Dear Mr. Percelay,
Thank you for your email. I esteem the efforts of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute. I grew up in the Kennedy era with John F. Kennedy and Robert Kennedy and as a youth was witness to the tragedy of their passing along with the civil rights great, Dr. Martin Luther King. I have been a long time member of the Soka Gakkai International and had the opportunity to benefit from the inestimable efforts of SGI President Daisaku Ikeda for peace through culture and education. Former President Kennedy is noted by Dr. Ikeda in his 30 volume work, The New Human Revolution. They were to have met but as history would have it President Kennedy was assasinated before that fateful day.
I am forwarding Dr. Ikeda’s 2021 Peace Proposal to the United Nations. Each year he submits a proposal to that sovereign body. I hope this will be a resource to assist in guiding your mission to build our country into a faithful nation contributing to the safety, health and happiness of the world community.
Thank you. With my deep respect.
Sincerely, Tina Ebey
Thank you for your hopeful responses. They have been collected, catalogued, and shared.
Last month, on behalf of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, we asked you for your thoughts on a question that is at the heart of our mission: What do you hope will change in America in 2021—and how do you hope the new United States Senate will help drive that change?
I’m writing today, first, to thank the hundreds of you who took the time to offer your thoughts, hopes, and dreams for this new year in our national political life. We are grateful for your eloquent, heartfelt, and inspiring responses.
I also want to share with you two articles we’re publishing based on your responses, describing not only the most pressing issues you want to see the Senate take on, but also the common call we saw for more respect, civility, and compromise in our public discussions. We also recognized a theme several of you voiced that we had not expected: A belief that the 2020 elections and their aftermath, particularly the many lies about widespread election fraud and the violent insurrection attempting to overturn the certification of the Electoral College ballots in Congress, documented a need for more and better civics education for all Americans, especially young people. Civics education is a fundamental part of the Kennedy Institute’s mission, and this winter and spring, even as we have had to close our building to visitors because of COVID-19, we are making slots available for 10,000 students to participate in our virtual civics education classes by ZOOM–opportunities, by the way, we hope you will share with teachers you know.
As promised, we are conveying your messages to members of our New England congressional delegation to make sure your voices and your concerns are heard by them and help shape both their priorities and how they go about the critical work of legislating. We will be sharing these articles and messages on social media with the hashtag #HopesFor2021. Your responses are also enormously valuable to the Institute staff in assessing where and how to invest our time and resources in 2021.
On behalf of our board and staff, thank you so much for taking the time to share your own #HopesFor2021, for your ongoing support, and most importantly for all you do as citizens every day to encourage participatory democracy and civil discourse and to engage in the civic life of our communities, our states, and our nation.
Bruce A. Percelay
Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate