President Barack Obama focused on the economy, jobs and growing the middle class during a speech at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College on Thursday as he wrapped up a 24-hour visit to Los Angeles.
While speaking to the college-aged crowd, Obama took swipes at Congress for not helping middle-class Americans' quality of life.
"The hardest thing in politics is to change a stubborn status quo," Obama said.
Obama started his day at a fundraiser at the Brentwood home of Michael Rapino, the CEO of concert promotion behemoth Live Nation, according to City News Service. The cost for a ticket to the roundtable discussion was a hefty one, reaching $32,4000, the maximum allowable contribution to a national party in a calendar year.
Following the fundraiser, Obama made a surprise stop at Canter's Deli in the Fairfax area. There he met with four people who wrote him letters, according to the White House.
The president spoke at the Los Angeles Trade-Technical College in South Los Angeles because it was awarded a Department of Labor skills training grant, which funds projects that train workers to obtain or upgrade employment in high-growth sectors.
Pro-immigration and pro-Palestinian groups were expected to protest outside the college campus, calling for an end to deportations of immigrants, the creation of a Palestinian state and for the U.S. to demand Israel end attacks on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
Southern California is the last stop on Obama's three-day West Coast trip, which began Tuesday in Seattle. Obama began Wednesday in San Francisco, where he attended a morning fundraiser benefiting the House Majority Political Action Committee, before arriving at Los Angeles International Airport around 3 p.m.
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Once in LA, Obama stopped in Hancock Park at the home of television producer Shonda Rhimes for a DNC fundraising reception.
Obama is expected to head back to Washington, D.C. following after his speech. Until then, Southland residents could expect traffic delays.
Drivers were urged to avoid the following areas:
- Beverly Boulevard and North Doheny Drive from 4 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Grand Avenue and West Washington Boulevard from 4 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Sunset Boulevard and Mandeville Canyon Road from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
- Sunset Boulevard and Barrington Avenue from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- Figueroa Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.