An Open Letter to President-Elect Donald Trump

November 10, 2016 OPINION/NEWS

Eric Thayer

 

By

Sami Jamil Jadallah

 

Dear Mr. Trump,

First, let me congratulate you on your election and I have to admit, for a non-politician you did a hell of job understanding and speaking the language of Main Street America, which sad to say has been neglected by America’s political elite, Democrats and Republicans alike.

I am one of the millions who did not vote for you. I was a Bernie Sanders supporter, not because he was a “socialist” or as some called him “Communist”, but because he has almost the same message to Main Street you had. Perhaps he was more eloquent, but nevertheless, he spoke in defense of the hundreds of millions disfranchised and neglected by Washington and its elites. And here I include lifetime members of Congress, and as he spoke of the collusion between Washington and Wall Street, a rigged system in favor of the rich and powerful, definitely against Main Street.

I did not vote for you because you disfranchise me as a Muslim-American. You offended me without knowing that I am a loyal citizen who served in our army with four other brothers who served in the US Army and Marine Corps. You ruled us as disloyal citizens when in fact millions of us made America our choice and are loyal Americans who care about the safety and security of our country, of our cities and our neighborhoods as you do, given the fact that we are the first line of defense against terrorism.

We are just like all segments of American society. We are loyal Americans; law-abiding citizens with higher than average education, hard working and for the most part do not depend on government handouts but on our hard work. We also share the same American values like our neighbors, our colleagues at work and our fellows at the health club. I think you were unfair to “us” as a group of citizens.

I did not vote for you because I was not convinced of your message and promise to bring back jobs to America when in fact in all your years as a businessman you did not invest in any manufacturing jobs to keep Main Street America working.

Rather you invested in casinos, which you should know will never assist a neglected city toward economic recovery, casinos only fleecing poor people who think they can beat the house and win the jackpot, they never do. Just look at Gary, Detroit or Atlantic City.

I did not vote for you because you did not offer a better health care plan for America that keeps the price charged by private insurers down and making it a universal coverage where everyone, irrespective of income or state of health, can have health care, pay for it, and need not choose between paying the mortgage or paying the medical bills, or deciding to split after 50 years of marriage to pay for a catastrophic illness.

I want to tell you as a retired person that I had to buy supplemental health insurance. I purchased a policy through AARP from UnitedHealth and was paying $258/month, only to find out that the UnitedHealth CEO makes $60.5m a year, which means it will take me 19,500 years just to pay his annual salary. I don’t mind if CEO’s make millions in salaries, but we all know when there is something wrong.

Sorry to say that you did not mention the millions of people who lost their homes, jobs, pensions and life savings during the financial crisis. While our government bailed out the banks, the banks never bailed out the very people who lost everything. Our neoliberal economy and financial system are in your own words “rigged” and we hope you can fix it.

It is unconscionable for the poor, besides being poor to pay extra for everything from car loans to mortgages to health insurance or attend poor schools, just because they live in certain zip codes. As someone who employs thousands of these hard working people, you should do something about it.

America needs a sense of justice and fairness, so that whether we are rich or poor or you live in an upper scale or poorer zip code, you are not discriminated against by a ‘rigged’ system because you are poor.

You also spoke of taking care of Veterans and we hope you will do that because Veterans, after all, served their country, faced death, are not cowards or lazy to work. All those who maintained aircraft carriers, submarines, tanks, fighter jets, maintained and operated motor pools or were part of logistic or communication or engineering units they knew their stuff and are well qualified to not only maintain but also manufacture the necessary tools they worked on while in military service.

That is why the Veterans Housing & Education Foundation, a not for profit 501-C-3 organization looks forward to your support and the support of your administration to help us empower Veterans through education, through housing and more importantly through manufacturing jobs and operating and managing technical and vocational schools. We have big plans to re-invent cities and towns in the Rust Belt setting up comprehensive “Veterans Villages” where veterans will live and work, their children going to school, with clinics and rehabilitation centers and most importantly where they will run and operate the kind of manufacturing jobs you talked about. I do not mean minimum wage jobs, but highly skilled manufacturing jobs producing goods and services that US military contractors can buy and use, ones that US consumers will give preference to. We know they will if they know “Veterans” make the products.

