President Barack Obama announced that he will be traveling to Flint, Michigan, on May 4 in a letter to a child who has been adversely affected by the stricken city’s water crisis.
Amariyanna “Mari” Copeny, 8, known in her community as “Little Miss Flint,” wrote to the president to voice her concerns about the effects of the water contamination.
“I am one of the children that is effected by this water, and I’ve been doing my best to march in protest and to speak out for all the kids that live here in Flint,” Copeny wrote. “I know this is probably an odd request but I would love for a chance to meet you or your wife. My mom said chances are you will be too busy with more important things, but there is a lot of people coming on these buses and even just a meeting from you or your wife would really lift people’s spirits.”
Copeny was in for a surprise when she received a response from the president, thanking her for speaking up on behalf of her city.
“Thank you for writing to me,” Obama wrote. “You’re right that presidents are often busy, but the truth is, in America, there is no more important title than citizen. And I am so proud of you for using your voice to speak out on behalf of the children of Flint… Letters from kids like you are what make me so optimistic for the future. I hope to meet you next week, ‘Little Miss Flint.’”
The president will speak to Flint residents during the visit, according to the White House.
“The president will travel to Flint, Michigan where he will hear first-hand from Flint residents about the public health crisis, receive an in-person briefing on the federal efforts in place to help respond to the needs of the people of Flint, and deliver remarks to community members,” said a White House official. “Further details regarding the President’s travel to Michigan will be available in the coming days.”