This is historical material “frozen in time”. The website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work.

Search form

Letters to President Obama


Lisa Martin, Papillion, Nebraska

January 28, 2015

Dear Mr. President,
Every night while I wake up to feed my newborn child, Cooper, I catch up on news and read current events. This morning at four A.M., I found myself feeling very distraught. I started reading countless articles about the environment and how your Administration is currently trying to conserve the Alaskan wilderness. While I am so thankful policies are being made for Alaska, I still have this sinking feeling of dread and sadness. Will my son be able to thrive on this planet? Will he be able to experience the small things, such as winter in Nebraska, where he has snowdays and sledding? Where he comes home to me cooking homemade hot cocoa for him, like I did? 
Sadly I think the answer is no. I found myself coming to tears at this realization with his small body in my lap because I am the type of person that wants to make change happen, to control things and fix them immediately. 
I began to think about how helpless our children are to all these issues and how much responsibility rests on our shoulders. I provide for my child every day through food, and shelter, but I am unable to guarantee he will have a real future on our planet. I am powerless to put any real change into action. I realized I am just a high school English teacher emailing the president at four in the morning. 
I am sure this email will never reach you, but in this moment, I decided reaching out to the one man that can do something would make me feel some sort of solace. Listening to my son breathing next to me gave me a feeling of urgency. 
So, what do I want? I guess I just want to know my son will not have to go to the zoo to see polar bears. I want him to know, like we know today, that they exist out there in the wild. I want him to breathe in the air and not be afraid of pollution. I want him to lay under the trees and for him to feel peace in the simplicity of that moment of breathing in the beauty of grandeur of nature. I want him to one day dream of his own children and for him to know that our generation protected his future through protecting the world we live in. 
As I stated above, I am just a high school English teacher who has now become a mother so thank you for reading my early morning fears. I could write for hours about my feelings of dread, but hopefully this small excerpt of my fears will influence some of your thoughts and bring some type of larger change to Cooper's world.