Last month, students in Family Focus’s Expressive Writing Progam read letters to Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (center).     Photo from Family Focus

On Nov. 27, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky met with young constituents at Family Focus, 2010 Dewey Av., to hear what these teens and preteens would like her to work on when she returns to Washington D.C.

Dozens of excited children and teens were gathered in the Family Focus library among a circle of beaming Family Focus parents, staff, and volunteers. As part of its enrichment and community programming, Family Focus offers three expressive writing programs for children aged 8 to 10, young teens, and grandparents. The children and teens each wrote a letter to Congresswoman Schakowsky to tell her the uppermost concerns in their hearts and minds.

Congresswoman Schakowsky listened intently as each writer stood up to read
his or her letter. The audience rang out with enthusiastic cheers at the end of each reading, and urged hesitant readers to take their day in the sun, while the Congresswoman smiled and offered words of encouragement.

After the last letter was read, Rep. Schakowsky stood up to address the audience. Noting and responding to each issue in turn, she assured the young writers of her commitment to work hard on their behalf.  

“These are all messages in this precious book that I now have with your names that I can bring back to Washington,” said Rep. Schakowsky. “Is it okay if I quote you some time on the floor of the House of Representatives?”

The crowd answered with a resounding, “Yes.”

Excerpts from each letter are printed below.  The letters are printed in full in the online version of this issue of the RoundTable.Dear Congresswoman Schakowsky,
All these people being racist on the internet. For what reason? Or in person.  It’s mean and rude. Please help.   ~ Vanessa

We need to change the United States. It’s something that really can’t wait.   ~ Dianney

I’m a little girl. I want to live my life but the first thing you hear when you walk out the door is little boys and little girls just got killed. I’m tired of violence. How about we work together and save children?   ~ Kennedy

Black boys die every day because of police gun violence and because I’m black and I’m proud. Do you  always have to turn to a gun?    ~ Sianna

Jan, please could you take me to Stephen Curry? I feel like he is cool.    ~ Jace

I think we should change the fact that Donald Trump wants to take away people’s health because he’s the President and I don’t like that we are his people and he is trying to kill people because some people need that to live, so he is basically trying to kill people that belong to him.  ~ Chayse

The government women should give money to poor people to help them with life. Everybody needs food for life and water. She should talk to Donald Trump and make him stop trying to stop ObamaCare.   ~ Madison                     
  We need some justice, courage and Donald Trump should stop being mean to people.

I think that. . . Donald Trump should not fight with another state.  And that a lot of men need to stop putting hands on women because children are affected by it.  ~ Gabriella

People who are homeless, people need to donate more stuff to them so they can get healthy. And people should not lay their hands on other people because it is real dangerous and not safe.  ~ Sanai

We need to change the United States.  We all need to live happy and we all need to have food on our table and we all need love and happiness.  ~ Jereni

I have a lot of things I want to change so this might take a while so get comfortable, relax and keep reading this long long long LONG letter anyways. What  I think is wrong with this country is  DONALD TRUMP! and the wall he wants to build . . . .   ~ Aliayah

… From Legendary T.U.X. Teen Writers
Dear Congresswoman Schakowsky,
I wish that they would higher the issue of gun violence because each day you have different people getting injured, shot, and killed.   ~ Carlos

Donald Trump is trying to start a war with North Korea. This is making me and my friends scared.   ~ Christopher

I feel like we should change gun laws about the people that are in the Army, especially the Special Forces. . . You don’t get to take a gun of your choice to take with you at all times just for safety, not going around shooting people for no reason, I mean, c’mon now. 
~ Chris

Ban the travel Ban.  It’s crazy.  Regulate gun control to make it only government officials, and police officers, who have guns.  ~ Marco

It would be great if you could abolish the travel ban because lots of people live in places that people struggle and can’t afford to live. I also think police brutality should be stopped. Because people are being sentenced to crimes that they never did. People get beat up and killed based on their appearance, mostly black men.   ~ M.J.

We should get rid of the Electoral College because no one state should have more say than others and a president should be determined by what the people want (majority). Therefore, the population vote should determine a president. If more people wanted someone to be picked for a president, then that president should win.  ~ Dystonae

I would like you to abolish Donald Trump.  ~ Kaden

Keep ObamaCare enacted for people who can’t afford health insurance.  P. S. Have Donald Trump impeached.  ~ Cody

I think we should have more field trips in middle school, like going to Science and Industry or going to the History Museum.  We only go on one field trip for the whole year and it makes school fun to come to and we should pick what language we want to pick in school.  ~ Phillip

I would also want to put a stop to gun violence because my Dad had gotten killed for being innocent and for being a really nice Dad. Gun violence should stop because nearly every millisecond, second, minute, hour, day, week, month, year a child had been killed for just being innocent. Even people are losing their family members from those people who are driving around killing people like it is a happy thing to do.  ~ Tyra

I think Donald Trump should not build a wall because I don’t think they did anything to hurt the USA and I don’t think they should take out families that are illegal.   ~ Justin

I want no more shooting in the world. More gun control. More protection. No gun selling.   ~ Demarion

This is completely an honor to be speaking to you. I’ve never had this kind of opportunity before. I have always been against immigration laws. I feel like it’s just too cruel to take people out that don’t look like a certain kind. If we do that, it would be so boring. Having everything the same. I mean would you want to live in a world full of people that is all the same?  I don’t think so.   ~ Celeste

One thing I think should be illegal is buying a gun. I think this should be illegal because around every five minutes around like 5,000 people are getting shot and killed.     ~ Mia