Hillary Clinton visits young, old in Tucson

By Alicia A. Caldwell
Arizona Daily Wildcat
October 16, 1996

Adam F. Jarrold
Arizona Daily Wildcat

First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton reacts yesterday to the more than 1,000 students, faculty and community members at the Sunnyside High School auditorium. Clinton spoke at Sunnyside after attending a round-table discussion at Armory Park Senior Center.


First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton emphasized the importance of education at one of her two appearances in Tucson yesterday.

"Both my husband and I know how important an education is," Clinton said to over 1,000 people at Sunnyside High School. "We both completed our law degrees with educational loans."

Clinton said President Clinton has devised a three-prong plan for students to go to college, which involves creating tax-free IRAs for education, scholarships that would make two years of community college as available to students as public high school, and a $10,000 tax deduction for each child enrolled in college.

Clinton explained that both she and President Clinton feel that beyond being given the opportunity to attend college, a student needs to be willing to put in the effort and general work that is needed to maintain oneself in the educational setting.

"We feel that every student that is willing to work hard and make an effort should be able to attend college," Clinton said.

In addition to members of the school's senior class, faculty and community members, students from the University of Arizona Young Democrats and representatives from the Associated Students, including President Rhonda Wilson, were at the speech.

Clinton's remarks focused specifically on the future that is before the soon-to-be graduates of Sunnyside High School.

Sunnyside High senior Ruth Oesterlign said, "I am in awe. What she (Clinton) said is important because it has an effect on our futures."

Students reaction to the first lady's visit seemed to be favorable. All around the auditorium were signs welcoming and thanking Clinton for speaking at their high school.

Eva Fleming, a senior at Sunnyside High School, said, "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and it is great."

Earlier in the day, Clinton stopped at the Armory Park Senior Center, where she was involved in a round-table discussion with two senior citizens, who are actively involved in the affairs and concerns of the senior community, and two service providers to the senior community.

The discussion at the Senior Center was focused on Medicare and other general concerns of the senior community.

Throughout the discussion, Clinton made reference to the strides President Clinton had made within Congress in an attempt to improve or maintain the system and benefits that seniors already enjoy.

"We need to preserve not only the life of our senior citizens but the quality of those lives as well," Clinton said.

"The president has made changes in the Medicare system that are good for the people that it affects, not because of pressures from partisan groups," Clinton said.

While Clinton's main focus was Medicare and other such programs, she also made reference to her stance on family.

Clinton said community involvement and a relationship between groups like the Armory Park Senior Center and youth groups from around the community will allow the two generations to take care of each other.

Constance Howard, a representative of Netwest Development Co. of Arizona, said, "I am just interested in hearing what she has to say. I think that a lot of people are here because they respect (Clinton) and are interested because she chose to come to Tucson, even though it is not exactly a hub of political activity."

Following her Tucson visit, Clinton left for Albuquerque to meet with President Clinton.

Lisa MacSpadden, press secretary for the Arizona Clinton-Gore campaign, said the two locations for today's addresses were selected according to suggestions from community leadership.