By: Rich Feldman
May 16, 2008
This is my open letter to the people of Wayne, Macomb and Oakland County. Obama’s recent visit to Michigan can be more than a politicians attempt to get votes. The Obama Campaign provides a tremendous opportunity for Michigan to begin to create a new American Dream for the 21 century. Along with the legitimate criticism of the Bush years, this is an opportunity for us to take responsibility as citizens to create local economies and local ethical politics that will provide security for ourselves and our children. Obama has challenged people to leave behind the categories, the labels, the boxes and small thinking that has divided us by race, technology and
economics. Our state is filled by fears, insecurities and hopelessness which leads to blaming others, the Unions, the Mexicans, the Chinese, the politicians rather than accept responsibility to change our thinking and engage with others to become citizens committed to a new economics and a new politics. Obama has inspired a new generation to think about what American can become. Michigan needs to become part of this opportunity. Democracy starts with compassion and citizenship. Democracy is about the public good and the recognition that security comes from community and inclusion, not blaming and whining.
- There is enough land in Detroit and our state to feed all our citizens. We need a state wide initiative and local movement to create a sustainable green economy before 2025.
- There are enough retired people in our state who can create a safe streets movement in our cities
- There are enough skilled union workers in our state to train young people to repair and rehab homes in our cities.
- There are enough unemployed people to be trained in community preventative health care skills and careers.
- There is enough imagination to create mass transit so we can save on energy, provide opportunities and move people and goods across our state.
Obama not only needs our vote, he needs our imagination and we need his spirit of hope. Just as he has challenged the US domestic auto industry, he is challenging us to be citizens for the 21 century. We need to listen to the fears and the dreams of our neighbors and then work to become good neighbors to each other. Good neighbors locally and good neighbors globally. That’s what Martin Luther King meant when he talked about the need for a radical revolution in values and the need for us to become global citizens.