What I wanted to write to the Obama Foundation...

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But I got cut off at 1000 words... 

Hello, my name is (Harlem Mama) and I look forward sharing my thoughts with the Obama Foundation. The Foundation has the potential to bring goodness to communities striving for better and for upcoming leaders seeking to make our complex world better. I want to help in any way I can.

You asked in your letter what does good citizenship mean to me. I’ve been pondering that. To me, it means giving all communities access to a decent life where there is the possibility of good health, dreams of the future and the potential for prosperity.  Good citizenship also means caring for a planet for the future generations of humanity and all life on earth. We are stewards of the Earth and we should take aim at fulfilling that mission as intelligent life capable of so much. 

As we see the poison seeping from hearts filled with hatred and fear being exposed for all to see in this new age of information and globalization, we must rise to the occasion and combat hatred with a message of love and kindness. In America, we have the chokehold of slavery and inequality trying to destroy the fabric of this country. We are a nation of immigrants and indigenous peoples that strive for equality, justice and respect. 

We must deal with the striations of our nation currently showing America’s ugliest face to the world. Under the current leadership we are torn apart and leaking the ugliness of a caste system. We are a young nation, still finding ourselves and defining ourselves. We must have leadership in the upcoming years to lead us to face climate change, a global economy and a struggling core of people sick with poverty and illness born from that poverty.

We cannot convince people raised on hate to change their ways. But we can focus on the people that do try to make our country better. We must focus on how we take in the suffering. The war and climate refugees coming to America seeking asylum are our priority number one. Reuniting families must be the objective of the new administration that I pray is successful in the coming year. We must make sweeping changes to the immigration system and we must have a cohesive policy that gives structure to the mess we have now.

We must strengthen universal healthcare, while maintaining the hard work unions have achieved for their members in benefits and giving a place of refuge to those suffering under the opioid crisis. I am a woman on Disability, and I would not be nearly as healthy and able if I did not have Medicare taking care of my very expensive medical care. Currently, there is no regulation on the healthcare industry that would stop the unnecessary deaths from lack of access to care. This is all attainable.

Ways to attain these lofty goals must start with a comprehensive fix of our ailing government. Removing lifetime appointments of the Supreme Court and bringing that down to 10 to 15-year appointments would allow for a more diverse set of opinions being handed down and change the current polarization of our highest judicial office. The branches of government are not working as they should. In my opinion The Patriot Act was the beginning of a downhill spiral that unbalanced the powers. Yes, we must have executive orders and yes, under Obama’s leadership that opened our doors to the Affordable Healthcare Act. But this also led to our current never-ending wars and a country with divisions like ICE running rampant.  We need the executive branch to have its checks and balances. We need a Congress that is efficient and working.

This leads me to a big Constitutional change that I believe should be the goal of the next Democratic administration. We must go to the popular vote to elect our President and we must abolish the Electoral College. This is an archaic and unfair policy that makes America susceptible to being ruled by people not appointed by the majority of voters.

As we see voters dealing with suppression, we must strategically keep up with the work of Eric Holder and Stacey Abrams that fights for every vote to count and be counted. This work is paramount.  We must give this work a national platform and see it make broad, sweeping changes across our nation.

Also, there is so much division in our country right now. White against black. Christian against gay. Rich against poor. We need a unifying leader. In my heart I believe that is Elizabeth Warren with Stacey Abrams as her running mate. But whomever the candidates are, I plan to stand behind them, and I plan to do whatever it takes to stop the madness that has taken over our country with such poor leadership.

If I can help, I will. I’m currently helping a local representative on her social media campaign because I do believe that helping in my local community is important as well. I have big dreams for our nation, but I also have many dreams for my beautiful home.

Thank you for this opportunity to share my thoughts and I look forward to seeing the growth and leadership that the Obama Foundation will provide to our nation and our world.

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