On Friday, the White House issued 10 proclamations on a host of topics. File Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | License Photo
April 28 (UPI) -- The White House routinely issues proclamations on everything from cultural holidays to public service recognition. On Friday, it issued 10.
National Hurricane Preparedness Week: In this proclamation, the White House emphasized that "during last year's hurricane season, especially in Florida and Puerto Rico, we witnessed the overwhelming damage these storms so often leave in their wake. Families lost their homes. Business owners lost their livelihoods."
"During National Hurricane Preparedness Week, we raise awareness about the hazards posed by hurricanes and share resources to help Americans stay safe and protect their property before these storms make landfall," President Joe Biden said in the release of the proclamation, which cites his administration's political efforts, as well as practical tips on staying safe during hurricane season.
National Building Safety Month: In this announcement for an entire month of awareness, the president reminded the public that "two-thirds of Americans live in communities that have not yet adopted the latest building codes, which are designed to avoid damage and keep emerging threats like climate change from further devastating communities with increasingly powerful fires, floods, and storms."
In the proclamation's announcement, Biden gave a shout-out to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, as well as his administration's National Initiative to Advance Building Codes. "With our once-in-a-generation infrastructure law, we are rebuilding the nation's roads, bridges, ports, water systems, and more," he said.
National Foster Care Month: The White House also issued a proclamation about another monthlong recognition, one honoring children who live in the foster care system and "who too often endure challenges that no child should ever have to confront," Biden said.
In the proclamation, Biden also acknowledged the struggle of biological parents trying to regain custody of their children. And he emphasized that children of color "are disproportionately represented in the child welfare system," and that "recent estimates suggest 30 percent of youth in foster care identify as LGBTQI+."
National Physical Fitness and Sports Month: The president celebrated the 40th National Physical Fitness Month in a proclamation emphasizing what most people know but fewer people act on: "Regular exercise can have a dramatic impact on our health."
In this proclamation, Biden pointed out that since the first National Physical Fitness Month 40 years ago, "we have learned more about how physical activity can improve mental health, reduce the risk of disease, and foster social connection."
After giving a rundown on his administration's efforts to get Americans moving, Biden urged everyone to be more active.
"This month, I encourage all Americans to find ways to be active, whether it is taking a walk or hike, joining a gym, trying a new fitness class, signing up for a local sports team, or registering for a community race," Biden said, adding that, "When we invest in our health, we foster healthy homes, more productive communities, and a more resilient society for generations to come."
Law Day, U.S.A. In this announcement, Biden addressed a topical issue and said that "at home and around the globe, autocrats and dictators threaten the rule of law."
"Since taking office, I have issued an executive order promoting access to voter registration and election information, and signed into law the Electoral Count Reform Act, which establishes clear guidelines for certifying and counting electoral votes to help preserve the will of the people against future attempts to overturn our elections," Biden said in the proclamation.
He also used it to call on Congress to pass the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.
National Small Business Week: The White House used Friday's mass proclamations to also include one celebrating an issue important to many from Wall Street to main street: small businesses. In Friday's announcement, the president pointed out that "nearly half of all private-sector workers in our country are employed by small businesses."
"From barber shops, beauty salons, and pizza parlors, to manufacturing companies and mom-and-pop shops, Americans have applied to form a record 10.5 million small businesses in the past two years," said Biden.
Again praising the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the president said, "These new laws are creating billions of dollars in contracting opportunities for America's small businesses and investing hundreds of billions of federal dollars to rebuild our infrastructure, bring manufacturing back to America, and launch a clean energy revolution right here in the United States."
National Mental Health Awareness Month: In this proclamation, Biden said Americans "have a duty of care to reach out to one another and leave no one behind," but he stressed the fact that many people in need of care do not receive it.
"The United States has long faced a shortage of mental health providers. It takes an average of 11 years to get treatment after the onset of symptoms, and less than half of Americans struggling with mental illness ever receive the care they need," said Biden.
Saying that "the American Rescue Plan made our nation's biggest-ever investment in mental health and substance use programs," Biden concluded by stressing, "We all have a role to play in ending the stigma around mental health issues."
Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month: In this monthlong recognition, the White House celebrates the cultures that "have represented the bigger story of who we are as Americans and embodied the truth that our diversity is our strength as a nation."
And Biden uses the proclamation to point out that "Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AA and NHPIs) represent us at every level of government, including Vice President Kamala Harris, the first Vice President of South Asian descent; Ambassador Katherine Tai, the first Asian American United States Trade Representative; and Dr. Arati Prabhakar, who is the first South Asian American to lead the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy."
Lamenting that "we continue to see persistent racism, harassment, and hate crimes against these communities," Biden detailed how his administration is working to provide ways to provide justice and "to advance equity and opportunity."
Jewish American Heritage Month: In another proclamation recognizing the cultural contributions to this nation, the White House celebrated "the enduring heritage of Jewish Americans, whose values, culture, and contributions have shaped our character as a nation."
Biden said: "Jewish Americans continue to enrich every part of American life as educators and entrepreneurs, athletes and artists, scientists and entertainers, public officials and activists, labor and community leaders, diplomats and military service members, public health heroes, and more."
But, he said, "There is also a dark side to the celebrated history of the Jewish people -- a history marked by genocide, pogrom, and persecution -- with a through line that continues in the record rise of antisemitism today."
"It is our obligation to ensure that hate can have no safe harbor in America and to protect the sacred ideals enshrined in our Constitution: religious freedom, equality, dignity, and respect. That is the promise of America," Biden said in announcing the proclamation.
Loyalty Day: In this proclamation of patriotism, the president called on Americans to "display the American flag and pledge allegiance to our republic for which it stands."
"We are a nation that has sought to encourage and inspire loyalty through our actions," the president said in the release announcing the proclamation. "We do that by honoring the Constitution, upholding the rule of law, and respecting free and fair elections.
"As Americans, we are called to unequivocally condemn political violence and hate-motivated attacks; they have no place in our democracy. We must open the doors of opportunity even wider to others because the promise of this country is big enough for everyone to succeed.
"And we must stand up for truth and resist lies and disinformation that would tear us apart," Biden said.