FW: Pool report #4

From: Kumar, Anita [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Thursday, October 15, 2015 5:42 PM
To: Gabriel, Brian A. Jr. EOP/WHO ; Allen, Jessica L. EOP/WHO
Subject: Pool report #4

October 15, 2015

POTUS attended a reception in the East Room for Hispanic Heritage Month and the 25th Anniversary of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.

POTUS spoke for 10 minutes after a performance by the Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club, the first Cuban musical act to play at the White House in more than 50 years.

POTUS and VPOTUS came in at 4:41 pm to a roomful of people holding up iPhones trying to snap photos. He was introduced by a DREAMER who received huge applause as she told her story.

POTUS started speaking at 4:45 pm. He spoke a bit of Spanish first (which your pooler did not understand) before recognizing the Cuban ambassador to the United States who was in the crowd.

POTUS announced that 150 private and public groups were contributing $335 million dollars to the program, including the Boys and Girls Club of America and Opening Doors project.

His remarks traced the history of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, which President H.W. Bush created by executive order 25 years ago.

POTUS said in the late 1980s, it was obvious Hispanics were going to become the largest minority group in the United States. But, he said, there were not enough opportunities for Hispanics in the United States.

He singled out Raul Yzaguirre, then the head of the National Council of la Raza and now the ambassador to the Dominican Republic, who wanted to make sure Latinos had a voice. "One man set out to change that," he said.

Yzaguirre, POTUS, said, went to the White House to ask for federal commitment "to make sure that the needs of Hispanics were being." POTUS said when Yzaguirre was rejected he did not stop. He built a coalition of Hispanic organization to took out ads in newspapers, wrote letters and lobbied Congress until he was successful and President Bush signed the executive order. Presidents of both parties have renewed the commission.

POTUS attributed the record high U.S.'s high school graduation in part to achievement by Hispanic students.

"This is truly an American story. We've got progress we need to celebrate. The story of hard working people, strong advocacy, coming together and lifting up not only a portion of people but ultimately the entire country."

"Obviously we still have more work to do."

"We have a lot of work to do to make sure every child in this country gets a fair shot."

"That's what this is all about, everybody doing their part to make sure the next generation does even better than we do. That's how we have always made this country great, by building walls not by tearing them down, by trying to building a community."

If we told everyone to go back where they came from "this would be a really empty county," he said to huge applause.

"We've come together to make this county more perfect for our kids and those who comes after us. That's our American heritage as well as our Hispanic heritage."

POTUS finished speaking at 4:54 pm. VPOTUS stayed for awhile to mingle. He was spotted taking selfies.

At the end of POTUS remarks, a man yelled out pretty loudly "Run, Joe, Run!" Your pooled could not see VPOTUS' reaction.

Hundreds of people packed the East Room. Most were standing but a few tables with orange tablecloths were set up in the back.

Guests sipped on wine and champagne. Men wore dark suits and woman wore a mix of business attire and an occasional cocktail dress.

Spotted in the crowd: Cecilia Munoz, assistant to the president and director  of the Domestic Policy Council.

Pool was ushered out at 5:17 p.m.

Background from the White House:

Today’s reception celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month and the 25th anniversary of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics (WHIEEH). To commemorate the progress the Hispanic community has made in education over the past 25 years, Secretary Duncan and the Initiative launched an “Anniversary Year of Action: Fulfilling America’s Future” that culminates with tonight’s reception.  Over the course of the Year of Action, WHIEEH secured more than $315 million focused on accelerating federal, state, and local investments in cradle-to-career high-quality education for Latinos. The reception will feature a musical performance by the Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club. Based in Cuba from the 1940s to the early 1960s, the band is on its farewell tour in the United States – and their performance tonight marks the first time a Cuban musical act has played at the White House in more than 50 years.


Anita Kumar

White House Correspondent

McClatchy Newspapers

xxx-xxx-xxxx (office)

xxx-xxx-xxxx (cell)


Twitter: @anitakumar01

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