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Responding to President Obama’s speech on inequality and social mobility

by Melanie Anderson   •  

In a major economic speech last week, President Obama put a renewed focus on the lack of social mobility in the U.S. and the dangers this poses to our economy. The President highlighted that the widening opportunity gap has made the American Dream unattainable for far too many.

The President delivered his speech in Anacostia, one of the poorest sections of Washington, DC. According to the Opportunity Index, 18.7 percent live below the poverty line in the District of Columbia. Meanwhile, just 15 miles away from Anacostia, sits one of the wealthiest counties in the nation, Falls Church, Virginia.  Opportunity Nation works to ensure that all Americans have an equal chance to succeed, no matter where they were born. As President Obama said in his address, “a child’s course in life should not be determined by the zip code he’s born in, but by the strength of his work ethic and the scope of his dreams.”

The speech comes amid growing national conversation on the opportunity gap from a diverse group of individuals, including Senator Mike Lee (R-UT). As we approach the 50th Anniversary of the War on Poverty, we are excited to see the broader opportunity movement showcased on the national stage. Check out a blog from us on The Huffington Post later this week for more on the President’s speech and the growing opportunity divide.

Melanie Anderson Melanie Anderson is the Director of Government and External Affairs at Opportunity Nation. She directs the campaign’s government relations and policy efforts. Read Melanie's bio.

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