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Californians In Washington Speak Out On Trump's Speech


Californians for and against President Trump made the trip to Washington, D.C. for Friday’s inauguration.

The president’s speech left two of them with opposite views of his promise to unify the nation.

Corrin Rankin of Redwood City won the ticket lottery through her congressman’s office. She said she didn’t hear anything divisive from Trump.

“In fact, I heard nothing but unity,“ Rankin told Capital Public Radio. “Nothing but bringing Americans together. Just like he said, whether you’re black, you’re brown, you’re white, whatever – we’re all Americans.”

Jill Stevens of San Francisco had originally made plans to attend Hillary Clinton’s inauguration but chose to come anyway after Trump won. She says many elections have disappointed her but she’s never felt the sense of despair she feels now.

“I think that his speech was such that if you’re a supporter, it sounded unifying,“ Stevens said. “If you’re not a supporter, it sounded like more divisiveness.”

Stevens plans to participate in the Women’s March on Washington Saturday.

Also attending the inauguration were several California Republican lawmakers, including Senate Minority Leader Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield), a close ally of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

In an interview with Capital Public Radio, Fuller said she thinks she can help mediate the strident policy differences between Washington and Sacramento.

Listen to full interview here

For example, Trump's nominee to lead the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has said he'll review the federal waiver that allows California to set tougher auto emissions standards than the rest of the nation – and would not commit to upholding it.

“Especially in regard to the waiver, I can help work out what’s most best for California and our nation,“ Fuller said Friday.

But Fuller cautioned that California's Democratic leaders risk having the state be left out on initiatives such as infrastructure if they continue to relentlessly criticize President Trump.

Capital Public Radio's Beth Ruyak contributed to this report.

Ben Adler

Capitol Bureau Chief

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool – though not necessarily by choice. Now, he leads Capital Public Radio’s state Capitol coverage, which airs on NPR stations across California.  Read Full Bio 

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