01/16/2008 10:23 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

An Open Letter to the Presidential Candidates



Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, Duncan Hunter, Dennis Kucinich, John McCain, Barack Obama, Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson


Russell Simmons, Deepak Chopra, and Benjamin Chavis

January 17, 2008

Dear Presidential Candidate:

We are writing to you on behalf of a new, more conscious electorate. As the potential next President of the United States, you know that we are living in a remarkable moment in human history. Millions of people around the world are crying out for a higher quality of life.

A global grassroots movement has already formed. Thanks to a wave of rising consciousness, countries once consigned to the Third World are praying, seeking, struggling and working for positive, even redemptive change. Given the opportunity to participate in the voting process, emerging populations will express their political will and spiritual aspirations for the future.

In that light, we want to ask you six questions:

1. How open are you to welcome and encourage a more inclusive political dialogue?

We are thinking about those who are at the margins of the political establishment. Democracy needs to reach out to the millions who reject the rigidity and cronyism of the two mainstream political parties.

2. How do you view minority representation in government?

We stand for correcting the scandalous under-representation of women and minorities in Congress. We believe that discrimination against minorities will never be eliminated until America's actual demographics are reflected in the corridors of power.

3. Will you commit to using the Presidency as a strong advocate of the United Nations' goals for the environment?

The United Nations has reported that if the U.S. and other governments do not change their policies toward the ecology, global warming will become a destructive inevitability in as little as a decade.

4. Specifically, what is your plan of action to eliminate poverty in America?

Divisions between rich and poor are growing wider in this country every day. We support the reversal of this trend, which places America among the worst developed nations for economic inequality.

5. What do you intend to do to end the war in Iraq?

A misbegotten foreign adventure is not only bankrupting the country and making us weaker instead of stronger against our enemies, but the heaviest burden of the fighting falls on the poor and minorities.

6. As President, how will you exemplify leadership toward the fulfillment of "the beloved community"?

A united, color-blind, compassionate society was described by Dr. Martin Luther King as "the beloved community." We support that ideal as the true vision of America's future.

Thank you for your time and consideration.


Russell Simmons
Deepak Chopra
Benjamin Chavis