First lady Michelle Obama will continue a two-day swing through Los Angeles today, delivering speeches at a pair of events focused on two of her primary issues of concern — education and support for veterans.
The first lady took part in a Democratic National Committee fundraiser on Tuesday, speaking at a roundtable discussion at the home of Michael Lombardo, HBO’s president of programming, and his partner, architect Sonny Ward.
Today, Obama will speak at a Unite for Veterans event at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza hotel in Century City. The event is aimed at discussing ways of providing opportunities for veterans to find employment and housing.
Mayor Eric Garcetti is also expected to speak at the event, along with Maria Elena Durazo, executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor; Elise Buik, president/CEO of United Way of Greater Los Angeles; USC Provost Elizabeth Garrett; and business leaders and elected officials.
Buik, whose organization is hosting the Unite for Veterans summit, along with USC and the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, said there are about 4,600 homeless veterans in Los Angeles County.
Homeless vets also are getting younger, and vets seem to be “falling into homelessness much more quickly than we’ve had with past returning vets from other wars,” possibly because of the “post-recession environment” to which they are returning, Buik said.
Buik said the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor is expected to announce an apprenticeship program for veterans at the event.
“We find these summits really galvanizing in getting people to understand the issues and the opportunities,” she said. “What’s encouraging to me is that these numbers are very do-able. I think if we come together and learn about this, and commit ourselves to tackling this, we can get it done.”
Obama is also scheduled to speak at the Grammy Museum’s Jane Ortner Education Award Luncheon. The award honors educators who “find innovative ways to engage students by integrating music in their classrooms and curricula.”
This year’s honoree is Sunshine Cavalluzzi, a teacher at El Dorado High School in Placentia. She is being recognized for what the museum called her “innovative economics lesson plans.” Six-time Grammy nominee Janelle Monae will also be honored for her “continued commitment to Grammy Museum educational programming.”
“Just like this year’s honorees, first lady Michelle Obama knows firsthand the power that music has to transform the lives of young people,” Grammy Museum executive director Bob Santelli said. “Having produced seven educational programs at the White House with Mrs. Obama over the last four years, we are deeply honored to host her as the keynote speaker for our inaugural Jane Ortner Education Award Luncheon.”
President Barack Obama is scheduled to return to Los Angeles next week for a pair of fundraisers. He is scheduled to attend an event at the home of “Scandal” creator Shonda Rhimes, with actress Kerry Washington co-hosting, on July 23. Tickets will range from $1,000 to $32,400.
The next day, the president is expected to attend a roundtable discussion with about 30 people at the home of Michael Rapino, CEO of Live Nation, with tickets costing $32,400 each.