President Obama to visit Newton on Earth Day
For the first time in more than a half century, a sitting president will be visiting Newton.
State Senator Dennis Black and State Representative Paul Bell, along with the office of U.S. Representative Leonard Boswell (D-Ia) confirmed they received notice that President Barack Obama would be visiting Newton.
Although exact details of Obama’s visit have not been released, the President will be visiting Newton on Wednesday, April 22, in honor of Earth Day. It will be Obama’s first visit to Newton since December 2007 and his first visit to Iowa since he took office in January.
“It’s a great opportunity for our community to showcase what we have done,” Mayor Chaz Allen said. “It will give us a chance to showcase all our efforts and success we’ve had to the world.’
Allen, who met Obama during his visits to Newton and while he was serving as an Illinois State Senator, said he’s excited about the prospect of having the president in town.
“It’s a big feather in our community’s cap,” Allen said.
Black, who is serving as Chair of the Iowa Legislature’s new Environment and Energy Committee, said it’s a “natural” fit for Obama to visit Newton with the addition of TPI and Trinity Towers, which both produce parts for wind towers and have created hundreds of jobs in the community.
“Iowa is No. 2 in the nation in wind energy production,” Black said. “My absolute goal in the legislature is to keep us in no less than that position. It will be difficult to overcome Texas, because they are quite a distance ahead of us. But, we overtook California, so perhaps even Texas someday!”
Black said he will continue to promote Newton and the state of Iowa so that further growth in the wind energy industry can occur in the area. He said Obama’s visit will highlight the advantages to doing business in the Hawkeye state.
“This emerging industry is and can continue to be ours. Government will not become an impediment to this industry under my watch in the Senate,” Black said. “In fact, with burgeoning demand for wind energy hardware, the city and state will do everything under its power to be a committed partner in business expansion for Trinity, TPI and future wind energy industries that will someday headquarter in our community.”
Bell said he too is committed to seeing the wind energy industry prosper in his community and in Iowa, and is excited the president has chosen Newton to visit on Earth Day
“I think it’s a real honor for the first place he comes back to since taking office is Newton, Iowa,” said Bell. “I’m not sure people realize how momentous an occasion this is for our community.”
Leland Smith, a Newton history buff, said Obama’s trip is the first of a sitting president since President Harry Truman came through town on a whistle stop tour. Smith said it’s possible President Dwight Eisenhower also made a trip during his presidency but he was unclear if he had or not.
“It’s a great honor for Newton to be recognized by a sitting president,” Smith said. “What an honor it is that the president would choose Newton out of all the 50 states and all the communities. It speaks well for our community, our state and our people.”
Jessica Lowe can be contacted at 792-3121 ext. 426 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
More Local News
- Local vets couldn't miss final Freedom Flight
- Thunder Nites benefits O'Brien family, local economy
- Council gives OK to amended development agreement for Iowa Speedway
- Council to discuss Main Street Iowa application
- Eilander testifies in his own defense on second day of trial