Obama Book

On September 17, 2009, almost 300 people from 29 states gathered in Washington, D.C. for the Unity in Movement Citizenship Day Mobilization.

Moved by President Obama’s call for a true and more perfect union, those gathered celebrated their vision of citizenship.

Their vision reflects the values of unity, hope, and community. It calls for a renewed spirit of shared fate and responsibility for one another. And it rejects the politics of divisiveness and vitriol.

These letters to President Obama echo the values celebrated at the Citizenship Day Mobilization. The people who have written these letters have been inspired by the words of President Obama. Now they urge the President to make those words a reality.

In the United States today, tens of millions of people wonder whether they will be able to get health care if they should fall ill or become injured. They see their livelihoods, homes, and survival in jeopardy. And they know that their suffering will cause others to suffer: the children who rely on them, the families that love them, and the friends and neighbors with whom they have created community. The failure of our health care system casts a wide net.

Years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. told us, “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.” Realizing the promise of the United States means that inequity in health care must be eradicated and replaced with a renewed commitment to inclusion, community, and shared fate. We have been taken off track from these values in the health care debate, which has been marked by a turning away from responsibility for one another. To rebuild the health care system, we must return to our values. And we must remind ourselves of the importance of a vision of citizenship based on caring and community.

Click on the stories one by one, or read The Choice Before Us: Letters to President Obama in PDF format.

Edited and compiled by the Center for Community Change, Northwest Federation of Community
and National Korean American Service & Education Consortium.

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