From preserving Social Security to implementing immigration reform to stopping the mass incarceration of black men, Chicagoans have plenty of suggestions for President Barack Obama’s to-do list.
Kim Ransom said the president was a bit more unleashed during his inauguration address -- and she hopes Obama stays that way.
“He’s got four years; he knows he’s not running again. And I’d really like to see him tackle education in a way that’s going to pay off for our communities. Public education in particular is really suffering,” Ransom said.
Ransom, along with her seven-year-old daughter and mother, was one of hundreds of Chicagoans jammed the DuSable Museum of African American History Monday morning to watch Obama’s inauguration live on a big screen. The crowd went wild as Obama took the oath of office.They clapped enthusiastically when the president championed women’s, gay and immigration rights in his inauguration address.
Carol Adams, CEO of Dusable, said she’s concerned about the economy and jobs.
“But I also have concerns about the over-incarceration of our people. That, to me, is the main thing I’m very concerned with. I think our community’s going to be looking for some action there. I think we’re going to work and organize for change there,” Adams said.
Adam Callery is a teacher at Malcolm X Colleg. He took to heart Obama’s call.
“Well, this may be a weird answer: I really don’t have any expectations for him. I have more expectations for us. As he kept stressing the citizenship to have the citizens actually stand up and do more, especially in our local communities,” Callery said.
Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady he wants Obama to work on reforms around Medicare and the national debt. And Brady acknowledges that the general public is tiresome of partisan politics.
“But it’s a two-way street, too.The president’s got to come out of the White House and start dealing with Congress a little more, maybe nurturing some friendships, getting some alliances to get things done,” Brady said.