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President Obama’s farewell address

EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON | 1/23/2017, 10:49 a.m.
On Jan. 11, President Barack Obama gave his farewell address to the nation.
eddie bernice johnson

30th Congressional District of Texas

On Jan. 11, President Barack Obama gave his farewell address to the nation. In his eight years serving as President of the United States, he will be remembered as a visionary of hope and one who has been relentless in his efforts to represent and protect the rights of people from different backgrounds.

His legacy will reflect his characteristics of strength, courage, hope and leadership in rising above some of the darkest days our nation has seen; while confronted with domestic and international conflicts that attempted to divide us in our values as Americans. Thanks to President Obama, job creation has increased, and the unemployment rate is the lowest it has ever been in nearly a decade. To further increase job creation, the president placed a strong value on community colleges and programs that offered skill-based certifications so they could be competitive in the job market due to technological advancements. His support of free and fair trade has been remarkable and vital to our district that serves as a major area for businesses and enterprise.

Obama will be remembered for his leadership on health care, passing the Affordable Care Act – covering 20 million Americans without the barriers of pre-existing conditions, lowering the costs of prescription drugs and providing preventive services. Those also in our country who have a mental illness or struggle with an opioid addiction will benefit from the president’s most recent efforts to expand services, access to treatment and funding in research by signing the 21st Century Cures Act.

Thanks to Obama’s integrity and intellectualism, he has been a role model for our youth. His creation of My Brother’s Keeper promotes a pathway to success for boys and young men of color by identifying programs that will mentor and educate these individuals on how to build a better life for themselves and their families while being involved in their communities. Additionally, because of his strong beliefs on protecting the validity of scientific research in order to combat climate change, he showed the value to our youth of placing an emphasis on the science, technology, engineering and mathematics industry. The president pushed for an investment in STEM research in our public schools and encouraged diverse candidates from underrepresented communities to apply for jobs in those fields. President Obama was also the first president to host an annual science fair at the White House for students in grades K-12, celebrating their experimentations and ingenuity.

I am honored and thankful to have worked in Congress with Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on legislation that has advanced economic opportunities for Texans and our nation. On behalf of the people in the 30th district of Texas, I join in thanking Obama and Biden for their service and upmost respect they have shown to the White House while serving as our leaders.

In the president’s speech, he reminded us and expanded on the idea of hope for the American values that we cherish and gave us strength to go forward and unite in finding ways to protect our democracy. Let us take part in his call of action to do as such.

U.S. Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson is the ranking member of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and the highest-ranking Texan on the House Committee on Transportation & Infrastructure. She represents the 30th Congressional District of Texas