At the Veterans Housing & Education Foundation, we plan to cooperate and invite countries like Germany and Switzerland and Scandinavian countries that proved highly paid manufacturing jobs do not need to be exported to China or Mexico. We will partner with them in setting up vocational and apprentice schools for Veterans and where high schooler’s will have a choice between a minimum wage job or a highly paid skilled job, learning and developing manufacturing skills and retooling the skills of hundreds of thousands of people who lost their job and whom our government neglected to do something about for over 30 years.

We do think that we can make a big difference in revitalizing towns and cities in the Mid-West and in states like North and South Carolina that saw the loss of many manufacturing jobs. Our Veterans have the skills, talents and commitments.

The kind of jobs and skills they did to perfection in the military they can certainly do in civilian life. We only need you and your administration to be on our side. We will revitalize towns like Detroit, Toledo, Youngstown, Allentown, St. Louis, Milwaukee and many of the towns and cities that fell into hard times. You talk about rebuilding the infrastructure; you have a ready skilled labor force to do just that.

There are millions of us and we are ready to go to work just like we did when we were in the military, dedicated, hard working and skilled, all is needed is the opportunity to get fully engaged to provide the honorable life for us and our families.

Our objective is to empower all Veterans through educational partnership securing at least one scholarship from each junior college or university campus, raise enough money through trust funds to help with interest-free down payments for 5 years and set up maintenance and operation companies that can serve large communities working with developers to create opportunities for Veterans that will also have good return on investment, as well as run and operate Veterans-owned VA clinics and rehabilitation centers throughout the country.

In conclusion, I hope you are right, that you will be the president of All of the people irrespective of race, color, faith or national origin, and that you will keep your commitments to Main Street through the appointment of executives outside Wall Street. I am sure America has so many competent people outside the power corridor of Washington-Boston. America needs fresh faces with new innovative ideas not the recycling of old faces and talents.

We wish you good luck. It will not be an easy task to heal the many wounds left as a result of this election, and you need to allay the fears of many people like me and the millions of immigrants who need to know the next step. You must treat these people with respect and dignity as they are not thieves, rapists and terrorists, but people who fell on hard times and are without hope; they came to America seeking a better life. I hope that the “immigration issue” will be handled with the moral standard America holds, with fairness, dignity for all and does not succumb to ugly hateful politics.

 

Good luck Mr. Trump.

 

 

Respectfully yours

 

Sami Jamil Jadallah

US-Army 66-68

Founder & Executive Director

Veterans Housing & Education Foundation

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sami Jamil Jadallah

Sami is a Palestinian-American immigrated to the US while in high school. He was drafted in the US Army during Vietnam War earning the leadership award from the US Sixth Army Non-Commission Officer Academy.

After honorable discharge, Sami enrolled at Indiana University where he was active in student politics, elected class president, student president and chairman of the Indiana Student Association representing students from all colleges and universities in the State of Indiana.

Sami earned his Bachelor Degree (economics and politics), Master of Public and Environmental Affairs and Doctor of Jurisprudence. After a 2 years stint with a major Wall Street law firm Sami took on the job as general counsel of a major international construction company in Saudi Arabia. As an international legal and business consultant, Sami served as owner representative on major projects such as hotels, conservation foundation, defense, and technology.

In the area of public service, Sami was the founding member of the United Palestinian Appeal, a well known not for profit organization serving the needs of Palestinians refugees with over $100 millions in projects and donations serving 16 years as a trustee.

Sami as founding member and executive director of the New Arab Foundation, a US based Not for Profit Tax Exemp, a think tank (with a mission) and management consulting organization, and is working now on the launching of the Arab Peace Crops inspired by President John F Kennedy’s American Peace Corps.

Sami lives in Fairfax, VA and is married to Dr. Alma Abdul-Hadi Jadallah an international expert in mediations and conflict resolution, they have three children all living and working in Washington DC.

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