By Rory O'Sullivan
Barack Hussein Obama officially began his second term as the 44th president Sunday, with the 57th inauguration happening the next day coinciding with Martin Luther King Day.
The Constitution mandates the president be sworn in Jan. 20, and when the date falls on a Sunday, the public ceremony traditionally is held the next day. President Obama recited the 35-word oath of office administered by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. surrounded by family and friends.
Washington D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty said 1.8 million people attended the inauguration at the National Mall according to The Washington Post. Nielsen is reporting 37.8 million more watched it on TV, including some in the Inland Region.
Terry Starks, pastor of Rubidoux Missionary Baptist Church said, “For (President Obama) to be re-elected as the first African American is historic.” He did want more from the President in his second term. “I would expect that the kid gloves would come off.. and lead congress as well as the nation.”
Newly elected State Senator Richard Roth has high expectations for the president as well.
“First and foremost we need to work on immigration reform,” said Roth. “I hope that is a priority in his second term.”
Newly elected assembly member Jose Medina agreed with Senator Roth and added some more expectations.
“I would like to see immigration reform happen this time… and reforms in education,” said Medina.
Undocumented Riverside Community College student Juliana Saweris agreed with both Roth and Medina. She was brought here as a baby and is unable to get a job. “I have to find ways to pay for school by taking jobs under the table or whatever else,” said Saweris. “I had to choose between food or paying for school a lot of the time.”
“I was happy about him getting the dream act going,” said Medina. He said a pathway to citizenship would provide a permanent solution to help students in Saweris position to become assets in the community.
Fair Housing Council of Riverside County, Inc. Executive Director Rose Mayes said she wants the president to focus on the housing. She wants increased support for the Fair Housing Act of 1968.
“If a person has a decent place to live everything else happens naturally,” said Mayes.
Starting Over Inc. Executive Director Vonya Quarles a supporter of the president said it is time for president tom move his attention away from Wall Street and the wealthy.
“Wall Street is doing great,” said Quarles. “It’s time Main Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard to get what we deserve.”
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