Hope for Obama

l election season long, the world listened to Barack Obama’s campaign for hope and change in the United States. Since Election Day, change has certainly come to the nation. The country’s economy has gotten worse with several major industries seeking bailouts from the government. And internationally, the world watches violence and unrest between Israel and Hamas.

Inauguration Day is almost here and whether you voted for him or not, Barack Obama will be the 44th President of the United States of America. He comes to the White House with a lot on his plate. And he continues to champion the message of hope. As we transition into a new presidential administration, what do people hope the Obama administration will do for the good of America? I asked folks in Obama’s hometown, Chicago.

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"I hope that he gets the economy started again in a positive way. And not just for the short term, but for the long term. Because things right now, I’m lucky to even have a job. So many people are lucky to even have a job. So let’s get that started. My brother has been laid-off job after job. And my dad who’s in his sixty is struggling. So we need to fix this fast."

-Julie Spittler, 25, merchandiser

"I hope that we will get what they promised us. That it would be change and that it would be a change for the better for all mankind, all over the United States of America. We need it. I’ve been here for quite awhile. And I’ve seen change down through the years. But we need more change now with the economy the way it is, and the Israelites and all the fighting going on in other countries. People need to come together and bond together and remember that we all were created by God."

-Celestine Jeffries, 70s, retired

"I hope that they create jobs for the people in the middle class and that they put in regulations so that we don’t go through this sub prime mess that we’re currently in. I hope they do something about jobs and healthcare in this country, too. This isn’t something that’s personally affected me, but I’m looking at the country as a whole and not just me. I hope that the Obama administration will create jobs and bring hope to the middle class so that people can get off the streets from being homeless, be able to buy their homes, be able to send their kids to school, and be able to afford health care."

-Dwight Lewis, 66, retired

"I really want Mr. Obama to start working to get economic recovery as soon as possible. As a working class, we are suffering a lot. I saw a lot of friends losing jobs and also members of my family. I think it’s the most important thing. As a Hispanic, I see a lot of my people losing jobs. And for us this is very important because without jobs, there is no reason to be here."

-Alejandro Moreno, 30, maintenance worker

"Wow, to choose only one thing is difficult. Do I choose the real estate market or the discrimination factor? The real estate factor is so close to home because we have been trying to sell our house for the last 2 years and with no one buying houses right now, financially, it had been a nightmare and yet God has been faithful. But on a bigger world aspect, where it’s not all about me, I believe that the world needs to see a strong black Christian leader do well…and as president, wow…for more of the walls of racial discrimination in the United States to come tumbling down. Then we would be a stronger and more united country. And that would be beautiful."

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-Ysenia Lopez, 28, development services assistant

At the end of the first term, we, as a nation, will look back and decide whether change and hope did indeed come to the White House. Barack Obama says things might not get better within a year or even a first term, but we can look back at our hopes four years from now and decide if they were close to being fulfilled.

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Q-Tip, David Lane (ONE) and Pete Greig also shared their hopes for the Obama administration. Read their thoughts here.

What are your hopes for the next four years? Continue the conversation on the ReleBlog.

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