President Obama responded to a request from eight-year-old Mari Copeny, a.k.a “Little Miss Flint” to meet with the president with some big news. Obama is coming to Flint to meet with residents and discuss the federal response efforts to the crisis.
Mari wrote to Obama, “Hello my name is Mari Copeny and I’m 8 years old, I live in Flint, Michigan and I’m more commonly known around town as “Little Miss Flint”. I am one of the children that is effected by this water, and I’ve been doing my best to march in protest and to speak out for all the kids that live here in Flint. This Thursday I will be riding a bus to Washington, D.C. to watch the congressional hearings of our Governor Rick Snyder. I know this is probably an odd request but I would love for a chance to meet you or your wife. My mom said chances are you will be too busy with more important things, but there is a lot of people coming on these buses and even just a meeting from you or your wife would really lift people’s spirits. Thank you for all that do for our country. I look forward to being able to come to Washington and to be able to see Gov. Snyder in person and to be able to be in the city where you live.”
President Obama wrote Mari back:
Thank you for writing to me. You’re right that Presidents are often busy, but the truth is, in America, there is no more important title than citizen. And I am so proud of you for using your voice to speak out on behalf of the children of Flint.
That’s why I want you to be the first to know that I’m coming to visit Flint on May 4th. I want to make sure people like you and your family are receiving the help you need and deserve. Like you, I’ll use my voice to call for change and help lift up your community.
Letters from kids like you are what make me so optimistic for the future. I hope to meet you next week, “Little Miss Flint.”
There is a political purpose to President Obama’s visit. Senate Republicans have been stonewalling federal aid to Flint for months. Last week, Senate Republicans forced a vote on an amendment that would have stripped federal aid for Flint out of the energy and water appropriations bill.
Republicans expect disaster aid for their states, but when a Republican governor poisons majority African-American residents of a city in a blue state, Senate Republicans change their tune and demand that the federal aid is taken out of other programs that benefit the city and state.
Obama is coming to Flint to put pressure on Senate Republicans to do their jobs. The city need the President’s help, and thanks to a letter from one little girl, President Obama is coming to Flint.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association