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Gloria & Emilio Estefan

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Page 98 of 179

President Barack Obama faces some of the biggest challenges that an incoming president has ever faced: a crippling budget deficit, a fragile world economy, home foreclosures, rising unemployment, healthcare woes, environmental issues— and that's just domestically. On the world stage he must decide what to do about Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Israel, North Korea, Africa, Haiti … you get the picture. With so much at stake, we wanted to find out what Miamians are thinking about Obama's historical win and upcoming presidency, and what issues are most important to them. We asked, "How did you feel about Barack Obama becoming President and what is the most important thing he should do?" "He's got to put people back to work. Miami's still not as bad as other parts of the country because tourists and foreigners still come here, thankfully, and spend money. I'm in the restaurant business though, and it's definitely slower. We haven't really had to get rid of anybody, but everyone's hours have been cut and everyone is making less money. So, he's got to keep people working somehow. Honestly, I didn't vote for him because of the tax thing, but I really want him to do well. I think he'll do a good job." —John Bollman, 56 "For me, having Barack become president has changed everything. My daughters, my son, we're all walking a bit prouder now. I sometimes still can't believe it. When I see Michelle and those girls, such great African- American role models, I just feel so good about it. He'll do a good job for Miami if he doesn't change who he is, because he knows how people struggle. He'll do a lot for people here, I think. —Tess Jolles, 33 "Anything he could do to help relations with Cuba, but still realize that we want to be respected. But the policy of not interacting with Cuba or other countries and isolating them hasn't worked, not for people still in Cuba or for us here. It's probably good he's President right now." —Manuel Bregas, 64 "For me, I am Israeli, okay, but I love it here so much. I didn't vote for Obama because everyone said he's not gonna be as good for Israel, which I will always care about. And for me, I wish he talked more strong about protecting Israel, but for everything else, like social stuff, I think he'll be great, like not so mean on social stuff. But, since there are so many Jews in South Florida, if he's good for Israel, he'll be good for here." —Avi, 25 "He should do more to make sure people don't keep losing their homes. Also, I work non-profit and we're all dying for money and attention. Everglades restoration is huge so that the lungs of Florida can work and help reestablish the balance that the wildlife in Florida needs. I know he'll be better than Bush, that's all I know." —Lynn DeSantos, 36 "On a scale of 1 to 10 of how happy I was when Obama became President? Probably a 20. I want him to pull the troops out of Iraq and help the economy. He also needs to do healthcare. Kids need more healthcare and seniors. Better schools, better teachers, and cancel the FCATS. They're a total distraction and we're missing real schoolwork to plan for them." —Noah Brockman, 9 "As far as representing Miami, he really has to stay calm like he did the whole election process. All I know is I'm glad I'm not in charge of this mess and I'm so glad he is. He picked great people for his cabinet, too." —Chris Whitaker, 40 ML Miamians Speak Out: On Obama and the challenges facing South Florida Words by Liz Schulze MIAMI LIVING 97 POLITICS

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