President Obama Save Merrill Middle School
Dear President Obama, We ask that you intercede on a matter here in southeast Denver because we feel that it encapsulates all those things for which you are fighting in Washington, DC. Denver’s politicians are ignoring the wishes of Denver voters, taxpayers, and parents around issues of public education. We also feel that if you do not intercede, it will gravely affect your standing in this community and our support for you during your bid for re-election. Our elected officials refuse to address our concerns and continue to waste taxpayer money. Since 2008, just in our area in southeast Denver, Denver Public Schools (DPS) has proposed over $7 million in wasteful bond spending. If extrapolated across all schools, DPS may have wasted $283 million or 70% of its last bond issue. No wonder taxpayers do not believe DPS delivers on promises when requesting additional bond money. As taxpayers and voters, we refuse to give DPS any more of our money if our elected officials persist in squandering it. For example, our in-coming school board president and elected representative, Mary Seawell, and DPS refuse to consider lower-cost alternatives to a $750,000 school co-location. In addition to the unnecessary spending, the community strongly believes that this co-location will undermine the programming at its neighborhood middle school. Alternative co-locations would house this new elementary school at half the cost rather than in the basement of this middle school. Southeast Denver voters are unlikely to support a school bond in 2012 due to this and other examples of wasteful spending by DPS. Denver tax payers are already saddled with nearly $2 billion of debt, resulting from financial decisions and commitments made by DPS. Each dollar that is spent is only a dollar in present terms; over time, the ongoing debt payments are dramatically amplified: $1.00 x 30 years x about 5.7%. Mr. President, we are Independents and Democrats who volunteered for your campaign, contributed our hard earned money to your election effort, and voted you into office. We expect that you will intercede on this co-location matter because you have tremendous influence over our local politicians. If you decide otherwise, our financial support and our vote for your re-election will not come so easily. In 2000, George W Bush won Florida by 537 votes and Al Gore won New Mexico by 366 votes. Mr. President, please act now. The vote on the co-location is November 17th. Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org More detail: Without consultation with the community, DPS has decided to install a new elementary school, C3, at Merrill Middle School, in Southeast Denver. While co-locating C3 at Merrill would cost $750,000, there are viable alternatives at half the cost. DPS plans to house C3 at Merrill for three years, and then they pledge to spend more money to retrofit back the space to middle school standards. Merrill Middle School depends on elementary feeder schools whose parents are overwhelmingly opposed to the co-location. If these parents decide to choice out of Merrill because of this co-location, Merrill will lose funding and the school is likely to close. Denver’s elected officials like to say they represent “Denver kids”. The last time I checked, my children are NOT the ward of the state. We represent our kids.