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This is Jake Lewis, an 11-year-old who wrote this speech Tuesday night and delivered it on Wednesday in front of St. Louis Cathedral. Disregard the buses going by, the ups and downs of the amp and the wind blowing in before yesterday's torrential rain.
Jake is one of the best reminders that the city's children have a better grasp on what needs to be done than any armchair adviser.
He collects toys for kids in children's hospitals. He's boycotting Lionel Trains because they didn't replace his train set after Katrina and he had a money back guarantee. And he reserves the right to run for office in 20 years.
He just sent me a copy of the speech:
Hello Fellow New Orleanians!
" all who question the future of the Crescent City need to know there is no way to imagine America without New Orleans, and this great city will rise again." Those were the words of President Bush as he spoke to the nation Sept 2005. While many of us feel that our leaders could have and should have done more - now is the time to be Katrina survivors instead of Katrina victims!
Now is the time to move forward on sheer determination and the spirit that we all have in our hearts to do what we can to help each other, to make things better and to not rely on promises but the strong wills of our people to bring New Orleans back to where it needs to be.
My name is Jacob Lewis and I am an 11 year old native of New Orleans. I am not running for office (but I retain to the right to do so in about 20 years - haha) I am here to remind you all that we appreciate the wonderful people who have worked so hard to help us.
While we have come a long way since Katrina - we still have a long way to go!
I am here to let President Bush know that there are weapons of mass distraction here in New Orleans. Just to be clear, I said weapons of mass DISTRACTION.
The distraction of STILL living in fema trailers and waiting to rebuild homes. The distraction of too much crime for me and my friends to feel safe playing outside. The distraction of worrying about another hurricane hitting the area when we are not protected and losing everything that we have AGAIN. The distraction of too many people still dying from suicide, not enough health care and too much crime. We have allot of problems, and still, in all of this, have a undying love of this city and a fierce heart to make sure that we deliver for ourselves on the promises that were made to us.
I want to thank all of the heroes, the regular people, the military, the NOPD, NOMRF, the moms and dads and yes, the kids who have worked so hard to bring this place back together and who keep trying every day in spite of the distractions and challenges that we face!
Thank you America for all of the volunteers and for the love that you sent our way. Thanks to all of the people of New Orleans for not giving up!
Let' s Redefine 8 - 29! My name is Jacob Lewis and I approve this message!
Please visit jakes friends . org on the internet to find out how you can help some of us kids help each other.