Ohio Locals Visit Obama in Lorain County

Anthony Holloway

More than 1,200 people listen in on Obama at Lorain County Community College.

More than 1,200 people representing diverse communities across Ohio came to Lorain County Community College on Friday to listen to President Barack Obama and see if he had answers to their concerns.


Sheila McVay, Cleveland resident and employee of the Hugo Boss clothing company, said she was there with the hope President Obama could help her and fellow workers.


“This is our last year here, and they’re sending our jobs overseas to get them (suits) made at a cheaper price and sending them back to the United States to sell them for the top dollar,” McVay said. “We lived here all our life, and we worked here. We’ve lived here, and we have our home (here) and now the job is moving and there are no jobs. So we’re trying to save this job.”


McVay wasn’t the only advocate for keeping jobs in Ohio. Joel Arredondo, president of Lorain City Council, said he thinks President Obama sees Lorain’s biggest need.


“I think he realizes the fact that this is the America, mainstream America, whatever you will call it, the urban area, the depressed area and that people need jobs, and that’s all people want is jobs,” Arredondo said.


He said the president is fighting an uphill battle against time because people expect results soon.


“(With) the American public and the way the world works, you can’t have a five-year plan, a 10-year plan,” he said. “You have to have a one- and two-year plan.”


Obama While jobs were a hot topic among those in line, not everyone was there to hear about jobs. Frank Whitfield, who was with his faith-based group, Eden Vision, was one of them.


“Just bringing the youth out here to be exposed to an African-American male leader and allowing them to see what they can do,” he said. “We’re looking to being exposed to different avenues of being a leader.”


Craig Phillips, superintendent for North Ridgeville City Schools, said he was there to be a part of the experience. “It’s very exciting,” Phillips said. “Whether you are Democrat or Republican, this is an American day. I’m just anxious to hear his message and his vision for the future.”


He said if he were able to ask the president a question, he “would love to hear his plans for education in Ohio.”


After the speech, Mary Teleha, biology professor at Lorain Community College, said she enjoyed hearing Obama’s message.


“I feel better after listening to him after the week of news we’ve had,” she said. “I think he did a good job at addressing different things.”



Cleveland resident Yvette Zeigler said the speech was “invigorating.”


“I liked the talk about health care,” she said. “More and more of my pay is going to insurance. It’s good to know he is going to make affordable health care for everyone.”


Read about Obama’s statements on the ecomonic issues in Elyria here.


Contact public affairs reporter Anthony Holloway at [email protected].