NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — President Barack Obama is spending Monday in New York City, where he launched a nonprofit group, visited a retiring TV legend, and is expected to help his fellow Democrats raise some cash.
Obama participated in a roundtable discussion and delivered a speech at Lehman College in the Bronx, announcing the expansion of his My Brother’s Keeper Alliance initiative, 1010 WINS’ Sonia Rincon reported.
The task force was created after the death of Trayvon Martin to address the lack of opportunity for boys and young men of color across the country.
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Photos: President Obama Visits NYC
Obama unveiled the My Brother’s Keeper nonprofit organization, with mentoring programs involving African-American celebrities, athletes and leaders, including former Secretary of State Colin Powell and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker.
Obama said “Politicians talk about poverty and inequality and then gut programs” that help reduce them, Rincon reported.
The alliance hopes to improve the lives of 275,000 men over the next three years and said it has commitments of more than $85 million, WCBS 880’s Jim Smith reports.
With the nation still focused on the tension in Baltimore, the announcement is not only timely, it provides a hint as to Obama’s plans once he leaves the White House.
The president said for some, the opportunity gaps start at birth and become harder to overcome throughout life.
“And that sense of unfairness and of powerlessness of people not hearing their voices, that’s helped fuel some of the protests that we’ve seen in places like Baltimore and Ferguson and right here in New York,” Obama said.
Obama also acknowledged the death of NYPD Officer Brian Moore, saying simply having police contain the issues in these communities is not the only solution, Smith reported.
The president also visited the Ed Sullivan Theater late Monday afternoon, where he was a guest on CBS’ “Late Show with David Letterman.” It was Obama’s eighth and final appearance on Letterman, who is retiring May 20.
“What will you do when you’re not President?” Letterman during his interview with Obama.
“Well, I was thinking, you and me, we can play some dominoes together,” President Obama said.
“Dominoes – all right,” Letterman said.
“We can, you know, go to the local Starbucks and, you know, swap stories,” the President quipped further.
At the end of the interview, Letterman said: “I don’t know quite what to say by expression of gratitude here. It’s particularly meaningful to me because, I think, like most Americans, we feel we know you. You’ve been kind enough to be here on many occasions. Your wife has been here on many occasions, and you hosted us at your home in Washington, D.C., and all of these have been very meaningful to me and to my family, and I can only wish you all the best in life.”
“Well, Dave, let me just say this,” Obama said in response. “And I mean this sincerely, and I know I speak for Michelle, she probably had a chance to say it herself. You know, we’ve grown up with you. The country I think has, you know, after a tough day at the office or coming home from work, knowing you’ve been there to give us a little bit of joy, a little bit of laughter, it has meant so much, and you’re part of all of us…. You’ve given us a great gift, and we love you.”
As CBS2’s Jill Nicolini reported, Obama will appear on the regular 11:35 p.m. “Late Show.” At 9:30 p.m. Monday, there will also be a 90-minute special honoring Letterman — hosted by Ray Romano.
Romano would not be where he is today if it wasn’t for Letterman.
“By ’95 I got my first Letterman spot. A week later, after I did it they offered me this development deal and that became Everybody Loves Raymond,” Romano said.
The special will cover Letterman’s impressive three decades of broadcasting and salute ‘A Life on Television’ with interviews with musicians, actors, and comedians like Bill Murray.
Stars will help Letterman look back on the animals, the crazy antics and other memorable TV moments.
Regis Philbin holds the title of ‘Most Late Show Appearances’ with a total of 136. The second runner up is Jack Hanna.
Obama is also expected to attend some Democratic Party fundraisers.
He was scheduled to arrive at John F. Kennedy International Airport around noon and leave for Washington around 10 p.m. His travels around town are expected to create extra traffic for some motorists.
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