Dear Joe Biden
We know it’s your first day in office as president, but many of us want you to know we’ll be holding your administration accountable on a number of issues.
So what do we want to see over the next four years? We asked around to gather some thoughts and hopes for you. From immigration to healthcare, we have a LOT on our minds.
Antonio Villasenor-Baca, 24
El Paso, TX
Living on the border, I want to know the CBP, Border Patrol, and ICE will be held accountable for what they do. And that there will be any sort of checks and balances within those agencies that have seemingly been self-governing, especially under this last administration.
This incoming administration needs to show that it won’t be more of the same as the last four years. For the sake of my community, I want to know that the Latinx will matter to the administration and not just … next election year.
Ilana Drake, 17
New York, NY
Dear Joe Biden,
Your win means that we can heal our wounds to become the “United States” again. As a disability activist, please teach Americans what being inclusive and kind means. As a Jewish American, please confront the intolerance our nation has witnessed. As a high school student, please ensure that every student has access to a quality education. As a teenager, please take advice from youth and allow us to be part of the decisions you make.
Trevor S. Odom, 22
I wish President Biden much success in his tenure. As president, I would like him to always remember that he was elected by the American people and never to forget us in his decisions and policy making. While helping the world is a noble gesture, I ask him to consider this in all his decisions, “Is this policy the best for the American people?” If not, the policy or decision should be re-evaluated so that the decision is in the best interests of the American people.
Ranen Miao, 20
St. Louis, MO
I’m excited to see President Biden’s bold commitments to uplift student voices and create a Department of Education that centers the public good over private interests. As a student body president, I’ve seen how the Trump administration has implemented draconian Title IX policies, which have harmed survivors of interpersonal violence, restricted the visa rights of international students who enrich college communities like my own, and repealed critical anti-discrimination protections.
I’m hoping to see new Title IX protections which build on the Obama-era policies, codification of protections for international students, and student loan relief for low-income students to access higher education.
Sebastian Gomez, 21
I am writing on behalf of myself and every agricultural worker I have ever known. I’ve worked in Washington orchards since I was 16, every summer until I turned 20. That work is grueling and despite Washington having more worker protections than most places, a lot of us were working in unsafe and inhumane conditions.
With COVID-19, the job has only become more dangerous. We feed America and I am asking Biden to roll out worker protections and livable wages for agricultural workers. We desperately need it. We cannot be breaking our backs for 10 dollars an hour.
Virginia Leah Gaffney-Baco, 21
Chronically ill and mobility aid-using communities are still looking for a sign that Biden’s administration will put effort into creating a safe world “on the other side” of this pandemic.
Will he encourage the enforcement of lockdowns, build infrastructure for the support of immunosuppressed folks, hire innovative thinkers to create solutions for disabled people?
Can the placard-carrying real “blue lives” count on him to consider our needs as we face a “post-COVID” world that has pushed us into uncomfortable living situations — or worse, out of our homes completely?
Scout Edmondson, 19
I’d like to see Biden put in subsidies for energy companies and car companies to commit more renewable energy. I’d like to see him start to explore other solutions like putting a carbon tax on companies and people that have a bigger carbon footprint, incentivizing them to be more environmentally friendly.
This affects everybody. Nothing will matter if we can’t grow food in certain places. Nothing will matter if half the country is uninhabitable due to drought and the other half is being drowned by hurricanes.