What Californians Want President Obama to Remember in his Second Term

President Obama will soon be sworn into office, and whether you voted for him or not, he's everybody's president. What do you want him to remember in his second term?

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  1. NPR asked its listeners and online followers that question in advance of the Jan. 21 inauguration. They received dozens of responses, including many from Californians. Here are the messages shared by those Californians.
  2. You can submit your message here.
  3. Dear Mr. President,

    I voted for you.

    I am an eighteen year old high school senior, who will be attending college this year. My high school Economics class was shown the “National Debt Clock” this year which has really haunted me. How is my generation supposed to understand balanced spending and the importance of keeping good credit if we are constantly reminded by the bad example our country has set for us? I would like to see the National debt decreased within the next four years. Since I will be starting college this fall, the higher education system is obviously a subject that is on my mind. I am very blessed to be accepted to every university I applied to but am worried about how my hardworking single mother and I will pay for my education. Please keep people like us in your thoughts while making decisions regarding college students. I plan to spend my time in college working towards getting my Bachelors in Nursing. This brings me to my next concern, healthcare. I am very hopeful in ObamaCare and hope to see this program persevere. As a woman I am passionate about reproductive rights. Some of the statements made by political figures during 2012 frightened me. Please don’t let pompous middle aged white men decide what I can do with my body. I hope to see measures taken to improve the status of social security improved during this term, even if the measures only make a small impact. In closing I want to say that even though I am young and this was the first presidential election I was able to vote in, I am proud of my choice to elect the best man for the job. Please do everything you can to make these four years count and don’t give up on us.

    Mary (Molly) Nalty from Huntington Beach California.

  4. Dear Mr. President,I voted for you.No sign,...
  5. Dear Mr. President,

    I voted for you.

    No sign, keyword or phrase could express my respect and gratitude for you, sir! That you have been patient and courteous with those in the party of ‘No’ is nothing short of amazing. You have shown Patriotism, courage and strength in all situations.
    Occasionally I have not agreed with some decision - but when I heard you speak, explain your decision, I understood that you have always done what is in the best interests of the American people.
    I will continue to support you 100%, volunteering with OFA - now Organizing for Action. 
    Good wishes to you and family.
    Donna Arnicar, R.N.
    Encinitas, CA.
    (a rare cute photo of me in Keystone, CO) 
    oops. of course I voted for you!

    Donna Arnicar, R.N. from Encinitas, CA

  6. Dear Mr. President,

    I didn’t vote for you.

    In this age where money is counted in trillions by those Washington, please remember that somewhere out there, some American worked hard for every dollar you spend. Respect our labors as you would your own.

    Fred from Sunol

  7. Dear Mr. President,I didn't vote.This matters to...
  8. Dear Mr. President,

    I didn’t vote.

    This matters to me because I have a blood disease and I am always back and forth to doctor appointments and in the hospital. I always hear my mom say that she can not always afford the bill that come with all these visit and it makes me sad. When I get sick, I try to handle it on my own so that we don’t have to go to the hospital. If there was better health care, it would be more help to my mom, a single parent.

    Aljanae Caldwell from Berkeley, California

  9. Dear Mr. President,

    I voted for you.

    Create a comprehensive economic plan of attack to engage various countries on the continent of Africa. The benefits are many - economic development on this continent raises the worldwide boat/economy, minimizes the threat of terrorism and positons the U.S. minimally as well as China, Brazil, Germany (I could go on) for the economy of the future. We, the United States, are late to a party that we have a lot of history and mis-investment in. Let’s get it done and soon

    Hausa Mann from San Diego, CA

  10. Dear Mr. President,I didn't vote.I think we should...
  11. Dear Mr. President,

    I didn’t vote.

    I think we should focus more on taking care our world. I noticed the extra charge on grocery bags. which should prevent the waste of paper & plastic.And i want my future kids to have a safe and clean place to call home.

    Nandi Finch from Berkeley, California

  12. Dear Mr. President,

    I voted for you.

    It is an understatement to say that yours is a tough job. I greatly appreciate your courage and tenacity in working towards building a better country for all of us, and what I would like you to know and to remember is that we recognize what you are trying to accomplish and that we thank you for your great efforts.

    ann from san jose, california

  13. Dear Mr. President,I voted for you.Compassion....
  14. Dear Mr. President,

    I voted for you.

