The President Introduces the Office of Public Engagement

The President:
Ever since I became a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago 20 years ago, I’ve believed strongly that citizens should have a say in the way government works and in the policies that have an
impact on their communities. That’s at the heart
of our democracy – and it’s at the heart of the way I want this administration to serve the American people. Here at the White House, there
is an office that exists as a place where the voices of
ordinary Americans can be heard. It’s called the Office
of the Public Liaison. But I believe this office
can and should do more. I want to hear from you:
your ideas, your experiences, your stories. That’s why we’re updating this
office, giving it a new mission, and changing the
name accordingly – to the Office of
Public Engagement. The office’s director, Tina
Tchen, along with her team, has done a wonderful job, and
I know she looks forward to the work ahead. This office will seek to engage
as many Americans as possible in the difficult work of
changing this country, through meetings and
conversations with groups and individuals held in Washington
and across the country. We’ll hold town halls and other
events – in person and online, through a new web page
at I encourage you to visit. This site will have the
latest video of visits to the White House, blog posts from our team at the Office of Publice Engagement, as well as information about how you can provide your input
and get involved. This is, after all,
your government. And we’re also releasing
the Citizens Briefing Book – which contains ideas voted on by
more than one hundred thousand Americans who took the time to visit the transition web site and share their thoughts. In fact, many of the
ideas you offered – from improving light rail transit to modernizing our energy grid to creating a
new national service corps – have been embraced
by my administration. So I look forward to
hearing more from you. We face extraordinary
challenges as a nation – challenges that will require
all of us to do our part. And as we begin the difficult
work that lies ahead, know that the Office
of Public Engagement – and this White House – will always have a door open to you, the American people. Thanks.

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