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By Henrietta J. Burroughs                Follow East Palo Alto Today on
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Posted on Thursday, January 26, 2012    
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All across the country, supporters of President Barack Obama held group meetings in their local communities to show their support for the president as he delivered his State of the Union address. These Obama supporters belong to groups that are called Neighborhood Teams for Obama and they are gearing up to work for the president as he campaigns for re-election.

One such group, the East Palo Alto Neighborhood Team for Obama (EPANTFO) decided to host an event at the Firehouse Bar & Grill, in the 101 Ravenswood Shopping Center in East Palo Alto to hear the president's remarks.

So, at 5:30 p.m. on January 24, the day of the big address, EPANTFO members began assembling at the bar and grill to hear Obama speak. They were joined by Obama supporters from Menlo Park, Mountain View, Palo Alto Alto, Redwood City and Stanford because the EPANTFO event was the most central and the closest Neighborhood Teams for Obama viewing being held in the area.

Mavis Knox, a member of the East Palo Alto Neighborhood Team For Obama, was the one who had invited the other local Neighborhood Teams to the evening's event and she greeted members as they arrived.

In her invitational email, Knox described the occasion as “a great opportunity to meet the EPANTFO... talk about the upcoming election and be a part of the discussion in moving the East Palo Alto efforts forward.”

Anna Fonseca, a Menlo Park resident who worked in Obama's presidential campaign in 2007, explained why she decided to attend the East Palo Alto event. “Rather than sit at home and watch, I thought I would come and sit with people who shared my views,” she said.

From the time Obama started to greet those who were gathered to hear him on Capital Hill, he captured the attention of those gathered to hear him in the Firehouse Bar & Grill. In fact, throughout Obama's speech all eyes stayed riveted to the large flat monitors, circling the bar and grill's walls that beamed the president's address to the audience. It wasn't accidental that those assembled in the bar and grill applauded during Obama's remarks when the members of Congress applauded Obama, and they responded in other ways as if they were actually present in person at his address.

When the president's address was over, Ella Wiggins Beecher, who has been an East Palo Alto resident since 1967, said, "That was really great. I liked the things that he said about the job situation and taxes.”

It was not surprising that those attending the event said that they thought Obama made a “strong speech" that was “down to earth.”

Amy Daddario, who came from Palo Alto said that she liked how Obama acknowledged the critics who have made a lot of vitriolic comments about him.

Of all of the remarks he made in his speech, Daddario said that she liked what Obama said regarding the direct action he was taking to correct the nation's problems and how he said he wanted to work in tandem with everyone.

This was the first time that Daddario had attended an Obama event. ”It was cool,” she said.

The event ended with EPANTFO members giving out information about other upcoming Neighborhood Teams for Obama events, which include an organizer's meeting in San Jose and a phonebank in which participants will call voters in Nevada.

For more information about the Neighborhood Teams for Obama, email epaforobamateam@yahoogroups.com or see the organization's Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/East-Palo-Alto-Neighborhood-Team-for-Obama/253167738068557

To contact EPA Today, send an email to epatoday@epatoday.org.

(Copyright ©2012 East Palo Alto Today. All Rights Reserved.)



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