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Advocates Hail Obama Inaugural Speech

“Swing for the Fences, Mr. President”
Call On Obama and Congress to Carry Out Hunger and Poverty Pledges

In response to President Barack Obama’s second inaugural address, the Coalition's Executive Director Joel Berg issued the following statement:

We are overjoyed that, today, President Obama issued a clarion call for the nation to reduce inequality, slash poverty and ensure that all Americans who are willing and able to work hard are able to enter – and stay in – the middle class. We couldn’t agree more with his statement that ‘a great nation must care for the vulnerable.’ In precise, elegant terms the President reminded us why we are all in this together and why expanding economic opportunity is both a moral imperative and an economic necessity.

In 2008, then-candidate Obama pledged to cut U.S. poverty in half in a decade and end childhood hunger in America by 2015. Now is the perfect time for the President to turn today’s eloquent and moving rhetoric into reality by carrying out those pledges, and for Congress to give him the tools necessary to do so.

The President courageously – and appropriately – set very big goals for the nation. Swing for the fences, Mr. President. The American people didn’t re-elect you to bunt. The nation faces big problems, and we need bold solutions. Americans certainly didn’t elect Congress to keep balking at our major challenges. While we hope, Mr. President, that you will forcefully lead on the vital issues of hunger, poverty and inequality, advocates also understand that it is our job to build public support to enable you to get the job done. We must hold all of ourselves accountable for restoring America’s place as the world’s leading beacon of opportunity.

Questions? Contact Michelle Friedman at or 212-825-0028 ext. 212.