A few weeks ago I asked the question “what has your network done for you lately?” Well, someone in my network hooked me up with an impromptu invitation to a White House Q & A session on President Obama’s proposed American Jobs Act. It was much appreciated. The invitation was extended to “young entrepreneurs, new media enthusiasts and bloggers” but it was apparent that there were people who fell into other categories in attendance as well.
The panel included heavy hitters Melody Barnes, Director of the Domestic Policy Council, Shaun Donovan, US Secretary for Housing and Urban Development, Marie Johns, Deputy Administrator of the US Small Business Administration, Ambassador Ron Kirk, US Trade Representative and Gene Sperling, Director of the National Economic Council. Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama, did the opening and closing remarks.
Representatives from The Grio, Hello Beautiful, The Urban Daily, Black Planet and News One were on hand to ask the panel questions from their readers and a few questions were taken via Twitter and from the live audience. At the end of the hour, as we expected to hear Ms. Jarrett’s closing remarks, instead we got a surprise visit from the President. He came out to highlight the major points of the Act, answered a couple of questions (even teased a guy about the Chicago Bears beating the Atlanta Falcons) and asked us all to spread the word about the Act.
The White House intended for this to be an interactive event and provided us with the hashtags #AtTheWH to tweet about the event and #WHchat to ask questions, but unfortunately I couldn’t get a signal. At all. Thanks AT&T! Not.
All in all, it was a very cool way to spend a Monday afternoon. Thanks, Brian Citizen!