This November, BarackObama was re-elected president of the United States, marking the end of acampaign season that has seen a slow but steady increase in attention given tothe struggles facing low-income Americans. Spotlighthas launched a new resource page to capture what happens next as preparationsbegin for a second Obama administration. Over the next few months, Spotlight will post the latest news,statements, events and staff appointments surrounding the transition. Tosubmit a resource to this guide, contact Tamanna Mansury at

Click here to check out news, statements and other resources from President Obama's 2012 campaign.


  • On Jan. 17, Tavis Smiley, broadcaster and author, held a forum to discuss proven solutions on how government officials can reduce poverty, more specifically, what the 2nd Obama administration can do to address poverty and opportunity within its first 100 days. Panelists included Rep. Marcia L. Fudge (D-Ohio); Newt Gingrich, former speaker of the House of Representatives; John D. Graham, dean of the Indiana University School of Public & Environmental Affairs; Rose Ann DeMoro, executive director of National Nurses United; Jonathan Kozol, author of Fire in the Ashes: Twenty-Five Years Among the Poorest Children in America; Mariana Chilton, director of Center for Hungry- Free Communities; Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University; and Cornel West, Union Theological Seminary Professor and author. Click here for more information.

  • The American Enterprise Institute held a forum on Nov. 8 to explore what the 2012 election results will mean for the potential reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, federal education spending, state and local issues, and other pressing concerns. Panelists include Katherine Haley, policy aide for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio); Alyson Klein, reporter for Education Week; and Zakiya Smith, senior advisor for education at the White House Domestic Policy Council. Click here to watch the event video.

  • The Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) held a forum on Nov. 27 to explore top post-election priorities for restoring opportunityand helping Americans build wealth. The event, moderated by Jim Tankersley, economics correspondentat the National Journal, will explorepotential strategies such as  tax reformand efforts to encourage saving. Panelists include Ray Boshara, senior advisor and community development policyofficer of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; James Carr, fellow at The Insight Center for Community EconomicDevelopment; Andrea Levere,president of CFED; and Sarah RosenWartell; president of The Urban Institute. Click here to watch the event video.

  • On December 5, Spotlightand The Brookings Institution co-sponsored an event that gathered someof the country's leading policy minds to discuss how the new administration canincrease opportunity for all Americans. As policymakers in Washington, D.C.debate the future of major safety net programs, millions of families arefighting every day to move out of poverty and achieve long-term financialsecurity. The causes and consequences of these challenges will force criticaldecisions on the second Obama administration. Panelists included Jo Anne Barnhart, former commissionerof Social Security and former assistant secretary for children and families atthe U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Jared Bernstein, senior fellow at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities and former chief economist toVice President Joe Biden; John Bridgeland, president & CEO of Civic Enterprises and former director of the White House Domestic Policy Council under President George W. Bush; Isabel Sawhill, co-director of the Center on Children & Families at Brookings; and Mona Sutphen, former White House deputy chief of staff for policy. Click here to watch videos from the event.

  • Waggener Edstrom Worldwide and the Public Affairs Council held a forum on Dec. 6 to discuss how the 2012 election will impact the next four years from four leading national journalists covering the energy and environment, economy and business, health and technology sectors. Speakers included Sudeep Reddy, economics reporter at The Wall Street Journal, and Dena Bunis, managing editor at CQ HealthBeatClick here for an overview of the event.




National Journal, April 04, 2013: Has Obama Done Enough for Black Americans?

- “‘Will President Obama find his voice in this term? My answer is yes,’ said Lorenzo Morris, a Howard University political-science professor. ‘He won’t have a big stick to carry with it, but it will be a voice that I think will be a little clearer.’ That hope springs from the reality of daily life for many African-Americans. The Great Recession may be over for the country as a whole, but they aren’t feeling the recovery. Black unemployment remains double that for whites. The median income gap between white and black households has hit a record high.”

The Washington Post, February 04, 2013: (Op-Ed) Wanted: A ‘national conversation’ on poverty

- “The presidential bully pulpit is a powerful platform. We’ve seen it at work on same-sex marriage, immigration and gun violence. And it’s about time Obama used it on an issue as far-reaching as poverty. It’s not like it would be a heavy lift for him. His October letter to anti-child-poverty advocates demonstrated an understanding of what’s at stake. Also, it wouldn’t cost Obama and the federal government a dime.”

The Nation, January 25, 2013: (Blog) Citizen Obama and the Anti-Poverty/Pro-Prosperity People

- “On Monday, in his second inaugural address, President Obama offered words that inspired hope among some advocates who work every day on economic security issues—whether creating opportunities for families struggling in poverty, or creating better jobs for all workers.”

The New York Times, January 23, 2013: (Op-Ed) For Obama’s New Term, Start Here

- “The upshot is that many low-income children never reach the starting line, and poverty becomes self-replicating. Maybe that's why some of the most cost-effective antipoverty programs are aimed at the earliest years. For example, the Nurse-Family Partnership has a home-visitation program that encourages new parents of at-risk children to amp up the hugging, talking and reading. It ends at age 2, yet randomized trials show that those children are less likely to be arrested as teenagers and the families require much less government assistance.”