THE PRESIDENT IN MY CITY
By James Turnage
President Obama just finished a speech in my city, Reno, Nevada. He spoke for 26 minutes at Truckee Meadows Community College, about ten minutes from my home. The auditorium holds 1000 people, but the crowd was estimated at 2100, lining staircases and aisles, anywhere they could hear him speak. He was introduced by a young Latina woman named Alejandra, who will be a first year student at UNR this fall. She praised him for his assistance personally in regards to Pell grants, allowing her to attend college. She noted that Romney told young people to “shop around”, or “get a loan from your parents”. Her parents, like most, could not afford to help her.
Mr. Obama’s speech was primarily about the importance of education. He noted that all the new jobs that will be offered by our country will require a higher education. Education will not only guarantee better jobs for individuals, but also advance our country, making it again the world’s greatest economic power. He said that Romney would repeal his mandates funding higher education through reasonable loans and grants. He said that the “doors of opportunity should be open to everyone, not only the rich”. The number of 26,000 dollars of debt after graduation by each individual was a number he felt unacceptable.
President Obama told the large crowd that he and Michelle Obama finally paid off their student loans just eight years ago. He praised his administration’s efforts that helped over three million students obtain loans for college. He also pledged to continue the “GI bill” for veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan so they will be able to acquire a college education. He said that Romney’s tax cuts of 5 billion dollars for the wealthy would be paid for by eliminating aid for education. Our future would be a forward move by the re-election Mr. Obama, a move backwards by electing Romney.
The President finished his remarks by saying he kept his promises about the wars, Bin Laden, and moving our country forward after the greatest economic debacle in our history. He asked the crowd to get out the vote. Although Romney will outspend him by as much as two to one, thanks to super pacs, he could win if the great majority, the working people of our country, voted in large numbers.
He looked tired, but he was invigorated by the crowd. Democrats in Washoe County had a chance to listen to their standard bearer up close and personal.