Dear President Obama,
Rural Idaho needs your help. My name is Jolene Poen and I have lived in Downey, Idaho for nine years. I believe citizenship means being a good community member, someone who contributes to the community. I do not think it is about being born in a certain place.
Currently, I am serving my community by volunteering at a rural food pantry and Toys for Tots, standing up for people that cannot stand up for themselves through the Idaho Community Action network. I also encourage my children to be active in our community by having them volunteer with me.
There are many challenges to living in rural Idaho. While I am lucky to have the coverage I need for my family, many others in my community do not. And for the rural area, simple coverage is not enough. It is hard enough just to find a doctor. The local hospital is 50 miles away and, depending on their health coverage, some people end up having to drive 100 miles just to go to the doctor.
The one message I’d like to send to Congress and you is that we need reform solutions that support everyone in America and pay attention to the millions of people in this country who live in rural areas.
And I am here to make a commitment to you to stand up for our shared values and be a visible supporter of health care reform.
The Choice Before Us: Letters to President Obama is also available in PDF format. Edited and compiled by the Center for Community Change, Northwest Federation of Community
Organizations and National Korean American Service & Education Consortium.