Congratulations to President Obama on his resounding win for a second term. Also, thanks to all those who worked so hard to make sure that this would happen, but there is still work to be done. This country is not perfect, nor will it ever be, but we can try as hard to make sure that justice, freedom and equality is secure for everyone here.
With the president’s second term, there are many things we’d like to see him accomplish, though we know it is not all possible. Here are just a few ideas for President Obama to consider tackling.
Comprehensive Immigration Reform
Even though the Latin vote showed up for President Obama, 71% to Romney’s 27%, the president is still deporting people at a higher rate than any other president previous. This needs to stop. We cannot keep on separating families, or using detention centers to hold immigrants who have not committed a crime.
President Obama’s executive order allowing undocumented immigrants who were brought in to this country as children to apply for a two-year resident card is a step in the right direction but it does not solve the problem. We need a path to citizenship, so undocumented workers can eventually live without fear, work anywhere, attend affordable school, vote and be a part of this nation that so many already consider their own.
A growing problem in our country is the fact that we incarcerate a larger percentage our population than any other country in the world. In fact, according to the New York Times, even though the US has less than 5% of the world’s population, we hold almost a quarter of the world’s prison population.
With all this talk about the deficits, you’d think we could get comprehensive prison reform to save us some money. Do we really need to lock up our fellow citizens and children for simple drug or misdemeanor crimes? There have been numerous studies demonstrating that rehabilitation is more cost effective than sending someone to prison.
With all the cuts to education, our school system is in decline. We have been falling behind other countries for years now. It’s time to move away from standardized testing, or teaching to the test, and to a way that will work for everyone. Every child learns in a different way and we need to help them by making sure we have the best and brightest teachers.
Inner city and poor schools need a boost. The path out of poverty is dependent on higher education and in teachers that have the adequate support to help their students to the fullest.
Making Sure Everyone Pays Their Fair Share
We need to create jobs and fix our budget. The only way to do that, without putting the burden on the middle class or poor, is to ask the wealthy to pay their fair share. We cannot have any more cuts to our already struggling public services that many desperately rely on.
We are all in this together and we need to move away from the “you’re on your own” mentality. Twenty-six US companies are not paying any federal income tax, while the middle class continues to pay their fair share. Asking the wealthy and giant corporations to pay a little more is not going to hurt them in the long run, but to ask the middle class and poor to pay more is detrimental to our very existence.