From President Obama to IA Governor Branstad; A Call for Improving Opportunity

by Mark Edwards   •  

“…the basic American promise that if you worked hard, you could do well enough to raise a family, own a home, send your kids to college, and put a little away for retirement. The defining issue of our time is how to keep that promise alive. No challenge is more urgent. No debate is more important.” – President Barack Obama

In the State of the Union address, the President spoke about a number of issues facing our nation. While there’s important work to be done in several areas, one fact is undeniable: if each American can’t reach his or her own potential, than we as a nation can’t reach ours.

We commend the President for prioritizing the ideals of hard work, fairness, and the need to reinvigorate belief in an American Dream that is becoming harder and harder for more Americans to achieve. Specifically, investments in community colleges, infrastructure, and job creation are all essential for expanding opportunity.

But it’s important to note that these aren’t issues that can be seized – or solved – by one party or another. We all have a role to play, and real change will only come by working across the aisle and by utilizing the best that each and every sector of our society has to offer.

That’s what the Opportunity Nation campaign is all about.

Today, we’ll see the power of cross-sector collaboration brought to life in Des Moines, Iowa, when Des Moines Area Community College – a member of Opportunity Nation’s Higher Education Council – kicks of the first of ten regional events designed to demonstrate the impact higher education institutions can have in improving opportunity for our students and communities.

At the same time, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad will show his commitment by issuing a gubernatorial proclamation declaring February Opportunity in Iowa Month, a time to harness and promote the best and brightest ideas from our public and private organizations in advancing opportunity in Iowa. 

There’s a lot of work to do if we’re going to be successful in our goal to improve economic mobility in the U.S. and restore belief in the American Dream. With your continued support I know we will be successful.


Mark Edwards

Mark Edwards is the founder and co-chair of Opportunity Nation. Read Mark's bio.

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