I am grateful for the next generation of leaders who are doing the work to create the world as it should be. our young people—tolerant, creative, idealistic—remind us that the best way to honor our communities is to serve them. they understand that hope requires action. from the obama family to yours, happy thanksgiving.
When someone shares their story, we see the world through their eyes. i’m looking forward to hearing a few from leaders around the world and sharing my own at the @obamafoundation summit in chicago. tune in at obama.org.
Of course, @michelleobama's my wife, so i'm a little biased here. but she also happens to be brilliant, funny, wise – one of a kind. this book tells her quintessentially american story. i love it because it faithfully reflects the woman i have loved for so long.
Today is the day. today, it’s your turn to raise your voice to change the course of this country for the better. so make it count. get out there and vote.
go to iwillvote.com or call 833-336-vote to confirm where you can vote, check voting hours, and find out if you need to bring anything with you to vote.
As i reflect on election night ten years ago today, i can’t help but think about where my political career started. i wasn’t running for office. i was running a voter-registration drive in chicago. what i learned then -- and what would become the premise of my 2008 campaign -- was that you couldn't just fight for existing votes. you had to reach out to all of these people who had lost faith and lost trust, and get them off the sidelines.
so during our first campaign, when i started seeing all these stories about record turnout in communities all over the country -- from young people in line for hours in iowa to elderly folks in lawn chairs down in florida -- i knew that we had shown what is possible when everybody decides to participate. and that, in and of itself, gave people a sense of their own power -- their own agency in the kind of country we want to leave for our kids. when more people get off the sidelines and decide to participate, our country becomes a little more representative of its people -- of everyone's collective decision. and american politics can change as a result.
so on election day this tuesday, i’m not just asking you to vote. i'm asking you to really show up once again. talk with your friends, convince some new voters, and get them out to vote because then something powerful happens. change happens. hope happens. and with each new step we take in the direction of fairness, and justice, and equality, and opportunity, hope spreads.
Not sure who and what you can vote for?
vote save america put together a guide to help make sure you walk into the voting booth knowing where you stand on the candidates and initiatives you'll be voting on. here's how it works: enter your address, and you'll learn everything you need to know about who's running to represent you, which measures you have the opportunity to help decide, and more. now, these ballot initiatives are really important. they allow millions of americans to make decisions about real, concrete issues in their communities -- things like how hard it is to get an assault weapon, who gets tax breaks and why, how we care for our veterans, and what the requirements ought to be for casting a ballot. (that's right -- this election year, millions of americans can cast a vote to help more americans cast a vote.) and when you consider the fact that these initiatives tend to be written in a confusing way to begin with, it makes even more to sense to read up and make an informed decision now.
here's the bottom line: the only thing more important than being a voter is being the most informed voter out there. so make sure november 6 isn't the first time you're seeing your ballot. go to votesaveamerica.com/ballot right now, and let's get this thing done.
Your vote can decide the health care of millions. your voice can determine the character of our country. you have power — use it! in most states, you don't even have to wait until election day to cast a ballot. find out where you can vote before nov. 6: iwillvote.com
This is one of those pivotal moments when every one of us, as citizens of the united states, need to determine just who it is that we are. just what it is that we stand for. and as a fellow citizen, not as an ex-president, i delivered a simple message to students at the university of illinois today. you need to vote, because our democracy depends on it.
the biggest threat to our democracy doesn't come from any one person. the biggest threat to our democracy is indifference. the biggest threat to our democracy is cynicism – a cynicism that’s led too many people to turn away from politics, and to stay home on election day.
the antidote to government by the powerful few is democracy by the organized many.
if you get involved, and engaged, and knock on some doors, and talk with your friends, and argue with your family members, and change some minds, and vote – then something powerful happens. change happens. hope happens. with each new candidate that surprises you with a victory, a spark of hope happens. with each new law that helps a kid read, or a poor family find shelter, or a veteran get the support he or she has earned, hope happens. with each new step we take in the direction of fairness, and justice, and equality, and opportunity, hope spreads.
i believe that can be the legacy of your generation. you can be the generation that stood up and reminded us just how precious democracy is, and just how powerful it can be when we fight for it. i believe you will. because i believe in you. and i’ll be right there alongside you, every step of the way.
I just stopped by a high school on chicago’s southwest side to meet with students who spent the summer learning to code smartphone apps. these apps are impressive – they are designed to connect people in danger to emergency services, make it easy for students and families to get the latest information about their schools, and even help you decide what to eat to for dinner. it’s part of a program michelle and i are proud to support called one summer chicago, which invests in local youth by providing meaningful educational and professional experiences in safe spaces over the summer. programs like this aren’t just helping chicago’s youth gain skills for their own future, they're also strengthening the pipeline of talent right here on the south side, the community of the future obama presidential center.
America has no royalty. but we do have a chance to earn something more enduring. born in memphis and raised in detroit, aretha franklin grew up performing gospel songs in her father’s congregation. for more than six decades since, every time she sang, we were all graced with a glimpse of the divine. through her compositions and unmatched musicianship, aretha helped define the american experience. in her voice, we could feel our history, all of it and in every shade—our power and our pain, our darkness and our light, our quest for redemption and our hard-won respect. she helped us feel more connected to each other, more hopeful, more human. and sometimes she helped us just forget about everything else and dance.
aretha may have passed on to a better place, but the gift of her music remains to inspire us all. may the queen of soul rest in eternal peace. michelle and i send our prayers and warmest sympathies to her family and all those moved by her song.