President Barack Obama delivers a statement to the press on the economy, in the East Room of the White House, Nov. 9, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Sonya N. Hebert) On Friday, President Obama laid out his strategy for moving our country forward and reducing our deficit in a balanced way. Speaking from the East Room of the White House, the President was joined by Vice President Joe Biden – and 14 others stood behind him at the podium. So who were those 14 people anyway? One was Pam, a school administrator. Another, Sara, is a veteran recovering from open-heart surgery. Barry has six children and Steve is an orthopedic assistant. Estela recently became an American citizen and voted in a U.S. election for the first time on Tuesday. What they all have in common, however, is an interest in helping find answers to some of the big questions we face as a nation. Whether it’s how to create jobs or how to help responsible homeowners or how to balance investments in our future with cutting our deficit, all of these citizens want to participate in the process of getting things done here in Washington. Each of them had already taken the first step by speaking out about an issue that mattered to them, responding to requests for input on whitehouse.gov.