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Obama’s Plea for Support

July 25, 2014 01:00 PM
Obama’s Plea for Support
Pictured left to right: Bryna Helfer (Director of Public Engagement, USDOT), Marcia Ferranto (CEO and President, WTS International) and Jenna Oskowitz (Transportation Planner, HNTB)

By Jenna Oskowitz, HNTB

On July 2, 2014, President Obama addressed the nation and spoke about the current state of the nation’s infrastructure as well as the economy. The chosen backdrop of the Francis Key Bridge in Georgetown, Washington D.C. was an appropriate setting to discuss the looming threat of the Highway Trust Fund, which helps states build and repair roads, bridges and other infrastructure projects and is slated to run dry by August or September 2014.

WTS International received five tickets to attend the event on less than 48 hours’ notice. Jenna Oskowitz, of the Philadelphia chapter, was fortunate enough to receive an invitation from Marcia Ferranto, WTS International CEO and President, to attend the event on Tuesday. Without any hesitation, she accepted the offer.

POTUS (President of the United States) spoke for approximately 30 minutes on a very hot and humid afternoon. While President Obama discussed the lack of action from the Congress to provide a means of additional funding so that nearly 700,000 jobs would not be put at risk, a main theme surfaced: the concept of economic patriotism. The phrase is rooted in the belief that growing our economy begins with a strong and thriving middle class.

As POTUS put it,

“Economic patriotism says that instead of making it tougher for middle-class families to get ahead, let’s reward hard work for every American. Let’s make sure women earn pay that’s equal to their efforts. Let’s make sure families can make ends meet if their child gets sick and they need to take a day off. Let’s make sure no American who works full-time ever has to live in poverty”.

The President was asking for our support for issues that affects all of our lives on a daily basis: our infrastructure and our economy. As his presidential term is winding down, POTUS is making final attempts to evoke action in Congress. When it comes to repairing our infrastructure, it seems like a no brainer.

POTUS reminded the audience that this issue is not out of the ordinary:

"It’s not crazy, it’s not socialism. It’s not the imperial presidency -- no laws are broken. We’re just building roads and bridges like we’ve been doing for the last, I don’t know, 50, 100 years."

WTS Philadelphia is proud to have had local representation at President Obama’s address. Further, Jenna noted that she is very thankful for the opportunity to attend with Marcia and she appreciates the learning experience and exposure. Jenna’s opportunity speaks volumes for the dedication and mission of WTS, which is to build the future of transportation through the global advancement of women.



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