Open Letter to President-Elect Donald Trump

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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 of disfranchised voters. You, Mr. Trump, 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 I felt that you attempted to 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 lumped us in as disloyal citizens, when in fact, millions of us made America our choice; and we are loyal Americans who care about the safety and security of our country, of our cities and our neighborhoods, as you do. Some of us, as veterans, signed up to be in the first line of defense against terrorism.

muslim-americans-2

Muslim-Americans are just like all segments of American society. We are loyal Americans, and law-abiding citizens, with higher than average education; we are 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 as you should know, never will assist a neglected city toward economic recovery; rather casinos only fleece the 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 chose between paying the mortgage or paying the medical bills, or deciding to split after 50 years of marriage to pay for catastrophic illness.

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

wall street bull

Sorry to say that you did not mention or speak of the millions of people who lost their homes, their jobs, their pensions, and their life saving during the 2008 financial crisis.

While our government bailed out the banks, the banks never bailed out the very people who lost everything. Our neo-liberal economy and financial system and in your own words are “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 mortgage loan 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 whether you live in an upper scale or poorer zip code are not discriminated against by a ‘rigged’ system because you are poor.

Communities helping communities
Communities helping communities

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 logistics or communication or engineering units knew their stuff; and they are well-qualified to not only maintain but also to 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 and through housing, and more important, through manufacturing jobs and operating technical and vocational schools.

We have big plans to reinvent cities and towns in the Rust Belt, setting up comprehensive “Veterans Villages” where veterans will live and work, and their children will go to school. The veterans will have clinics and rehabilitation centers. The veterans 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, and US consumers will give preference to. We know they will prefer them, if they know “Veterans” make the products.

At the Veterans Housing & Education Foundation, we plan to cooperate and invite countries like Germany, Switzerland and Scandinavian countries, whose economies have proved that 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, to have a choice between a minimum wage job or a highly paid, skilled job — providing training for developing manufacturing skills and retooling the skills of hundreds of thousands of people who lost their jobs and whom our government neglected to do something about for over 30 years.

We think that we can make a difference in revitalizing towns and cities in the Midwest and in states like North and South Carolina that saw the loss of many manufacturing jobs. Our Veterans have the skills and the talents and the discipline.

The kind of jobs and skills they did to perfection in the military, certainly they can do that 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. Lewis, Milwaukee and many of the towns and cities that fell into a hard time. You talk about rebuilding the infrastructure; you have a ready, skilled labor force to do just that.

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There are millions of us, and we are ready to go to work, just like we did when we were in the military, bringing dedication, hard work and skills; all that 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; raising enough money through trust funds to help with interest-free down payments for 5 years; and setting 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, also to 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 many competent people outside the power corridor of Washington-to-Boston. America needs fresh faces, with new innovative ideas, not recycling of old faces and talents from inner circles.

I wish you good luck. It may 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 what is the next step. You must treat these people with respect and dignity, as they are not thieves and rapists and terrorists, but people who fell on a hard time and have lost hope, although 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 rising above hateful politics.

Good luck Mr. Trump.

Very respectfully yours,

Sami Jamil Jadallah, Founder & Executive Director, Veterans Housing & Education Foundation
and US-Army 66-68

Fairfax, VA
9 November 2016

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Author Details
Sami, a Palestinian-American and a US Army Veteran (66-68), recipient of the “soldier of the month award and leadership award from the 6th Army NCO Academy, is an international legal and business consultant with over 40 years of international experience, in construction, hospitality services, conservation and defense, in the Middle East, Europe and North Africa. Sami is a holder of BA, MPA in Public and Environmental Affairs, Jurist Doctor from Indiana University. While at IU he was elected class president, student government president and chairman of the Indiana Students Association, Active in peace movement as a co-author of the pre-amble for the One State for All of its people and voluntary service program SalamNation. A frequent contributor on national and international affairs. He resides in the United States.
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