What South Floridians want to hear in Biden’s State of the Union speech

Ahead of President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address Tuesday night before a joint session of Congress, Caplin News spoke to voters – Democrats, Republicans and independents – about what they believe are the country’s most pressing problems. The voters called on Biden to address the economy, gun violence, immigration and more. Here’s what they had to say about which issues the president should prioritize in 2023. 

Karen Perez, 51, Miami, executive assistant, Republican: “The economy and gun violence…There’s a lot of people that are dying with guns in the wrong hands. Right now, the country is in a big economical burden.”

Emily Perez, 20, Hialeah, student, independent: “I think access to education in lower-economic communities. I think that’s one of the most prevalent issues lately. Access to things such as funding for lunches for students, as well. Or just funding for food in lower-economic communities.”

Alberto Gonzalez, 19, last week at the Westland Mall Lids hat shop in Hialeah where he works. Gonzalez says President Biden needs to tackle gun violence and police brutality in his State of the Union speech on Tuesday night. 

Alberto Gonzalez, 19, Hialeah Gardens, a student and hat vendor at the retailer Lids, Democrat: “Probably gun violence or police brutality. Those two are kind of a big deal right now. It just feels like it’s always a big deal where we’re currently at in the United States. Hopefully, he could address both those things right now and get some change going.”

No fan of the president, Alex Almeida, a 52-year-old Republican, at the Amelia Earhart Park last week while flag football games were underway, says immigration and gas prices are the top issues that Biden needs to focus on in his big speech. And the Hialeah resident wants Biden to do something else, too: “I wish he steps down, you know.”

Alex Almeida, 52, Hialeah, salesman, Republican: “To me, immigration and gas…It’s ridiculous what’s happening. I mean it’s our money that’s the one paying for all that, and it’s the same thing with gas. It’s ridiculous they criticized the other guy (Trump) but this guy is worse. I wish he steps down, you know.” 

Nikolas Bubel, 20, Pembroke Pines, Democrat: Gas prices are a major problem to most people now…There have been too many police incidents that have been happening of late.”

Isabel Sorazano, 30, Pembroke Pines, operations, Republican: “The economy and immigration. Our economy is s*** right now, so he definitely has to do something about it, but I think it could be fixed if he fixes our immigration issues, which I don’t think will happen. Definitely immigration needs to be taken care of. There’s immigrants taking over things that us Americans could be doing in order to fix our economy.”

Rachel Corominas, 21, Hialeah, student, independent: “Gun violence because there’s just been a lot of instances where there’s a mass shooting and it honestly could have been prevented. We definitely need stricter gun laws.”

David Hajiyev contributed to this report.