New Yorkers express hopes, expectations for Obama presidency

(Credit: Urbanite)

By Jason Fink

Tomorrow's inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th president is among the most highly anticipated transfers of power in recent memory.

With people in New York and across the country struggling economically and two foreign wars raging, millions are looking to Washington for answers.

amNewYork asked New Yorkers to tell the incoming president what they hope

for, what they expect and what wishes they have for his administration.

“Barack should just be true to who he is and not get sucked into appeasing too many people but to really stand firm in what makes him the great man and person that he is. I am so looking forward to what he has planned for this nation for the big, broad stroke.”

Christopher Hibma, 35, Manhattan“I would say there are three main priorities I hope he has. One: Help get the leaders of the world speaking to each other to help create a peaceful world. Two: Focus on education, provide better resources to schools, recruit more teachers from different walks of life. Three: Help create more economic opportunities for people who are struggling.”

Jamie Hopper, 40, Upper West Side

“I’m really concerned about education, I’m really concerned about diplomacy. We need to find more peaceful solutions, make weaponry less accessible domestically and internationally. We need a return to healthy funding for education and more funding for the arts. Maybe a secretary of the arts.”

Tomashi Jackson, 27, Brooklyn

“I would hope that Barack Obama would make it so that insurance for my kid would not be so expensive. I want him to think of single parents. I hope he makes us a safer country so we don’t have to wake up with fear anymore. There should be more opportunities for civilians to learn emergency response training.”

Lucy Vazquez, 27, Manhattan

“I really just want to thank him for continuing this tradition of strong black men in this country, which is something that is rare these days, and I think he is a great influence for a lot of people who don’t have a strong black man in their lives personally.

Ronald Peet, 20, Manhattan

“A lot of people are going to be relying on him. What he needs to do is reach out more and actually get their help too. He can’t do this on his own.”

Sloane Taylor, 18, Manhattan

“The biggest thing on everybody’s mind now is fix the economy. A lot of people are losing their jobs so I want to see more hiring. If he could help out the MTA so they don’t have to raise fares to $3 that would be a good thing too.”

Michelle Mars, 42, Brooklyn

“Better employment, more jobs for people, better education. He should help people live better, make it a little easier so we don’t have to struggle so hard to pay rent. He should give better health care to more people. Even when you have health care, you can’t always get what you need. They don’t cover everything.”

Kim Maristany, 47, Harlem

“I hope that he asks everyone to make sacrifices as far as energy is concerned. I would hope that he would move us off fossil fuels and to more clean energy. Green jobs are also the way to fix the economy.”

John Sabia, 27, Queens

“I wish that he could carry out his agenda even though it is a difficult economy. Hopefully there will be balance and equality for everyone. There will be more jobs, more health benefits and more of everything for everyone.”

Barbara Pettus, Brooklyn

“I hope he would follow through on his promises to focus on actually getting things done and not being too ideological. Health care is huge. There are millions of people who don’t have it and they have to forgo basic health coverage. Obama has to expand the amount of people who have access to health care.”

John Gaffney, 36, Upper West Side

“He should equalize resources and create opportunities for people. Everybody should have access to health care. There’s been a disproportionate gap between the working class and the rich and hopefully he can bridge that gap. There should be fairer taxes – he should tax the wealthy.”

Richard Rivera, 40, Bronx

“Good luck. I wish him the best of luck. He’s got a hell of a four years ahead of him. There’s a lot of work to do.”

Kathleen Rollock, 40, Bronx

(Jed Kim contributed to this story)

Tags: politics

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