Thursday, 2 October 2008

Dear Barack Obama

Dear Barack Obama


We are the residents of an inner-city estate in Hackney, London, UK.

As we are situated right next to the London 2012 Olympic site, we know for certain that you are going to be a few metres away from us here at the opening ceremony on 27 July 2012.

I know that there are a few more important things for you to do in between then & now, but if you could please put a couple of free hours aside on or around that day - to visit us here in Leabank Square - we would love to meet you.

Mr Obama, Leabank Square is not a well-off estate, but we will put out the equivalent of a red carpet for you & your family & crew, and would love to invite you to taste some of Real's delicious jerk chicken, or Nadira's tea & scones, and spend a few minutes meeting some of the amazing kids that live here.

It would mean so much to us - especially as we never get inspirational visitors like yourself in this part of run-down London. We all know that the Olympics are coming to Hackney, but we feel completely ignored in the run-up - and know that there is a real chance that we will never benefit from the games. If you could come over & visit us - that would be all the benefit our kids need to be inspired for the future.

Anyhow, please do the right thing about the international economy just now, otherwise the Olympics might not even be happening.

See you in 4 years time!!

Yours Sincerely
All the residents of Leabank Square
East London
Please feel free to add any comment about this blog entry! Simply click ‘comments’ below & you can tell us all what you think. You can use your own name, a pseudonym, be anonymous, or even join blogger yourself. The more we all discuss Leabank Square – the more we all feel part of it!!


Mostafa said...

Hi Sóna

This is a truly inspired bit of blogging!!

Of course Barack Obama is going to be the next USA president, we all know that, but do you ever think he would come and visit little old us here in Leabank Square?!

We can only but dream hey?

I am sure that, if he were to read this blog, he would definetely pencil the date into his diary.

Nice try, and good luck!


Mary said...

Hey Sóna

I'm an Obama Girl - oh & also a Leabank Square Girl!!


diamond geezer said...

I hope the invite works!

(...but I do know for certain that Obama won't be a few metres away from you on 29 August 2012, because the Olympic opening ceremony is five weeks earlier...)

Leabank Square said...

Hi Diamond Geezer


That's what you get for copying information from the Olympic website huh!?

Thanks for the correction. But it is the thought that counts - we will NEVER get the next president of the USA to ever visit.

I am still loving your site. Please remember to pop around when you're next in the area. Just buzz number 71.


pete said...

Hi Sóna

Wouldn't it be great to get the USA president to spend an hour chatting to the kids here in Leabank Square?!

Imagine the inspiration & kudos that would follow them for all their lives?

Of course it wouldn't work if it were Bush! Only Obama can do it to the kids of Hackney!!

Push for it dude!


Matt said...

Hi Sóna

Please tell me that you've also sent this to the meeejja!?

What a brilliant idea, if the Hackney Gazette saw this they would get right behind it and start a campaign for you.

If you haven't yet, shame on you, if you have - SPOT ON DUDE!!


Maria said...

Hello Sóna

Oh I wish someone at the White House comes across this blog sometime over the next 4 years!

Of course we don't know what the world will be feeling about America then, but I somehow don't think President Obama is going to be bombing half the world like the current incumbant!!

Could you not copy this blog into an email to President Obama. I mean , I know there's the small matter of an election for him to win in a few weeks time, but after that he might find the odd minute to spend surfing the interweb.

Excellent blog entry tho'!


James said...

This has GOT to happen!! Sóna please do ALL you can to get more publicity for this blog entry.

The President of USA will be able to see Leabank Square from the ceremony - surely he could just take a leisurely stroll over the new footbridge and into Leabank Square?

Go on Sóna - get going on this new project!!


Dirk said...

Hey Dude!

Please make this happen. I know the crunching of credits is probably higher on President Obamas plate just now, but just let the Obama campaign know about this invite anyway.

This should be easy to organise, we're going to be a few metres away from him. Surely he can make time for some of Real's jerk chicken or Pedro's fajitas.

Lets do it!!


Patience said...

Hi Sóna

Imagine the pride on all our kids faces if they could give the USA Prez a guided tour of our gardens & riverfornt?!

It would be something that would stay with them forever!!

I know we all ask a lot of your free time, but please see if you could arrange this. It would really give the kids here in Leabank Square a foot up in this tired old corner of London.


Alex said...

Hi Sóna

This is such a good idea - it's one of those once in a lifetime oportunities that could really make the whole world of a difference to us here!!

Please do as much as you can to make this possible!!


Leabank Square said...

OK -for what it's worth - I've sent the invtation off to President Barack Obama.

Of course - the chances of him ever coming to Leabank Square are infinitesimal.

But the real message - is that we feel the chances of any REAL beneficial legacy from the Olympics - are even slimmer.

We are clutching at straws in inviting the next Prez - as we see that possibility as the only benefit for the Olympic Park's closest residential neighbour!

I will let you ALL know just exactly what my mate Barack says as soon as he phones me okay?!


Leabank Square said...

Hi all

Please don't get even slightly excited - this is one of those automated responses, Okay?

As Follows:

Dear Sóna:

Thank you so much for your invitation.

Your scheduling request is
now in our system and you will be contacted as soon as we know more
about Barack's availability.

Please keep in mind that the scheduling team may not be able to
determine his availability until 1-2 months before the date of your

We understand the difficulties this may cause and certainly
appreciate your patience.

