Bay Area Republicans to watch Trump address to Congress

SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) -- With President Donald Trump set to give an address to a joint session of Congress this evening in Washington, D.C., some Bay Area Republicans are eager to hear what he has to say.

Trump's televised speech will take place at 6 p.m. Pacific time and is his first address to Congress since taking office.

"I expect President Trump to reflect on his first month in action without the filter of the media to spin the narrative," Pieter Sittler of the Berkeley College Republicans said in an email.

"He has taken many positive steps to fulfill his campaign promises, such as requiring two federal regulations to be eliminated for every new one, and I assume he will highlight that and many other accomplishments," Sittler said.

"The Republicans have a historic opportunity here, and they need to spend their political capital wisely and while it still exists for that matter," Sittler said.

Howard Epstein, vice chair of communications with the San Francisco Republican Party, said he also believes that Trump will provide more details about what to expect during his presidency.

"I think he'll be more specific on what he plans to do for immigration, who he's targeting, the economy, what he's going to do to bring more jobs, and more tax policies," Epstein said.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Monday that during the speech, Trump will "lay out an optimistic vision for the country."

"This includes tax and regulatory reform to provide relief to hardworking Americans and their businesses, making the workplace better for working parents, ensuring the families who have suffered under Obamacare's skyrocketing rates see it replaced with a patient-centered alternative, making sure every child in America has access to a good education, a rebuilding of our military and fulfilling our commitments to veterans to whom we obviously owe a great deal of gratitude," Spicer said.

Since the beginning of the presidential campaign that ended in November with his election, Trump has drawn the ire of many Democratic and liberal political organizations and individuals for his conservative views on immigration, health care and foreign policy, among other topics.

According to Epstein, Trump's opponents aren't giving him a fair chance and should wait before being so quick to judge.

"Give him six months, if they don't like what he's doing by then, then they should speak up," Epstein said. "Let him have his honeymoon phase. Let him get his cabinet in order. Until he has his cabinet in place, he's really restricted on what can happen."

With the steeply divided political climate and in the heavily liberal Bay Area, there were not many publicly announced gatherings this evening to watch the address. Epstein said that's because some of Trump's supporters in the region are being more discrete about their support for him.

"When the San Francisco Republican Party had an election night party, there were demonstrators outside the building and we had to have police escort us out. That's the one reason why there are not a lot of viewing parties happening tonight," Epstein said.

Adam Mehis, executive director with the San Francisco Democratic Party, said he hadn't heard of any viewing parties happening this evening, let alone any hosted by Democrats.

Sittler said the Berkeley College Republicans are hosting a watch party this evening at the University of California at Berkeley campus. The event starts at 6 p.m. at 205 Dwinelle Hall.

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