obamastateoftheunion.jpgBay Area Democratic officials praised President Obama’s State of the Union address tonight.

State Sen. Leland Yee called the president’s speech “extraordinarily uplifting and passionate.”

“I was very pleased to hear that he will fight to make our tax system fair for all families while also extending an olive branch to those on the other side of the aisle to help restore our shared values,” Yee said in a statement tonight.

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer said that she would do her part to “bridge the partisan divide” by passing a bipartisan surface transportation bill.

Boxer also lauded the president’s plan for the economy in a statement tonight.

“President Obama laid out a blueprint for building an economy that works for every American,” she said.

Congressman George Miller, D-Martinez, said the speech was “strong and optimistic” and gave it “very high marks.”

Each member of Congress receives one ticket for a guest to attend the address and Miller’s guest tonight was a Richmond man who works with an anti-violence group.

D’vondre Woodards, 22, is a student at Contra Costa Community College and a senior fellow with the city of Richmond’s Operation Peacemakers fellowship, according to Miller’s office.

Miller learned that the Peacemakers group was in Washington, D.C., for the National Mentoring Summit and extended an invitation.

The group chose Woodards to be Miller’s guest because of his work with residents from rival neighborhoods to create peaceful resolutions to conflicts, Miller’s office said.

Other Bay Area residents were in attendance at the event tonight as guests of the First Lady.

Among Michelle Obama’s guests tonight were Mike Krieger of San Francisco, the co-founder of social mobile startup Instagram, and Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Steve Jobs and founder of the Emerson Collective, an organization that aids individuals from underserved communities.

Erika Heidecker, Bay City News

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