    Compassion. Compassion across many levels and issues … 
    1) …for pain patients who can obtain no relief except through the juice of fresh cannabis plant, which is not hallucinogenic anyway. Back off closing down access to legal dispensaries. Better yet, legalize it, regulate it, and tax it. Pardon legal dispensary owners.
    2) … For victims of Joseph Kony. Keep up the pressure, and increase our support. Of all the reasons we should be going into another country, compassion and humanity dictates this one.
    3) … For the Environment… Stop fracking in North Dakota and take other real actions to impact climate change. Why would we let these companies get a way with wasting so much natural gas??
    4) … for victims of gun violence … Keep up the good work with banning assault and automatic weapons. Make it illegal for the mentally ill to have guns. Force a permanent leader to the Bureau ATF by executive action.
    5) …for the long term unemployed or under employed and homeless.
    6) … for those under insured. End coverage gap. Allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices. Don’t compromise. Don’t back down.
    7) … for the people. End subsidies for oil, tax breaks for companies who don’t need it
    8) … for yourself and all you have tried to accomplish, and have.

    heather from San Diego, CA

  15. Dear Mr. President,

    I didn’t vote.

    I want you to remember 4 things: 
    1) the effective government creates jobs, equality, security and clean environment. 
    2) the good way to pass any difficult legislation is through energizing the public who will pressure the Congress.
    3) Remember that you have three enemies: the greedy special interests from corporations, the super-rich, the obstructionist and devious Republicans who wish you and the Democrats to be defeated at all cost. 
    4) The only way to clean up the government is through clean electoral process, which is the root of almost all our ills. This is because unfair electoral process selects for corrupted officials, who pass bad laws, gives bad court decisions, or don’t execute the law as they are supposed to. That’s why the people don’t trust the government anymore, that’s why we have so many problems: the great recession, the socioeconomic inequality, healthcare problems, crimes, earmarks, disinformation, outsourcing, etc. 


    Hao Guo from Santa Clara, CA

  16. Dear Mr. President,I voted for you.Palestinians...
  17. Dear Mr. President,

    I voted for you.

    Palestinians deserve peace, freedom and justice like any other people in the world. We, as Americans, have the key to peace. Let’s be fair and just, Mr. President, and support freedom and democracy everywhere, including Palestine, Syria, and Bahrain!

    Rashad Al-Dabbagh from Anaheim, CA

  18. Dear Mr. President,I voted for you.If not NOW then...
  19. Dear Mr. President,

    I voted for you.

    If not NOW then When??
    If not you, the leader of the free world, then WHO?

    Sohaib Alagha from San Diego, California

  20. Dear Mr. President,I didn't vote.Because as...
  21. Dear Mr. President,

    I didn’t vote.

    Because as president, he as no time for himself and can never just sit back and kick his feet up. I want the president to be a normal person too. Mr. Obama just has a better job title than most (:

    Marina from Berkeley high School

  22. Dear Mr. President,

    I didn’t vote for you.

    Mr. President,
    Stop purposely dividing the country.
    We want much less government, not more.
    We want to keep our own money and care for ourselves, rather than give it to you to redistribute to your political allies.

    Molly Weiss from Ventura, CA

  23. Dear Mr. President,I didn't vote.It seems to be...
  24. Dear Mr. President,

    I didn’t vote.

    It seems to be harder and harder to get a job in the U.S. It also seems to be getting harder and harder to get into college and succeed to getting a degree. by seeing where this is going many can tell that the for seeable future could be a very hard time for eveyone

    Eli Berson from Berkeley, CA

  25. Dear Mr. President,

    I voted for you.

    President Obama made a very clear promise in his first term, he would close Guantanamo Bay Prison in one year’s time putting an end to the unlawful and indefinite detention of men, many of which have been imprisoned there without charge for ten years and 55 of which have already been cleared for release. Four years later he has failed to keep that promise. This is a serious violation of human rights which has denigrated the credibility of the United States as a global leader in human rights and due process of law. President Obama must follow through on his promise immediately.

    Monica Pagani from Palo Alto, CA.