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Sending out an SOS to Sen. Hagan

To the Editor:

Editors Note: The following is a letter to both Senator Kay Hagan and Senator Richard Burr by JoAnn H. Roser. Roser says the letter is not a political statement, rather is an authentic letter of appeal written on behalf of all citizens navigating this volatile economic climate.

Families of today feel as if they are caught in a relentless riptide. We keep paddling harder and more rapidly to simply end up farther out to sea than when we started.

The horizon no longer provides a point of convergence or reference. Many of us once had a very sturdy vessel that could have carried us back to shore during this riptide, but our dinghies are now bobbing on the surface with only a single broken oar to propel us through the tumultuous waters. Moreover, there is a leak in the hull that is pressing with such force that it cannot be plugged for much longer.

We paddle with all our might and the shore just seems to more rapidly drift away from our sight. The struggle our families confront everyday is frightening, frequently overwhelming and utterly exhausting. And what is completely exasperating about this accosting journey is that we prepared our vessels with provisions for an extended voyage out to sea, and yet we have only our weary bodies and spirits remaining to show for our efforts.

The great American dream on the shore seems only available to those at the top, those seafarers that had pristine yachts to start their venture, or those at the very bottom that lost their rowboats in the strong currents but have since been picked up by the lifeboats. The rest of us, with the sturdy boats we proudly constructed and stocked with hard and dedicated work, are left to struggle in the stubborn and angry waters.

The unpredictability of the journey back to shore is the image we cling to daily. Even though the journey back is fickle like the wind, there is still hope in our hearts that the waters will eventually calm and allow us our entry back to the sound shores. In the meantime, we, the stranded seafarers, weather the elements, weary and beaten, but remain fully committed to coming ashore by the universal strength of our broken oar the oar that brandishes the power of our faith, our fierceness, and certainly the coupling of our will and tenacity.

This broken and splintered oar does not wave the white flag of free handouts, unconditional stimulus money or extended unemployment benefits as a substitute for JOBS.&bsp; &bsp;

Senator Hagan, please, another solid paddle or oar, in the form of meaningful jobs, would certainly make our journey back to the shore a clear and welcomed certainty. Meaningful and purposeful work could provide restorative and resonating strength to our spirits, bodies and our families. With a cooperative spirit in mind, Senator, I ask the following questions to help quell my persistent concern about our still volatile economy and allay my fears regarding my familys personal journey back to the resolute shores:

* What measures are being taken to require the banks, of which we handed the gold-plated oars, to do their share of the rigorous rowing to assist in our return to shore?

* Has a target date been suggested that they would begin providing resuscitating loans to small businesses?

* What percentage of their balance sheets is fair to ask for them to reinvest? (30-40 percent is an equitable trade amount given middle-class Americans expected tax implications for the bank bailout.)

* Have they not restored, remodeled and reconditioned their vessels long enough?

The tired and desperate crew (of all political party affiliations), ardently paddling and rowing, is becoming increasingly angered with their fellow crewmembers that do not provide reciprocal effort in the recovery plans. Certainly they must know of the stories of men at sea that eventually come to question hope as a result of their downtrodden conditions. These men generally dont give up and throw themselves overboard, now do they? Those are shark-infested waters, indeed.

Please, Senator Hagan, lets not walk the jobless plank. Help us feel the warm sand between our toes again. Its time to navigate the waters together and bring critically needed and meaningful jobs back to the weary, but still hopeful crews.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

JoAnn H. Roser