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Dear President Barack Obama and Fiona Reeves,

I am writing this letter from my apartment in Brooklyn, NY.

It's unseasonably warm, and the weather report promises rain. The city feels shrouded. I myself feel a sense of mourning, because today is the last day that I can write an official letter to my president, President Barack Obama.

But enough gloom. The reason I am writing is to thank you for the work you do at the Office of Presidential Correspondence. And also, to pledge my support in continuing this work, even beyond this presidency's term.

I first heard about the Office of Presidential Correspondence through a podcast. It was 2 weeks after the 2016 election and, like many Americans, I felt confused and helpless. Hearing this story about your work has inspired me. I am humbled and grateful that amidst the flood of work you must oversee, you make a commitment to continue this important tradition. Thank you for holding this dialog open between each citizen and their president. Thank you for this wisdom and this reassurance that our individual voices still matter.

I would like to help keep this tradition alive. I am a software developer and entrepreneur. I love my craft. But I am also apprehensive about our technology's ability to foster conversation and improve our democratic dialog. I want this letter to be a commitment that I will use my craft to help strengthen human voices in our dialog, and that I will help prevent other technologies from drowning out these citizen voices.

To begin this commitment, I am starting a project called "Dear Nation". I hope that it will offer a unified platform for all of our citizens, leaders, and news outlets to continue this letter writing practice which your office has exemplified. I'm optimistic for a future in which I can write a letter to any leader with the same reassured hope that it might actually be discovered; that it might be taken to heart, and shared with the world. Maybe most importantly, I hope that these future letters will be archived together so that a journalist or a political researcher can easily search through these spectrums of voices. I hope that they can easily attach real human voices to their statistics. I hope that they can look through our voting and census data and easily discover diverse dialogs between these citizens who today, too often feel like ghosts lost in numbers.

It's almost noon. In one hour, a new president will be sworn into office. My country feels divided and confused. In the next four years I hope to contribute work to help our citizens better listen to themselves and to each other on a national scale. I want to offer my services to you. If either of you will be working on endeavors which share this common goal, I would be honored if I could be of any help.

Thank you for your service,

Eric Chaves

Letter Writing Leadership