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San Francisco Teenagers Mingle With Elite At Obama Fundraiser

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President Obama in San Francisco

President Obama greets supporters after speaking April 20, 2011 at a DNC fundraiser at Nob Hill Masonic Center in San Francisco, April 20, 2011. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Visits to youth groups did not make the agenda during President Barack Obama’s trip to the Bay Area, so a group of teenagers came to him Wednesday at San Francisco’s Nob Hill Masonic Center.

“I think he could do more for our schools,” said 17-year-old Aisha Richmond, one of 40 teenagers from the San Francisco Boys and Girls Club who got in for free to a dinner where plates cost anywhere from $25 to $10,000.

“This is really important. We are the future,” Richmond said, admitting she had butterflies in her stomach about meeting the president.

The group raised enough money for 40 of its most active participants in its community and jobs program to mingle with the wealthy and well-connected.

KCBS’ Chris Filippi Reports:

Antonio Sanchez showed up wanting answers about the economy. The 16-year-old said his father, a carpenter, has been out of work for two years.

“My father was like, what’s going on with the stimulus?” Sanchez said.

During the raucous fundraiser focused on young people, Obama said his supporters are not alone in their frustration.

“There are times when I’ve felt the same way you do. It’s a big, complicated, messy democracy,” he said. “We knew this wouldn’t be easy.”

Obama’s three-day West Coast swing–his most extensive travel since announcing his re-election bid–offered a glimpse of how Obama will seek to re-energize the independents and first-time voters who carried him to victory in 2008. Obama argues that more work must be done to make the vision of America he promised a reality, and that he is the only one who can see those hopes through.

“It is going to take more than a couple of years,” Obama said. “It’s going to take us more than one term to finish everything that we need to do.”

Obama’s fundraising blitz continued Thursday with four more money events–one in San Francisco and three in Los Angeles. In between, Obama will squeeze in a town hall meeting in Reno, Nev., aimed at selling his plan for cutting deficit spending directly to a wary public.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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