Obama talks in Chicago about Violence, Economy

President Obama was in Chicago on Friday to address issues on the Economy and Chicago’s growing issue of Violence. Obama spoke to a crowd of students and families at Hyde Park Academy, a 4-year Chicago Public School in the Woodlawn neighborhood.

See the entire script of President’s Speech on Strengthening The Economy for The Middle Class and Chicago’s Violence, here.

See Paris Lewbel’s coverage of the President Obama’s speech, here.

 

WCHI Team Coverage as it happened:

5:15 P.M.: Our Live Coverage of President Obama’s trip to Chicago to address the issues of the the Economy and Chicago’s growing issues of Violence has concolued. We’ll have final reports from our team shortly, right here on WCHINews.com.

 

5:08 P.M.: Air Force One taxis en-route to President Obama’s weekend trip to Florida.

 

5:02 P.M.: President Obama board Air Force One at O’Hare International Airport.

 

4:50 P.M.: Roadblocks were lifted around Hyde Park Academy.

 

4:45 P.M.: Marine One is seen rising just south of McCormick Place from Burnham Park. En-route to Chicago O’Hare International Airport.

 

4:33 P.M.: Obama’s motorcade rolls from Hyde Park Academy en-route to Marine One at Burnham Park.

 

4:30 P.M.: The audience and local media were released from the gymnasium. Police and Secret Service roadblocks around Hyde Park Academy were still in effect.

 

3:58 P.M.: Obama thanks the audience for attending and is now shaking hands with students in risers behind his podium and audience members.

LG7R2719

Obama shakes hands with students and audience members
(Kevin Gebhardt, WCHI News)

 

 

3:57 P.M.: Obama seems to be wrapping up saying, “I believe we can write the next great chapter in American history. I can’t do it myself though, we need everyone’s help.”

 

3:54 P.M.: Obama is talking about his meeting with the 16 Chicago students involved in a youth anti-violence program. Obama says, he told the students that he experienced struggles growing up as well. Telling the audience that changing Chicago will be: “hard work”, “will not be easy”, “but it can be done.”

 

3:47 P.M.: Obama is now talking about how raising the minimum wage will help support families. He says, “Today, a family with two kids that works hard and relies on a minimum wage salary still lives below the poverty line. That’s wrong, and we should fix it. We should reward an honest day’s work with honest wages.” He promises to push Congress to raise the minimum wage across the county. The crowd breaks out in cheers.

LG7R2654

President Obama speaking to students and families
(Kevin Gebhardt, WCHI News)

 

 

3:42 P.M.: Obama begins discussing how important families are. Hitting topics like, parenting, father figures and education.

 

3:36 P.M.: Obama continues on violence, bringing up Hadiya Pendleton murder, Sandy Hook and Chicago’s murder rate. On the homicide count from 2012, “But last year, there were 443 murders with a firearm on the streets of this city, and 65 of those victims were 18 and under. So that’s the equivalent of a Newtown every four months.”

He continues on making sure it is important that criminals don’t get their hands on guns and thanks members of Congress for their hard work in strengthening gun laws.

 

3:35 P.M.: Obama begins speaking about violence and says, “I’m here to make sure that we talk about and then work towards giving every child every chance in life.”

The view from WCHI Photographer Tom Degutis as President Obama addresses the audience. (Tom Degutis, WCHI News)

The view from WCHI Photographer Tom Degutis as President Obama addresses the audience.
(Tom Degutis, WCHI News)

 

3:31 P.M.: Obama takes the stage at Hyde Park Academy to hundreds of students and families cheering in the crowd. He starts off by saying, “Hello Hyde Park! It is good to be home!”

 

3:29 P.M.: Mayor Rahm Emanuel takes the stage to welcome President Barack Obama back to him home town. Emanuel is introducing the issues of violence, education and economy and how they relate to Chicago.

LG7R1972

Mayor Rahm Emanuel takes the stage to introduce President Barack Obama at Hyde Park Academy.
(Kevin Gebhardt, WCHI News)

 

3:25 P.M.: Still waiting for Obama to enter the gym. He is now 45 minutes late. According to a White House Press Office staff member, the President is expected to take the stand in about eight minutes.

 

3:11 P.M.: Obama was originally scheduled to address the audience at 2:40 P.M. We are still waiting for his entrance to the gymnasium.

 

2:56 P.M.: We are getting more information from President Obama’s meeting with the 16 Chicago students “involved in a youth anti-violence program.” According to White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest, “This program is a school-based counseling, mentoring, violence prevention and educational enrichment program that promotes social, emotional and behavioral growth for at-risk young men. The group is a mix of students who have voluntarily joined the program and those who have been urged by their principal to join.”

 

2:32 P.M.: Soft music is playing throughout the gymanisum as we wait for Obama.

The audience awaits President Obama in Hyde Park Academy's Gymnasium.

The audience awaits President Obama in Hyde Park Academy’s Gymnasium.
(Paris Lewbel, WCHI News)

 

2:22 P.M.: The event is beginning with the Pledge of Alliance and a singing of the National Anthem by a Hyde Park Academy student.

 

2:01 P.M.: Obama steps into a private room at Hyde Park Academy  with 16 Chicago students “involved in a youth anti-violence program.”

 

2:00 P.M.: Obama arrives at Hyde Park Academy. The media is waiting along with severeal hundred people in the school’s gymnasium, many of them young students in, their blue polo and beige slacks, school uniforms.

 

1:53 P.M.: Obama’s motorcade races south down Lake Shore Drive towards Hyde Park Academy.

 

1:48 P.M.: Marine One traveled through the sunny blue skies of downtown Chicago landing just south of McCormick Place at Burnam Park.

 

1:33 P.M.: Air Force One Lands in Chicago. Obama was greeted with a pat on the back by Mayor Rahm Emanuel at O’Hare International Airport. Obama quickly boarded Marine One en-route to downtown.

President Barack Obama, right, is greeted by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel after arriving at Chicago O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Friday, Feb. 15, 2013. The president Obama went to Chicago to pitch his "Ladders of opportunity" economic plan that he laid out in his State of the Union address.  (Evan Vucci/AP Photo)

President Barack Obama, right, is greeted by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel after arriving at Chicago O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Friday, Feb. 15, 2013. The president Obama went to Chicago to pitch his “Ladders of opportunity” economic plan that he laid out in his State of the Union address.
(Evan Vucci/AP Photo)

 

1:20 P.M.: Our team coverage starts now at Hyde Park Academy, where President Barack Obama is scheduled to speak a little later this afternoon about Chicago’s exploding issue of street violence and economic opportunities for struggling families.

WCHI Photographer Tom Degutis checks levels as we finish final setups for Live Coverage of President Obama's Speech on the Economy and Chicago's Violence Photo by: Tom Degutis, WCHI News

WCHI Photographer Tom Degutis checks levels as we finish final setups for Live Coverage of President Obama’s Speech on the Economy and Chicago’s Violence
(Tom Degutis, WCHI News)

 

Senior Reporter Paris Lewbel, Producer Ellen Morrison, Reporter Niema Dancy, Photographer Tom Degutis and  Still Photographer Kevin Gebhardt contributed to the reporting of today’s events.