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The White House

Background on President's Meeting with Working Families

Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                  April 15, 2009
Background on President's Meeting with Working Families
President Obama will meet with the following working families this morning. He will underscore his commitment to a simpler tax code that rewards work and the pursuit of the American dream and supports a future of sustained economic growth that creates good jobs and rising incomes for all Americans.  He will discuss the unprecedented action his Administration has taken to give tax cuts to the Americans who need them, while jump-starting growth and job creation in the process.
Chris and Guenna Wright, Marietta, PA
Chris and Guenna Wright live in Marrietta, PA with their four year old son, Nicholas. Chris introduced President Obama at an event in Lancaster, PA during the campaign. He is an examiner at Donegal Mutual Insurance Company, where he audits claims, and Guenna is a general manager at a Pottery Barn Kids outlet store. The Wrights just sold the house they’d lived in for 7 years, and they’re buying a new home in May. They’re paying about $700 a month for child care so they can both work to support their family. The Wrights qualify for the Making Work Pay tax credit.
Kelly and Scott Kirkwood, Lynchburg, VA
Kelly and Scott Kirkwood are the parents of two young daughters (7 and 3). Kelly introduced President Obama at an event in Lynchburg, VA during the campaign. She is a part time Nursery School teacher at Randolph College in Lynchburg, and Scott is a graphic designer for a small local company. The recent economic downturn has forced their family to make very tough decisions. They’re trying to start to save money for their daughters’ education, but find themselves living paycheck to paycheck. The Kirkwoods qualify for the Making Work Pay tax credit.
Clark Harrison, Preston, MD
Clark Harrison is a first-time home buyer whose loan closed last month. Clark benefited from the $8,000 home-buyers tax credit. He said this made a huge difference to him, as it enabled him to eliminate some bills and will enable him to fix up his property. Clark has worked for three years for Choptank Transport, a trucking brokerage company, as a logistics coordinator. He is single, lived at home until he bought the house, and comes from a hard-working family. His mother works at the local pharmacy and his father at the local utility company as a meter reader.
Alan Dale Givens, Manassas, VA
Alan Dale Givens has been in the heating/plumbing/air-conditioning contracting business for 29 years. He started his own company, Parrish Services, 9 years ago in his basement, and now employs 43 people. He reports that his company received approximately $500,000 in business in the first quarter alone due to tax incentives to homeowners having their home heating, cooling and plumbing systems serviced. These include the 30% uncapped credit on solar and geothermal systems, and the capped credit of $1,500 on high-efficiency air conditioning and heating products and tank-less water heaters. He explains that many of his customers are moving from fuel oil to geothermal to reduce their total energy cost by up to 70%. He and his wife Linda are installing geothermal systems and tank-less water heaters in their home and will save over $18,000 through the tax incentives on these. He is the current president of the Virginia Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors and mentors small businesses around the country on the benefits of using these tax credits. 
Latoya Malone, West Hempstead, NY
Latoya Malone has been working for the City of New York for the last four years. She grew up in the U.S. Virgin Islands and came to New York to be closer to her mother. With the help of the $8,000 home-buyers tax credit, Latoya is now able to purchase a home. She’d been looking for a house for quite sometime, but could not afford it until now. This will be the first home she will own, and she is expecting to close at the end of the month. 
Zoraida Cruz, Los Angeles, CA
Zoraida Cruz, a 28 year old single mother from Los Angeles, attended a WE Connect community event and discovered that she was eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Through the EITC she received about $3,700 back, and she has used the savings to buy new clothes for her daughter, Alize, and to pay off credit card bills that had been piling up. The WE Connect campaign is a public/private partnership designed by California’s First Lady, Maria Shriver, to help California’s working families become more financially secure by connecting them to important programs and resources. Zoraida has also volunteered her time help raise awareness among other single mothers and low income families about various tax credits programs they could take advantage of. Zoraida also qualifies for the Making Work Pay tax credit and the additional refundability of the Child Tax Credit.
Catrena Hunter, Washington, D.C.
Catrena Hunter works as a clerical assistant for the D.C. Department of Corrections, and she is also completing her bachelor's degree in psychology at Trinity Washington University in D.C. She is recently divorced and the proud mother of 3 children (1 girl and 2 boys). Catrena took advantage of the Earned Income Tax Credit (ETIC), and was able to purchase clothing and school supplies for her children and catch up on paying bills. She is currently living in an apartment and is going through Operation HOPE's Homeownership Program to purchase a home for her family. Catrena also qualifies for the Making Work Pay tax credit.