Washington, IL mother Rebecca Richardson wrote a letter last week directed at President Obama. It quickly went viral. As a response to this letter, she created a petition on White House.gov asking the President to look at FEMA reform and it’s outdated policies on how aid is distributed.
According to Richardson “Our town is only one town among many who are being subjected to outdated formulas. Being denied aid on the city level will have consequences. If not now, most certainly in the future.” She went on to state, “The state of IL is broke. It’s not secret. This $45 million package being provided to the towns affected by the Nov. 17th tornado will have to come from somewhere.”
Richardson’s hope is to draw attention not only to the petition, which requires 100,000 signatures to make it to the Presidents desk, but also to the FEMA system in general.
“Good people went through a horrible, traumatic event. The last thing they need is further trauma.” she says.
“This isn’t just a Washington, IL issue. It’s an American issue. It is only when we are willing to stand up and use our voices to fight for what we believe in that our democracy can work. Any city faced with a natural disaster will have to face a secondary disaster when dealing with a broken system in desperate need of reform. This petition may not be the solution, but it is a way to be heard and that’s a start.”