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I am happy that Barack Obama will be in office for another four years because I think he has better ideas for health care. I like Obamacare because it helps lower-income families get health care. Health care is the most important issue for me because it affects my family. My parents can’t afford health insurance and so my mom can’t get new glasses and my dad can’t get treatment for his back problems. Although ObamaCare may have a few problems, it seems better than what Mitt Romney had proposed, which was no alternative. Romney said he wanted to repeal Obama’s healthcare act, which could have possibly stopped the opportunity for many low income families, including my own, to get health care.
Susie Park, 16, Marshall HS

Having followed the campaign for the past few months, I knew that even though there was not as much of a buzz this time, it was more important. Since I am taking an international relations class, I have followed a lot of current global issues. China is poised to be a larger economic force than the United States, drug trafficking in South America has become uncontrollable, and Iran is trying to create nuclear bombs. I’ve already seen the effects of these problems. A friend of mine knew someone who was shot in Tijuana when he refused to act as a mule for a drug cartel. Now, more than ever, I believe that America needs strong leadership in order to help the rest of the world.

Because of how close the debates had been, I expected an extremely close race, but within just a few hours of sitting down to watch the coverage, Obama was declared the winner of a second term. I believe that Obama’s plan for change always needed two terms. He promised to create more peace in the world than there was during President Bush’s term. I know that in the next four years, he will do that.
Hunter Whitaker-Morrow, 17, Polytechnic School (Pasadena)

The issue that matters to me the most is gay rights. I was surprised when Barack Obama ended “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” which had said that if you serve in the military you couldn’t be openly gay or lesbian. This was something that affected me. I’m gay and want to serve my country by joining the military. To know I can be myself made me feel like I belonged more. Obama supports same-sex marriage, unlike Mitt Romney. Also, his Affordable Care Act provided healthcare to people who couldn’t afford it. I feel happy having a president who supports the poor. When I saw the results I was not shocked, America wants someone who represents change, is for the people and supports gay rights.
Precious Sims, 19

Coming from Republican parents this election gave me a chance to come up with my own opinions. Every day at school my teachers and friends discussed politics in class and during lunch. No matter how much homework I had, I would watch the debates.

Unemployment was the issue I was most concerned about. When my family started worrying about whether my dad would be laid off from his job, I started Googling unemployment statistics and paying attention to what the candidates would say about creating jobs in America. It seemed that in Obama’s first term there hadn’t been a change in employment rates.

I didn’t know who I supported. A deal breaker for me though was when Mitt Romney’s vice-presidential pick, Paul Ryan, proposed eliminating $170 billion from Pell grants. I come from a family that lives in a tiny apartment, with one working parent. I constantly worry about whether my family will be able to afford college. Eliminating $170 billion would decrease not only my chances of going to college, but also millions of other less fortunate students. So when Obama won, I felt relieved and secure. I feel like he knew what it was like to stay up at night totaling up the cost of bills and sympathized with the student who went to extra lengths to be the first in their family to get a college education.
Jacqueline Uy, 15, Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies

I was happy when Obama won because I know that he is going to fight for immigrant rights. I want him to pass the DREAM Act and if not, to extend his deferred action policy, giving undocumented students an opportunity to work and pursue an education. I think that everybody deserves an opportunity to succeed in this country. Obama’s policies support the middle class and the poor, unlike Romney, who insulted the 47 percent of people who don’t pay taxes. This told me he didn’t care about the poor.
Miguel Molina, 18, East Los Angeles College

I was relieved when Barack Obama won because I didn’t like Mitt Romney’s views on same-sex marriage. I don’t think it’s fair that just because someone is gay they don’t get the same rights as a straight person. I was really happy Obama said he changed his mind and supported marriage for same-sex couples. I supported him even more after that. I hope he fights to legalize it for everyone in the country, even though he said he thinks that states should decide this on their own.
Silvia Velasquez, 14, Glendale HS

After months of believing in Obama, my reaction to his victory was less animated than I expected. Obama supports abortion, taxing the wealthy and providing healthcare to the poor. As a woman I like that Obama is pro-choice. I also like that he believes government should support people who don’t have a lot of money. I think the reason why I wasn’t completely excited by his re-election is because I think it will be difficult for him to get things done. Over the last four years I’ve felt that Obama hasn’t been able to convince Congress to listen to his ideas. I have my doubts about his ability to create the change this country needs for its future success.
Sydney Sellers, 17, Windward School

I’m really passionate about politics because I think that it’s important for our generation to be aware of who determines what’s going to happen in our future. Education funding is especially important to me, because my sister’s in college and I’m going to college in two years. My sister got into her dream school, but didn’t get to go there because my family couldn’t afford it. Obama has talked about providing more student loans and creating more jobs, which will help our generation pay off our student loans. Also, abortion is important to me because I want to know that I’m able to get an abortion if I would ever need one. Probably the issue that matters the most to me would be same-sex marriage. My favorite cousin is gay, and to have him not be able to marry the person he loves really upsets me.

I’ve been behind President Obama since the last election, and though many people think that he hasn’t been the greatest president, I think that he’s done the best that he can. There are so many politicians in the Republican party who have stopped our president from accomplishing everything he’d promised to do.

I was so nervous the day of the election, and as we were watching the coverage I felt sick to my stomach. I don’t know what I would have done if Mitt Romney had won. When they announced President Obama’s win, I felt like flying. I’ve never been happier because I feel like my future is so much brighter than it would have been if Romney had won.
Camille Didelot-Hearn, 16, Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies

I didn’t have much interest in the election earlier this year because being Democrat biased, I was sure that Obama would win. But when the L.A. Youth editors brought up a quote from Mitt Romney at a staff meeting, in which he said that 47 percent of Americans are “dependent upon government” and “are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them,” I felt like he was being unfair to people who are less fortunate. In my family, my mom works really hard to raise four kids. I felt happy when Obama won because I think Obama will be a compassionate president who will make people who are richer sacrifice more by paying taxes and will make sure all Americans have what we need like healthcare, food stamps and welfare.
Aileen Lee, 17, Crescenta Valley HS 

It was very important to me that President Obama won. I think he will do something about immigration, which is important to me because many of my friends are illegal. I believe Obama has compassion toward illegal immigrants who have been in this country since they were children. He understands that many of these people see America as their home, and would be lost if they were to be deported back to their birth countries. I was excited when he granted them work permits because that gave them an opportunity in America. Now that he has been re-elected, he has the chance to pass the DREAM Act and grant citizenship to illegal immigrants who join the military or get a college degree. It was nerve-wracking knowing how close the election was. The possibility that Mitt Romney could have been our next president was a frightening thought, because he would have opposed many of the issues I believe in. It was a shock to me when Obama was declared the winner, because it happened so suddenly. I was happy and now look forward to the future.
Jenny Guevara, 17, City of Angels HS