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Open letter to President Obama by Congresswoman Karen Bass
By Congresswoman Karen Bass
Published January 18, 2017
President Barack Obama walks across the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Monday, Dec. 6, 2010, to board Marine One helicopter as he travels to Winston-Salem, N.C. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

President Barack Obama walks across the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Monday, Dec. 6, 2010, to board Marine One helicopter as he travels to Winston-Salem, N.C. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Dear President Obama,

Thank you for the grace you’ve shown through both tribulation and triumph over the past eight years of your presidency.

You inherited the country on the brink of economic collapse and your coverage plan gave healthcare to millions of Americans and secured health benefits for millions more. You created jobs in clinics and hospitals that were not there before and you made sure to attack the discrimination in the insurance industry head on. Average wages in our country are rising and unemployment rates are low. You are leaving this country better than where we were eight years ago.

The impact of your presidency was more than your policy agenda. You showed our country grace, you showed our country compassion. You showed our country that it’s ok to break into song when your heart is filled with sadness. You showed our country courage as we took down the mastermind of the deadliest attack on American soil in the 21st century.

But as you said in your farewell address last week, it’s important that we aren’t complacent with our goals. You said that we are not where we need to be and that we all have more work to do. I could not agree more.

My constituents are worried about these next four years and I am too. But I have faith that the principles you led our country with over the last eight years will serve us well.

You have shown our next generation of leaders the way. Somewhere in South Los Angeles there is a group of teenage black boys and girls who don’t know what it’s like to have a President that doesn’t look like them. You gave our community that. You gave Black America that.

This Friday, you will leave the White House as President of the United States for the last time. Know that as you leave, black and brown children will know that it is possible to live your dreams and Black America will know that yes, we can.

Thank you for your leadership. Thank you for your care for this country and our community.  Thank you for your service.

Sincerely,

Karen Bass

Categories: Op-Ed | Opinion | Political
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