President Obama is winning the internets today, from a super sweet hug and chat with an 8-year-old FLint resident to granting clemency to 58 deserving non violent offenders. Get it all inside…
POTUS is giving us all the feels today!
Yesterday, during his trip to Flint, Michigan, President Obama visited plenty of local spots (and surrounding locations) in the city before speaking to the city during a town hall like event about the status of the water crisis.
But first, he caught up with 8-year-old Mari Copeny, AKA “Little Miss Flint”, backstage. The cutie wrote to the President about how she’s working to bring attention to the public health crisis in her community because she’s concerned for other children like her.
It’s the MOST adorable thing. Check out their encounter below:
A video posted by The White House (@whitehouse) on May 5, 2016 at 10:30am PDT
Afterwards, POTUS spoke to the resdients about what the federal government is doing about to help in the crisis:
I also wanted to come here, though, to tell you that I’ve got your back, that we’re paying attention. So I met and heard directly from those who are leading the federal response and who are working hard to make sure that Flint is whole again, to make sure that this proud city bounces back not just to where it was, but stronger than ever. And I want all of you to know I am confident that Flint will come back. I will not rest, and I’m going to make sure that the leaders, at every level of government, don’t rest until every drop of water that flows to your homes is safe to drink and safe to cook with, and safe to bathe in — because that’s part of the basic responsibilities of a government in the United States of America.
So as President, I’ve sent Flint the best resources our federal government has to support our state and local partners. The agencies that serve you — the agencies that specialize in health and housing, and those that support small businesses and our kids’ education; those that are responsible for the food that our children eat and, of course, the water we drink. Everybody is on duty. The National Guard is on duty. This is a hands-on-deck situation — all hands on deck. Because if there’s a child who feels neglected on the north side of Flint, or a family on the east side of this city who wonders whether they should give up on their hometown and move away, or an immigrant who wonders whether America means what we say about being a place where we take care of our own. That matters to all of us — not just in Flint, not just in Michigan, but all across America. Flint’s recovery is everybody’s responsibility. And I’m going to make sure that responsibility is met. (Applause.)
So I just talked with some of the team of responders that are on the ground to make sure that they’re coordinating. And they’re doing some incredible things. They’ve distributed enough water to fill more than three Olympic-sized swimming pools. They’ve distributed thousands of filters. They’re helping students afford nutritious food that work against the contaminants in bad water. They’re making sure new moms have access to instant infant formula that doesn’t require water. They’ve expanded health services for children and pregnant women, and education programs for Flint’s youngest children. They’re out there testing homes for lead and testing children for exposure to lead.
And he called for the local residents and businesses to do their parts:
But like all our best responses in tough times, this is not a government effort alone. We need our businesses and nonprofits and philanthropies to step up. And what’s incredible about Flint is how many volunteers have already been leading the way. (Applause.) You’ve got members of one union, UA Local 370, that have donated tens of thousands of dollars and 10,000 hours of their time. They’ve installed thousands of filters, hundreds of faucets by going door to door, night and day. They’re not asking for anything in return, they’re just doing the right thing.
Check out his full speech below:
POTUS also stopped at the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan where he emphasized to residents that Flint’s water is now safe to drink from a faucet filter.
“That does not – I repeat – negate the need for us to go ahead and replace some of these pipes,” Obama told reporters after taking a gulp of filtered Flint water.
Obama was joined at the meeting by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Flint Mayor Karen Weaver, who sat across from each other. Snyder’s office and Weaver’s new administration have butted heads at times over the past four months that Flint has been under a state of emergency.
So Prez O came in to set ish straight saying, “My job here today is not to sort through all of the ins and outs of how we got to where we are, but rather make sure that all of us are focused on what we have to do moving forward on behalf of the children. That’s my priority. And that’s got to be all of our priorities.”
Obama said the crisis requires officials on opposing sides to “locks arms” and work together: “There are times for politics and there are times for turf battles. This is not one of those.”
POTUS also visited Northwestern High School and met with a group nine Flint residents, including Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, the Flint pediatrician who discovered high levels of lead in the blood of Flint children. Hanna-Attisha’s research caused the Snyder administration to work to switch Flint’s water source back to Detroit’s pipeline from Lake Huron after 18 months of Flint using Flint River water.
Check out the full …read more