SOTU, Labor Secretary Possibilities: Young Adults DC Update 2-10-23

Executive-branch updates

DOL Secretary

  • Sec. Marty Walsh is likely leaving his post, seeking to run the NHL Players Association.
  • A long list of contenders have been mentioned to replace Walsh:
    • California Labor Secretary (now DOL Deputy Secretary) Julie Su
    • Rep. Andy Levin (D-MI)
    • Former Deputy Labor Secretary Seth Harris
    • AFL-CIO Chief Economist Bill Spriggs
    • Former Labor Sec. Robert Reich
    • Union leader Sara Nelson
    • Former Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, who has the support of Rep. Nancy Pelosi
    • Bill De Blasio, who is campaigning for himself
    • Rep. Donald Norcross (D-NJ)
  • Julie Su is the de facto front-runner. She is endorsed by the Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and the National Education Association. There are no Asian Americans at the secretary level in President Biden’s administration.

State of the Union: Relevant Excerpts

President Biden delivered the State of the Union address on Tuesday evening. Some relevant excerpts include:

  • Education: “Restoring the dignity of work also means making education an affordable ticket to the middle class. When we made 12 years of public education universal in the last century, it made us the best-educated, best-prepared nation in the world.”
  • Jobs/workforce: “Folks, you all know 12 years is not enough to win the economic competition for the 21st Century. If you want America to have the best-educated workforce, let’s finish the job by providing access to pre-school for 3- and 4-year-olds. Studies show that children who go to pre-school are nearly 50% more likely to finish high school and go on to earn a 2- or 4-year degree, no matter their background. Let’s give public school teachers a raise. And we’re making progress by reducing student debt and increasing Pell Grants for working- and middle-class families. Let’s finish the job, connect students to career opportunities starting in high school and provide two years of community college, some of the best career training in America, in addition to being a pathway to a four-year degree. Let’s offer every American the path to a good career whether they go to college or not.”
  • Gun violence/community supports: “We also need more first responders and other professionals to address growing mental health and substance abuse challenges. More resources to reduce violent crime and gun crime; more community intervention programs; more investments in housing, education, and job training.”
  • Youth mental health: “[L]et’s do more on mental health, especially for our children. When millions of young people are struggling with bullying, violence, trauma, we owe them greater access to mental health care at school. We must finally hold social media companies accountable for the experiment they are running on our children for profit.”

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