If you need to follow-up on your invitation before you hear back from us, please call 312/819-2419.

Please do not submit follow-up
inquiries through the online form or via email.

Thanks again for including Barack in your plans. We'll be in touch!

Team Scheduling
Obama for America

jill said...

Sounds like he's keen Sóna! Should we start tidying up - just in case?!


Geoffrey said...

Hi Sóna

It's kind of sad that it takes the USA to elect a minority leader before our own country.

Even though the British Prime Minister will also be just a few steps away from Leabank Square - I would never think to invite her/him to take a walk over after the opening ceremony.

But considering the racial demographics of Hackney & Leabank Square - Prez Barack Obama is the most influential & inspiring world leader to give the kids (& us adults) a much needed confidence boost!

Well done with this brilliant blog!!


Laura said...

As you know Sóna, we are the closest residential estate to the Olympic Park. This makes us the best place for Barack Obama to come and visit if he wants to see ordinary Britons.

But then we are also extra-ordinary Britons, as we have had to put up with MASSIVE amounts of dust and noise, in order for the 2012 Games to take place!

We deserve for President-elect Barack Obama to come over the bridge for a cuppa!

Sóna, I'm not too sure if you put this blog up to draw attention to the lack of any real benefitial Legacy from the Olympics for us, but I would really love for you to take it more seriously, and work REALLY hard to make this happen!!


Ted said...

Hi Sóna,

Yes, excellent blog and thanks for sending the open invite to the East London Advertiser. We'll print it.

I think it's a fantastic idea and one we'd be delighted to campaign for.

As Obama is fond of saying...."hope"!

All the best,

Ted Jeory
Deputy Editor
East London Advertiser

TaggerX said...

Hey Dude!

You know what I feel about America's foreign policy. But I somehow get the feeling that PrezElect Obama is going to be the change that the world needs.

That's why I get this blog Dude!

It would be perfect for the kids here in Leabank. They are just waiting for someone THIS inspirational to spend a bit of time with them.

After that - everything is up to them. If Prez Obama chats to you about your dreams & aspirations - whatever you tell him - is gonna happen man. You are so gonna want to write him in a few years time - telling him that you DID IT!!

Great invite Dude. Now go get him!!


Leabank Square said...

Hi Ted

Thanks for the kind words - and for offering to print our invitation to Barack Obama!!

Just in case there are ANY residents in Leabank Square who are unaware of Ted Jeory.....

Ted (besides being Deputy Editor of our local East End Advertiser) writes its most amazing column - Trial by Jeory.

As a resident of the East End - you almost have a legal local obligation to read this column every week!! It has never failed to engage me. Sometimes I have a morning coffee spluttering moment with his humorous hooks, sometimes I have to meet-a-mate to vent my grumps at his political insights, sometimes I have to find someone in my local caff to enlighten with my 'newly original' views (stolen from Ted Jeory of course!).

When you read his column - no matter who you are - you will be affected - and that's all I ask of powerful local journalism.

Please see:

Besides that - the East EndAdvertiser is the greatest camapaigning newspaper. Whether it's saving the fantastic Bancroft Library - or (at last!!) pedestrianising Brick Lane - these campaigns have you & I in mind. Join them all for a better life locally!!

And that's what our Leabank Square has always also been about.

Good on you Ted Jeory


Yvonne said...

Hi Sóna

I missed this blog last week - it's brilliant!!

Of course the Prez will have a few more important people to meet at the opening ceremony next door, but the REAL message is that we need a better leagacy from the games than the ever diminishing one currently on offer!

Did you see that the leisure pool, the one we've spent years lobbying for, the one that'll introduce our toddlers to the benefits of the sport pool next door - has just been scrapped?!

The media centre is now going to be a flat-pack building ready to be instantly dismantled - instead of the headquarters of 'a major media company'.

Our beloved Arena Fields that was stolen from the people of London & given to the Olympics - now a University will be built on the last piece of green promised back to us.

And so on......

Of course it would be great to have Barack Obama taste Nadira's delicious tea & scones - but he might just be staring at an ENORMOUS white elephant across the river as he savours her baking!!

Inspired blog tho'!!


Suzi said...

Hi Sóna

Besides Nelson Mandela (who must be allowed to enjoy his retirement) - I cannot think of a better role model for the kids of Leabank Square!!

Barack Obama grew up in very similar circumstances to very many of the kids here in Leabank Square - and he is definetely the next President of The USA.

This has got to be a brilliant story to hear straight from the Presidents mouth for us here in Hackney.

Do me a favour though - if there is ever the possibility that he will actually visit us here in Leabank Square - please do not let any other public figure claim to have organised this.

YOU did this - not the mayor(s), politicians, faith leaders, olympic people, prime minister - no one else should take the brilliant opportunity of us chatting to Barack Obama away from us.


Leabank Square said...

Well how about that?!

Guess what happened? We won the letter of the week award from Time Out Magazine!!

Of all the tens of thousands of letters Time Out recieves each week - they chose the one we wrote to Barack Obama as their Letter Of The Week!!

Thank you Time Out!!

Dean said...

Hi Sóna

As Leabank Square's only yank, I am so 'chuffed' about your invitation to my Democratic Party candidate.

Although my studies will be over by 2012, I WILL DEFINETELY return to Leabank when my new President comes to visit.