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Obama: Younger Generations Are Building Our Future

On Monday, President Obama delivered a policy-heavy, second-term inaugural address, making clear that he would not shy away from action on LGBT rights, climate change, and immigration reform.  

During the address, Obama said he plans on making young people a priority during his second term. "We reject the belief that American must choose between caring for the generation that built this country," he said, "and investing in the generation that will build its future.”

While the theme of Obama’s address focused on building the strength of the nation, he also took time to address several more specific policy priorities:

  • LGBT Equality: Obama became the first president to mention gay rights in an inaugural address by linking the Stonewall riots to the Civil Rights march in Selma, Ala. In one of the more unexpected moments of the address, Obama said that “our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated equally under the law,” indicating that we may see some marriage equality action during this term.
  • Equal Pay for Women: During his first term, Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which made it easier for women to demand that their employers pay them rates equal to those of their male counterparts. During this address, Obama made it clear that he will work to ensure that women are empowered to “earn a living equal to their efforts." That alludes to additional legislation on equal pay for equal work during the next four years.
  • Immigration Reform: President Obama gave some serious time to immigration reform, making it clear that he believes we need to give foreign students a path to citizenship in order to keep top innovators in America.

President Obama also made it clear that he will work to protect voter rights, expand educational opportunities for students, reform the K-12 education system, and slow climate change during this term.

You can read the full text of the inaugural address here. The president's inaugural address lays the groundwork for Obama to expand on his priorities during the State of the Union address, set for Feb. 12.

Molly Miller is a reporter for Campus Progress.

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