Maybe the fact that Obama (or someone on his team) actually responds to the letters people send him can make us maybe feel a little better after we filed our taxes just yesterday. At least a tiny little bit better…
In March, Bushwick resident, Elaheh Farmand, emailed us a letter she wrote to President Obama about the inequality and striking poverty she’s been witnessing in our neighborhood asking him to come to Brooklyn to see how divided the city is. And Obama responded. Here’s the full version of the letter as forwarded to us by Elaheh.
Thank you for writing. As President, my top priority is restoring opportunity for more Americans—including folks who are struggling every day just to get by.
The stakes could not be higher. For decades, increasing inequality and stagnant economic mobility have worn away at our country’s basic bargain that if you work hard, you can get ahead. Those trends have hurt our economy. But I think for many Americans, this is an issue with very personal consequences—a daily battle to put food on the table, or pay the bills, or shake the fear that their kids won’t have a shot at a brighter future.
We are a better country than this. No one knows when they might have a run of bad luck or lose a job. But what we do know is that one misfortune or one mistake shouldn’t knock you into a hole you can’t ever climb out of. A child born into poverty should be able to work her way into the middle class. Opportunity is who we are, and restoring it is the defining challenge of our time.
That is why I have fought so hard to extend lifelines that help hardworking people stay afloat, like nutrition assistance and unemployment insurance. And it is why I will keep fighting every single day to shift the odds back in favor of more working and middle-class Americans, and make sure hard work pays off for everybody. Some of my ideas will require Congress to act. But wherever I can take steps on my own to expand opportunity through education or jobs or health care, I will.
Thank you, again, for taking the time to write. More information about the assistance available for Americans in need is at www.USA.gov,www.ACF.HHS.gov/Help, www.USICH.gov, and www.HealthCare.gov, or at 1‑800‑FED‑INFO.