Earlier this month, 17 seventh graders from Olmsted Academy South wrote and read letters about what they hope the next Louisville mayor can accomplish to the offices’ two leading candidates: Republican Bill Dieruf and Democrat Craig Greenberg.
Even though we now know that Democrat Craig Greenberg will be the next mayor of Louisville, LEO is excited to reprint some of the children’s letters.
They provide a poignant look at the concerns of the city’s youth.
These “Dear Future Mayor” letters were written in a collaborative project between Young Authors Greenhouse and Olmsted Academy South. Young Authors Greenhouse is a non-profit that inspires students ages 6-18 to recognize the power of their voices and stories. To learn more and support this work, visit www.youngauthorsgreenhouse.org.
Dear Future Mayor,
My name is Hawa and I’m 12 years old in 7th grade. What matters to me is that I’m protected by my family, friends, and my school.
What I love about Louisville is that even if a lot of people don’t like Louisville, there are still people who try to be fair and make fair laws.
But personally, I feel like people who are a different religion than you doesn’t mean you should treat them like they are any different than you. I think people should treat everyone equally, even if they are not the same as you. People should respect our religions, because some religions preach the goodness of truth and moral living, love and compassion.
We should respect all religions in the same manner, as we respect our own religion and who we are on our own. Some religions do not get the same respect and fair laws just depending on who they are and what they believe in.
People think it’s weird when me and people of my religion eat different foods. And the way we dress. How we celebrate religious holidays. This makes me feel upset because it’s normal when they do it? But suddenly when it’s me it’s not normal.
What I think you should do to change this problem is, make a special effort to involve businesses, schools, houses of worship, politicians, children, and members of targeted groups. Let victims know you care. Surround them with comfort and protection. Speak up on situations that include hate towards others because in the end we are all equal.
Good luck on your job now and the future,
Hey Dear Future Mayor,
I’m Nevaeh. The things I love about Louisville are the waterfront and the places you could go, like the restaurants. Even though a lot happens here, it is still a fun place to be. We know not everyone is perfect and no one will ever be. Sometimes we have to acknowledge the fact that we live in a bright, full-spirited city.
But, Future Mayor, I want to know why there are so many violent things going on in our city?
It feels like everywhere I go to enjoy myself and have fun, there is always something or someone that just shuts the whole party down.
Guns and pocket knives are being sold to anyone. It doesn’t matter your age.
You could walk down the street or even look at your phone and see a 14, 15, or maybe even 13 year old holding a fully-loaded gun in their hands. Why?? These weapons are getting sold anywhere to anyone without any background check whatsoever. It is so dangerous and scary, because you never know what might happen.
I just want to solve this issue and I’m asking for your help, dear future mayor.
I know it is a lot of responsibility, but it would help a lot of young lives.
On July 2, a boy named Allen Wilson was shot. He later died in the hospital. This is very sad and gruesome.
We need to have some way of keeping guns off the streets.
A lot of violence happens in states and cities every single day. But you cannot change what is going on in other cities, but you can change ours.
We should be able to go places without having to have police officers and security everywhere. It is not fair for kids, but it is also not fair for families and loved ones who want to go out and have a great time.
I also feel like parents should not have weapons around kids. According to the news, on April 24, 2022, a two-year-old accidentally shot himself.
We all have big, important roles to play, but you have an even bigger role to play than us. You can change things in ways that we cannot. So I’m just asking you, and only you, how can you help make this city a better place?
Thank you, Dear Future Mayor.
Dear Future Mayor,
Hi, my name is Inaas and I am 12 years old. I go to Olmsted Academy South.
I love Louisville and all the amazing buildings and statues surrounding you. It truly is an amazing place.
I would like to tell you about something that matters to me: cultural representation.
Most people don’t look at it. I celebrate Eid sometimes during school time and I have never really missed any days without getting it excused. Christian Americans celebrate their holidays without having to be absent. Everyone just gets the day off.
What about us? Why do we have to excuse our holidays?
Let’s talk about holidays! I know we all at least celebrate one of them. Most people celebrate Christian Holidays in the United states.
I know that there are a lot of different religions. I know that we can change the fact that there is only one culture and religion that is prominently shown in Louisville.
Do you want that to represent us?
We all know that there are LOTS of different types of people in Louisville.
Most of us come from different parts of the world.
We all should be representing everyone, not just one religion and culture!
Why do we have to be counted absent for something we celebrate and not you? Why do we have to? Why don’t Christians have to do the same?
I know we can change. Let’s not just try, but let’s succeed.
Muhammad Ali is one of the most known people in Louisville. He is a great example of cultural representation. We need more of that.
Diwali was on October 24. I have a friend from India and she is Hindu. She had to get a note prepared to miss school on this holiday.
Why does she have to do it?
How is this fair? How can you help? Dear Future Mayor, how can you change this? Not for me, for the people.
