In this crisis, we need the president's leadership. President Obama can provide the knowledge, vision and inspiration to bring us together to address the crisis. He can speak to the children to calm their fears.
Mr. President, as you know, last week, 15-year-old
Last year, in
The threat of violence accompanies the blight of misery. Less than 10 percent of low-income, minority teens in
The recession has destroyed homes as well as jobs. With mass foreclosures, plywood boards replace windowpanes. Abandoned homes shelter not families, but the desperate. Neighborhoods decline with the loss of hospitals, the closing of schools. In
Mr. President, you inspired America with your inaugural call honor the promise of Martin Luther King and the freedom movements. In Newtown and in your gun-violence proposals, you have shown the courage it requires to lead.
After Hadiya's shooting, more police were pledged to patrol the streets. But as you know from your time on these streets, Mr. President, you cannot police poverty. You cannot police broken dreams or shattered aspirations.
You can issue the summons to America to face this challenge. You can reassure these children that America cares for them and values them, knowing, as you said in your inaugural address, that we are "true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else because she is an American, she is free, and she is equal not just in the eyes of God but also in our own."
We know the fierce resistance you face in
So, too, it is with the crisis of
Come home, Mr. President, your city needs you.
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