The White House Is 'Open for Questions'

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Do you wonder what the government is doing to address poverty, the widening wealth gap and stubbornly high unemployment rates — realities that are especially dire for African Americans? Do you wonder why politicians rarely talk about poor people these days?

Here's your chance to ask. With the release of a new White House report, titled "Creating Pathways to Opportunity" (pdf), and the kickoff today of a three-day American Jobs Act Bus Tour, the Obama administration is making its case for the actions it has taken over the past 2 1/2 years to help low-income families and communities and to put people back to work.


On the evening of Thursday, Oct. 20, the White House will host a special "Open for Questions" event moderated by The Root. Domestic Policy Council Director Melody Barnes and Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett will answer reader questions about the American Jobs Act and the steps they have taken "to help more Americans climb the ladder to the middle class," as the report puts it. The 45-minute discussion will be streamed live on The Root and

Here's how it works: Right now you can submit your questions about the administration's anti-poverty efforts via email to, as well as on Facebook and Twitter. Our editors will choose the best suggestions and ask them during the live discussion.

If you live in the Washington, D.C., area and would like to attend the discussion to ask your question in person, please indicate that in your response (with your telephone number and email address) by 10 a.m. ET on Tuesday, Oct. 18. If your question is chosen, we will follow up with the information on how to attend the event.

Otherwise, tune in on Thursday, Oct. 20, at 5:30 p.m. ET. During the live stream, you will still have the opportunity to send us your questions for the officials via Facebook and Twitter (hashtag: #TheRootWH).

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