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Voters Decide – Expectations Begin

November 5, 2008

St. Paul, MN – Americans have chosen a new president, elected members of Congress and decided on thousands of state and local races and issues. Public News Service asked three spokespersons from statewide organizations that had a lot at stake in the outcome, for their reactions and comments.

Eliot Siede is with AFSCME Council 5, which represents more than 40,000 workers. To him, the election has been about building the middle class, and he hopes that becomes a priority.

"The next administration has to immediately deal with our economy, and has to produce an economic stimulus package that helps working Americans. It's got to produce aid to states and local governments. And, it's got to produce a new law that brings fair rights to workers so that they can join a union."

The next White House, Siede continues, should also focus on making sure all Americans have access to quality health insurance, and ending the war in Iraq.

The well-being of children must be a top issue, according to Susie Brown, executive director of Child Care Works. She wants special emphasis to go to the youngest kids.

"We are really hoping that the new administration has a significant focus on early childhood care and education. It's important we understand that the new administration will ensure that quality care settings are available to all children and families, regardless of their income, and that kids enter school ready to learn."

Brown says she's pleased that both presidential candidates made early childhood education a priority during their campaigns.

Margaret Levin with the Sierra Club's North Star Chapter wants the new administration to address climate change.

"We will be looking for solutions that reduce carbon and greenhouse gases. We want investments in a new energy economy that creates green jobs and helps to solve global warming and re-power America with new investments and clean energy."

The key, Levin adds, is moving away from dependence on imported oil, and developing an economy fueled by renewable sources of energy.

Jim Wishner, Public News Service - MN