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Sign the New Haven CT community letter to Mr. Trump

This petition had 216 supporters


February 7, 2017

The Honorable Donald J. Trump

President

1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

Washington, DC 20500

 


Dear President Trump: 

We the undersigned members of the New Haven community write to express our concern about numerous policies that you have espoused and appointments that you have made that run counter to the principles and values of our country.  Despite a divisive Presidential campaign, on Election Night you spoke of wanting to unite the country.  Rather than unite, we are concerned that your actions and appointments further divide our nation.  

New Haven was recently cited by FiveThirtyEight  (https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/normal-america-is-not-a-small-town-of-white-people/?ex_cid=538twitter) as the City that most exemplifies the diversity of America.  A representative group of this diverse City has been meeting for months around issues of shared concern and has gathered to draft this community letter to you.  Specifically we wish to call out the following areas of concern.

We are concerned about your promises to repeal the Affordable Healthcare Act without any clear plan for replacement.  We note your campaign promise to ensure healthcare for all yet remain skeptical in the absence of specifics.  While we don’t want the ACA repealed or replaced, we are open to revisions that improve affordable access for all.  Any new policy must retain the following provisions:   access for the greatest number of people; coverage for pre-existing conditions which affects ½ million people in Connecticut; dependent coverage extended until the age of 26; and maintenance of coverage for Mental Health Care. Any new healthcare proposals must maintain continuity of coverage  and ensure there will be no gaps for anyone currently covered. Additionally we would hope that any changes or modifications would include increased flexibility in the types of plans offered; ability for insurers to cross state lines; and increased affordability which depends on controls on the pharmaceutical industry, medical costs and tort reform.

In addition to attacks on the Affordable Health Care Act, we are intensely concerned about threats to defund Planned Parenthood because of the impact on access to women’s health care, family planning methods and adequate sexual education aimed at the prevention of sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancies.    Defunding Planned Parenthood most impacts women of color, low income and rural women who depend on Planned Parenthood for well woman care, birth control and screenings.  One in 6 women of reproductive age are enrolled in Medicaid and millions will be directly impacted by the funding ban. While your actions are presumably driven by anti-choice advocates, in truth only 3 percent of all Planned Parenthood services are abortion services.  Your actions will instead  punish 55 million women who access free birth control and sex education, as well as services for the LGBTQI community.  Planned Parenthood is widely supported by the majority of women, including 48% of Trump voters who oppose these actions.  

Secondly, we are dismayed by your rhetoric and recent actions which seek to target undocumented immigrants and sanctuary cities, halt the refugee resettlement program, and ban travel for citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries. We urge you not to view refugees and immigrants as "security threats" but as the contributing, indispensable, and values-driven new Americans that they are. New Haven's refugee and undocumented community, and their foreign- and native-born friends and neighbors, formally invite you to visit our sanctuary city, meet members of these communities, and experience how our international diversity makes us stronger economically, civically, and culturally. About 17 percent of New Haven's 130,000+ residents are immigrants^, from Mexico, China, Ecuador, Jamaica, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, and many other nations. Our city is the fastest-growing in Connecticut, the rapid growth caused by a rising immigrant population even as our native-born population declines. New Haven's immigrant population is more highly skilled and more likely to be employed than our native-born population. Naturalized citizens in New Haven are more likely to be home owners, and foreign-born residents are more likely to own small businesses in our communities than native-born residents*. Our foreign-born neighbors bring an attractive diversity to our public schools and to our artistic, musical, culinary, and academic communities that makes New Haven a destination in the Northeast. But welcoming immigrants and refugees is not only economically and civically smart; welcoming those who seek safety, freedom, and opportunity in our country is a quintessential American value. We call on you to visit our city and see why it is imperative that you rescind your orders targeting refugees, Muslims, undocumented immigrants and sanctuary cities. We urge you to focus your policies instead on providing paths to citizenship for all immigrants, increasing the number of refugees- without regard to religion or nationality- to resettle in our country this year, and celebrating all that immigrants bring to our cities and nation. 

Third, we are a community committed to creating an effective public education system as the most powerful way of building a strong citizenry and building successful individuals.  Those who set policy and lead our Nation’s Department of Education must demonstrate a commitment to policy that supports effective public education and access to higher education.  We seek affordability in higher education, accessibility to quality public schools- in all their forms, and accountability for all who are responsible for public education in our country.  We need to give public education enough support and resources  to ensure that public schools are the choice for all Americans.  New Haven is a community that boasts an array of traditional and charter public schools, private and parochial schools.  We remind you that all public schools must appropriately resourced and held to the highest expectations and that schools must be prevented from student selection procedures that unfairly benefit charter over traditional.  

Finally, in seeking to be a President for all Americans, we are dismayed by the controversial make up of your advisors and Cabinet picks.  Several are notably white Nationalists and anti-Civil Rights in their policy and actions.  As the city that most reflects the wonderful diversity of this country, we cannot remain silent in the face of such appointments.  Additionally you have selected Cabinet-level nominees who lack any relevant experience in the respective fields or who have held positions that are antithetical to the very mission of the department they are tapped to lead.  We note threats to our rights of due process under the law by your confirmed nominee for Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.  We note the threat posed to a balanced prosecution of the law and the threat posed to a robust defense of our constitutionally guaranteed rights and liberties and the lack of Voting Rights protections by your nominee for Attorney General.  We note the incongruity of appointing an Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency who has consistently fought against and brought litigation around efforts to protect the quality of the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, and the planet upon which we live.  Your nominee for the Department of Energy has sought to eliminate the very agency he is tapped to lead.  Your nominee for Labor is anti-labor and seeks to eliminate employment opportunities.  Your Secretaries of Education and Housing and Urban Development are distinctly unqualified for the positions.  In sum, you have not selected qualified candidates who reflect the diversity of America nor have you taken steps to be the President of All Americans as promised on Election Night.

We call on you to demonstrate your ability to be the President of all the people.  We call on you to reconsider your positions on Immigration, Affordable Health Care, Women’s Reproductive Health, Education and these appointments and to take specific steps to create an administration that is competent and qualified and reflective of the diversity of this country.

Sincerely yours, 
The undersigned members of the New Haven, CT community



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