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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Readout of the President's Meeting with the National Urban League & NAACP

This afternoon, President Obama met with civil rights leaders Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League, and Ben Jealous, president of the NAACP, in the Oval Office. During their meeting, the President discussed the continued efforts his administration is making to spur job creation and economic growth, and reiterated the urgency of moving forward on a balanced approach to deficit reduction to avoid defaulting on our obligations. The President stressed that such an agreement must involve shared sacrifice and reaffirmed that we cannot afford to balance the budget on the back of the most vulnerable Americans including the middle class, low-income families, seniors, and students.

The President also reiterated that reducing unemployment, which disproportionately burdens the African-American community at 16.2%, remains a top priority for him and his Administration. The President also spoke with the two civil rights leaders about dramatic efforts his Administration has already made to address urban economic development through initiatives such as Strong Cities, Strong Communities, a program that acts to spur economic growth in urban centers while ensuring taxpayer dollars are used wisely and efficiently; the Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions fund; and the Minority Business Development Agency at the Department of Commerce. 

The President has worked tirelessly since entering office to bring economic relief and equal opportunity to all Americans, and he looks forward to a continued partnership with civil rights organizations like the National Urban League and the NAACP. The President also congratulated the leaders on their upcoming conventions.