I still feel it in my bones. The electricity. The power of releasing every ounce of energy in your body! The energy of Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons when the “m.A.A.d city” beat dropped (and made Taylor Swift dance uncontrollably) at the Grammy Awards still pounds in my chest. It was a hell of a way to welcome America to the new age…
An age that is not measured in years, but measured in opportunity. An opportunity for everyone where your ability to get ahead should be determined by your hard work, ambition, and goals – not by the circumstances of your birth. Only if everyone in the m.A.A.d city of Washington, DC believed in this principle as much as the good kid, Barack Obama, this Congress wouldn’t be so radioactive.
Inside the halls of Congress tonight, President Barack Obama will deliver his fifth State of the Union address to the American people. I hope when the Senate Sergeant of Arms makes that ceremonial announcement of the arrival of the President of the United States, Joe Biden pulls the boombox out from underneath his chair and blasts the remix that shook the planet on Sunday night. Maybe it can shake some sense into the heads of politicians who have been blinded by power and money, forgetting that they represent the people and not the greedy corporations who constantly stuff Washingtons in their pockets. Obama should let these jokers know that the time for political games and political bribes is over. If a small contingent of House members want to hold back the rest of this country because they’re paid by lobbyists and rich CEOs, the President should show them his pen and let them know that he is ready to sign Executive Order after Executive Order. This morning, raising the minimum wage for employees of those who receive federal contracts to $10.10 was the right way to start, Mr. President. Clear message sent: ALL SYSTEMS GO.
Of course we hope for cooperation and bi-partisans efforts, like the Smarter Sentencing Act, which will end mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenders. Or the efforts to reform our broken immigration system. If some members can figure out a way to work together and with the President to pass legislation, we should celebrate those partnerships and reward those politicians with our support. However, if members of the House and some in the Senate want to continue to be the party of “no,” the President has no other choice but to use his executive authority to restore opportunity for everyone in this country.
2014 must be a year of action. The time is now. Enough olive branches. Enough pleasantries. Enough accommodations. Mr. President, you are too good to be held back by the privileged kids in the m.A.A.d city. Your accomplishments, thus far, have been great. We want to help you create even more history by reforming the immigration system, raising the federal minimum wage, dealing with climate change head-on, ending mass incarceration as we know it, recognizing “love is love” no matter who you want to marry, creating competitive jobs for the future, and continuing to open access to quality education for all.
Tonight, let the beat bounce and let the words sing. And tomorrow, we will go to work to perfect this union even more, one presidential signature at a time! ‘Cause you know that these haters can’t hold you back…
Michael Skolnik is the Editor-In-Chief of GlobalGrind.com and the political director to Russell Simmons. He is also on the Board of Directors of the Trayvon Martin Foundation. Previously, Michael was an award-winning filmmaker. Follow him on twitter @MichaelSkolnik