Why does this have to be a free country for only one kind of person?
Good luck and stay well,
Dear Future Mayor,
I am 13 years old and I enjoy Louisville. I think that the area I am in is safe and the schools are educational and welcoming, but personally I think we have a few issues.
I dont think it’s addressed much but coming from a girl point-of-view, I think that hygiene and care for women should be talked about, especially concerning menstruation.
Women are most likely to spend around $4,752 in their lifetime just on pads. We buy the products we need, wincing and groaning at the price tag. We are forced to pay the price for being a woman.
Most women get their period at a certain age. Even little girls at the age of 11-13. But it’s not something we choose.
Periods might be physically uncomfortable, but the worst part is that we have to pay for tampons, pads, and other hygiene items to keep ourselves clean, healthy and safe while our bodies do what they do.
This is what we need, not want.
Louisville should try and focus on these things. I suggest these things that women need and are important should be free for anyone in need.
Even leaving pads, tampons, and deodorant around in public bathrooms/areas would be helpful. It would reduce stress on women’s shelters, and reduce waste.
Congratulations on your new job. I hope it goes well for you in the present and the future.
A Seventh Grader
Hello Future Mayor!!
Let me introduce myself if I may!
My name is Aaliyah and I am in the seventh grade at Olmsted Academy South.
Something that matters to me most is the people I am surrounded by.
I would never want to lose one of my family friends. Or my friends, who I am slowly growing up to be with.
I like Louisville mostly. I love driving on bridges and looking at the water below.
But now to the actual message and what I truly want to say. There have been some issues that have been on my mind regularly. One of the issues is police brutality. Did you know that some police have been targeting Black people and people of color?
Police are quick to use violence against Black citizens even when it is later provided they have done nothing.
Police brutality can include beatings, racial abused, unlawful killing, torture, and even descriminate use of riot control tactics.
People, children, have been killed by the people supposed to protect society.
Black people like George Floyd, Michael Brown, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, and many more.
Did they deserve the death of people they thought would help them?
Do people deserve this? Should justice be solved truthfully? Should we ignore actions that could be happening right now at this very moment?
I feel like this is very unfair. Not just to Black people but to everyone that is affected by it
I want to help stop these brutal actions but I know that I can’t.
Could you help me? Could you help us ?
Though I know these questions may not be answered
I hope you can help us. You could help change the cause.
Have a good time as mayor.
Dear Future Mayor,
Hello my name is Karen and I go to OAS. I am 12 years old in the 7th grade.
I feel like the world is slowly falling apart everyday but we are doing our best to stop it. There are many people out there who don’t care about our world and act in unreasonable ways, despite this, Kentucky is still a happy place.
I am personally concerned about safety in schools. Kids are dying because of school shootings, not just here in Kentucky, it’s all around the country.
Sexual assaults are another thing I’m here to talk about. According to RAINN, 13% of all students experience sexual assault through physical force, or violence (among all graduate and undergraduate students).
Usually kids in middle school or high school are the ones who commit suicide because they are being harrased by certain people. I found out on the 27th of May 2022 that a classmate of mine had committed suicide.
I feel like this type of violence should stop. I feel like coming to school is not very safe, and I know I’m not the only one.
I feel like you as the mayor should put more focus on children in schools, although many other people are already taking care of that problem bit by bit, the mayor should still pay more attention to school safety. I hope you listen to all the peoples opinions.
Congratulations on being the Mayor,
Dear Future Mayor,
I feel that people in the LGBTQIA+ community can be mistreated.
I feel this because many people in the community are patronized and even have hate crimes done to them because they are themselves. I even experience this because I am trans, and some people I know are quite transphobic, homophobic, and even racist.
Also, according to NBC News, in just 2020 alone, hate crimes motivated by gender bias rose by 20%.
Many people commit suicide because they aren’t accepted by those around them. According to The Trevor Project, LGBTQ+ youth are four times more likely to consider suicide seriously.
Teens and adults ages 13–24 attempt suicide every 45 seconds in the United States alone.
Why should we go through being scared to show who we are?
Why do we have to be told we are wrong for being born in the wrong body?
When will we get accepted by those we should look up to?
Why are some of us neglected and even kicked out because of how we were born?
Some of these questions won’t be answered, because that will never happen.
Although The Trevor Project is out there, many people still don’t have access to the internet. Even though people might have access to the internet, they can be monitored heavily so they can’t reach out.
Many don’t believe we should have rights, due to us not being the gender we were born as. I never asked to hate what I look like and wonder why I was born like this. I don’t want to wonder why I’ll never be loved by those I should look up to because of who I am.
But, I do.
I know this may not happen soon, but I just wish for things to be out there to encourage us, help us be brave, and be strong so we can get through this.
You could teach kids that being themselves and respecting others is okay.
If you do this you can spark hope in many children, teens, and adults who are struggling with rejection.
a scared member of the LGBTQ+ community.
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