Bay Area's newest U.S. citizens look forward to voting in 2016 election

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Seven hundred eighty-five people from 94 nations took the oath Wednesday in Oakland to become U.S. citizens.

The naturalization ceremony came just five days before California's voter registration deadline.

It was their first time saying the pledge as American citizens and they packed the Paramount Theater in Oakland for the naturalization ceremony.

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"Oh my God, it's wonderful I'm very happy to have my citizenship," said Nea Maglaya.

Maglaya is overjoyed. Her son came from the Philippines just to see it and seal this memory.

Outside, tables lined the sidewalk, part of a push to get the new citizens registered to vote.
Andy Johnson is from England. Now a U.S. citizen, he's planning to vote November 8. "Right now, it feels really important, very important, it could be a massive shift change," Johnson said.

As for Maglaya, she said she thinks she'll vote for Hillary Clinton

Others plan to vote too, but Mary Tawiah says she isn't so keen about the options in presidential race. "I really want my voice to be heard in the elections," Tawaih said.

Johnson says he believes in the political process, and there's no place he'd rather be. "I honestly believe in the states. Literally, if you work hard you achieve whatever you want to achieve," Johnson said.
"This is my American dream," Maglaya said.

Sixteen years later after leaving the Philippines she's living that dream.

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