Dear Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney

Dear Mayor Kenney,

I tried really hard to volunteer for your council campaign over twenty years ago. Only ever got the phone runaround. I am thrilled to see you as Mayor.

I have two eight-year-old children, one adopted domestically (African-American, born here in Philly) and the other adopted from South Korea. My son, Béla, is very aware that because he was not born here, he can never run for President under the current definition of a “natural-born citizen”.

Instead of being depressed on Friday, we have decided to take some steps towards changing the Constitution so that my son may someday run for President if he chooses to.

He has not sent you his message yet, but he will on Friday.

I am telling you as his mother — who literally spent MONTHS in the nineties trying to campaign for you (pre-e-mail days…) and got sent back to square one every time, that I have only gotten tougher, stubborner, and will do ANYTHING for my children. And so I am, with the admiration I have had for you for half my lifetime now, going to hold you accountable to helping to start my son on this journey to change his government.

I do not know what he plans to write you on Friday, but attached is the message he wrote me from his bed the night that Trump was elected. As you can see, he was pretty angry, and we had given them permission, both he and his sister, to express their fury through language they frequently heard from Mom and Dad.



In case you can’t read it, that last line is “NO one can separate US”.

My son not only lives with the reality that no matter how smart he is or how good he is, he can not be President of this country — he fears that the man who will become President on Friday can take him away from us at will.

When his e mail comes (and it will probably come from this address, but his name is Béla Chang-su Levin-Dorko, which I know is a mouthful), I am asking you to reply.

We know that you visit schools. Because we homeschool, and we will save you the car ride of having to visit a school, and come right to your office, if you will spend five minutes talking to my children so they feel they have some control over the world they are about to face.

And while I believe it was a “Donna” who would get on the phone with me back in the early nineties and tell me to call back, or that I’d get a call back… I assure you I’ve been doing nothing but endurance training since then when it comes to closing the loop, particularly where my son and daughter are concerned.

I have always respected you and have high hopes.


Amber Dorko Stopper