By HOO SOOK HWANG
AAP staff writer
MINNEAPOLIS (June 29, 2014) — The Cruz family, Ben (Dad and engineer), Maria (Mom an airline employee), and children Angel, 15, Anna, 13, and Amanda, 7, came from Eagan to welcome President Barack Obama to the Minneapolis Air Force Base on June 27.
Along with a small selected and enthusiastic crowd the Cruz family were thrilled to see Air Force One land and the President exit the plane. The Cruz hold the President in high regard.
Amanda Cruz gave Obama a hand made card, which stated, “You’re doing an Amazing job.”
“Thank you, I will keep this,” Obama replied to a thrilled Amanda.
Anna stated, “This was a very exciting day!”
Angel shared a huge smile, adding that “Seeing and meeting President Obama today was a very surreal experience!”
Mrs. Rebekah Erler spent time visiting with the president about his economic agenda. Maria Cruz was also interested and expressed her thoughts on the president’s plan to address the needs of middle class households.
Consequently, it was no surprise that President Obama’s speech at the Harriet Lake Band Shell in Minneapolis, began with a quote from Minnesota’s own Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion radio program.
“I’ve been wanting to visit a place where ‘all of the women are strong, and the men are good-looking, and the children above average’,” Obama said.
The President went on to acknowledge hard economic times and that it will take all of us working together to address economic issues that lay ahead.
U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (DFL-MN) and Gov. Mark Dayton introduced Obama. They added support for his economic agenda.
Obama said constituents can help by communicating their needs to congress. He encouraged the crowd to find their voice and let congress know that barricading efforts to advance the middle class is simply unacceptable.
“You’re working hard and you’re doing everything right,” Obama said.”
Increasing the minimum wage, creating more jobs, passing fair pay across gender and ensuring equal access to health care were at the top of the agenda, Obama said.
Maria Cruz added that, “In our family, we work hard, try to set a good example for our children, and help them with their education. We inspire our girls to do their best in school and athletics. We want our daughters to have hope and meeting him gave them increased hope.”
Obama reported that Republicans in Congress were blocking initiatives to advance middle class families towards making life a little bit easier.
“They’ve said no to extending unemployment insurance for more than three million Americans who are out there looking every single day for a new job, despite the fact that we know it would be good not just for those families who are working hard to try to get back on their feet, but for the economy as a whole. Rather than invest in working families getting ahead, they actually voted to give another massive tax cut to the wealthiest Americans,” Obama said.
Those in attendance at the Lake Harriet Band Shell included, Mr. Ryan Masterson, a digital media administrator, and Superintendent Jayne Miller from the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Department.
“I got a call from the White House last Wednesday and we’ve been working hard to make the President’s visit a success,” Miller said.”
Masterson who worked the event, proudly stated, “I’m half Filipino and I’m happy to work for Minneapolis Parks on this special event.”
Masterson said she agreed with the President’s message about ‘everyone doing better when the middle class does better’.
“We do better when workers are getting a decent salary,” she said. “We do better when they’ve got decent benefits, It was the collaborative efforts of everyone that made this special event come together.”
Obama called on Minnesotans to care through action, and that just a few changes in priorities could get a lot done if Congress would just think about the average person.
Whether at the Minneapolis Air Force Base or the Harriet Lake Band Shell, Obama captivated the audience with warm greetings, motivating dialogue about an agenda he said would ‘breed hope versus cynicism’.
“Cynicism is a choice, and hope is a better choice,” Obama said. “And every day I’m lucky to receive thousands of acts of hope.
Mrs. Cruz said that, “It gives us hope as a family that he is there to listen — he’s there to take action and he’s concerned about our families.”
Cruz said the event gave her kids hope, being there when Air Force One landed and presenting a card to the President.
“It tells me that he’s open to ideas, he’s there to listen and he is concerned about our futures,” she added.