Obama talks transportation


Hannah Johnson

President Barack Obama spoke about public trasporation and infrastructure in the United States during his recent visit to St. Paul’s newly restored Union Depot on Feb. 26. “We’ve got a lot more roads we got to travel. Let’s get going, Minnesota,” Obama said.

When President Barack Obama visited downtown St. Paul on Feb. 26, it was inevitable that he would mention one of Minnesota’s claims to fame: hockey.

“It is not shocking that Minnesotans might be pretty good at the Winter Olympics. What is particularly interesting is that, once again, the tiny town of Warroad proved that it really is Hockeytown, USA, thanks to T.J. Oshie and Gigi Marvin, who we’re just so proud of,” Obama said, adding that he even tweeted Oshie to congratulate him.

The President continued, joking, “By the way, I cannot play hockey. I grew up in Hawaii — we do not have hockey in Hawaii.”

After acknowledging Minnesota’s crazy winter weather, President Obama got down to business. Obama addressed the excited crowd of 1,300 supporters about the status of transportation and infrastructure in the United States.

The president’s visit came at a time of great transportation development in the Twin Cities. Earlier that day, Obama visited the new Central Corridor light-rail transit system: “It was fantastic,” he said.

The president’s appearance took place in St. Paul’s newly renovated Union Depot, a project partially funded by U.S. Department of Transportation TIGER I grants.

Obama also praised the Minnesota State Legislature for planning on raising the minimum wage. “Your state legislature is poised to raise your minimum wage this year. In my State of the Union address, I called for a new women’s economic agenda. It’s actually a family economic agenda — equal pay for equal work, paid sick leave and more. And there are leaders in your state legislature that are working hard at this, because they know when women succeed, America succeeds,” he said.

In his State of the Union address in Jan., Obama recognized the family of freshman John Soranno for raising the minimum wage to $10 at Punch Pizza.

The end of Obama’s speech gave light to his optimism for the future. “This is the beginning, not the end. We’ve got a lot more rail we got to lay. We’ve got a lot more roads we got to travel. Let’s get going, Minnesota.”