Those with the biggest stake in what the President says tonight are the young people who will inherit his decisions. The Roosevelt Institute Campus Network shares hopes for what path our country can and should take.
From Anna Peterson, junior history and mathematics double-major and the Campus Network Chapter Vice-President of Policy Research at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill:
"As he talks about investing in the future, I hope to hear the president discuss investment in education. What comes after short-term grants from the stimulus bill and Race to the Top, and how can we give schools the reliable funding they need in the long run? With the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, education is bound to be on the agenda in the coming year, and I expect the president to emphasize the importance of education for economic recovery and in relation to global competition."
From Toto Martinez, first year political science major at UC Davis and a new member of the Roosevelt chapter:
"I would like to see the president echo some of the rhetoric from his 2008 presidential campaign. Specifically, he should focus on: closing tax loopholes for the wealthy, who pay a lower percentage in taxes than the average working person; fighting, at least, for a public health insurance option and applying anti-trust laws to the private health-insurance industry; campaign finance reform that bans contributions from any unions, corporations, or other special interest groups and only allows for the use of public funds that will keep candidates accountable to the American people; and a massive infrastructure program for the twentieth century that will put millions of people to work, just as Roosevelt did in the 1930s. He should not use 'compromise' as a scapegoat for all of his broken promises, but rather fight for the ideals that made the country strong in the past. He may go down fighting or he may ride a wave back to victory, but above all he must fight for our nation's democratic principles." ~
From Sahar Massachi, fourth-year student of computer science at Brandeis University and previous Summer Academy fellow with the Campus Network:
"Tonight, the Kremlinologists of Washington are expecting to pore over a careful, calibrated, and polished policy document disguised as a speech. They'll analyze every twist and turn of phrase for hints of Obama's plans for the next year. That's kind of sad; it doesn't have to be this way. Imagine a speech that teaches us what a positive and just foreign policy could be like, one that sketches out a story about what life in a progressive America could look like. Imagine a speech that speaks directly to us -- and ignores the expectations of the chattering class. I want to live in a world where Obama educates me about the world as it is, inspires me with a vision for a bright future -- and lays out a theory of how we can achieve that change together."