller in Reno, Nevada, May 11, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama Supports Marriage Equality

On Wednesday, in an interview with ABC News, President Obama said, “I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.” With that one statement, he made it clear that he believes that it’s wrong to prevent couples who are in loving, committed relationships from getting married. In the interview, he said that he had discussed the issue around the dinner table with his wife and daughters. He said he’d heard from service members who, even after the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, felt constrained because they aren’t allowed to get married. And in the end, the President said, he believes it’s important to “treat others the way you would want to be treated.”

Watch the interview and read reactions from newspapers and organizations around the country.

Educating and Empowering American Consumers

Last Thursday, the White House hosted a Summit on Financial Capability and Empowerment aimed at empowering Americans to make informed financial decisions. At the Summit, the Administration announced new private and public sector commitments to promote financial empowerment, as well as a new resource guide for schools, colleges and universities, employers, and communities to help leaders begin their own financial capability initiatives. Keep updated on future work in this area by visiting

Blog Highlights

White House Champions of Change Program

On Wednesday, the White House honored fourteen individuals as Champions of Change for leading the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math for people with disabilities. These leaders are proving that when the playing field is level, people with disabilities can excel in STEM, develop new products, create scientific inventions, open successful businesses, and contribute equally to the economic and educational future of our country.

The Champions of Change series spotlights everyday heroes who are demonstrating a commitment to improving their own communities, their country, or the lives of their fellow citizens. We are looking for you to nominate someone who is doing extraordinary things to make a difference in your community as a “Champion of Change.”

Get Involved 

For more information about ways to get involved, check out the Office of Public Engagement’s blog, which is updated daily with upcoming engagement opportunities. Be sure to participate in the online conversation by following @JonCarson44.

Interest rates on new subsidized student loans are scheduled to double on July 1. If Congress doesn’t act to prevent this, more than 7 million students around the country will rack up an average of $1,000 of extra debt. President Obama knows that’s not acceptable. Raise your voice and reach out to your networks if you agree that student loan rates should not double on July 1. On Twitter and Google+, use the hashtag #DontDoubleMyRate; on Facebook, update your status and profile image. Learn more about the President’s proposal and read about the impact higher interest rates would have on the AAPI, Native American, Hispanic, and African American communities.

Two weeks ago, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis joined Mayor Michael Nutter at Philadelphia’s City Hall to announce the launch of the Summer Jobs+ Bank and to highlight the progress of the Summer Jobs+ initiative. Summer Jobs+ is a call to action for businesses, non-profits, and government to work together to provide pathways to employment for young people in the summer of 2012. It’s about helping people find their first jobs. Dozens of companies and non-profit organizations, as well as cities, federal agencies, and the White House, have joined together to provide nearly 300,000 opportunities for young people. Learn about the innovative Summer Jobs+ apps that were created here, and encourage young people in your community to visit the Summer Jobs+ Bank here.

Get Updates

For more information, visit the White House Office of Public Engagement website and blog and sign up for additional opportunities.

We welcome your thoughts and feedback at

Anne Filipic and Stephanie Valencia are Deputy Directors in the Office of Public Engagement.