Letter in Support of Clemency by
Eda M. Levenson
Student



January 3, 2000

President William Clinton
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Clinton,

My name is Eda Midori Levenson and I am16 years of age. I live in Willits California and am currently a junior at Willits High School.

I am writing this letter to you to share how Veronza Bowers Jr. has effected me personally. For a long time now I have heard about Veronza and his case from my father Monty H. Levenson. At my school we are required to do a History Day project. I had known that Veronza was a former member of the Black Panther Party and decided that I wanted to do my project on the Civil Rights Movement and the role of the BPP during that era. I wrote Veronza a letter asking if he was willing to answer some question I had about this subject. He wrote back saying that he was more than willing to help out. When I received his first response, I was surprised that he not only answered my questions in depth, but gave me advice about growing with the people around me, with the society I live in and growing with myself emotionally. We have continued to correspond and in every letter he has something valuable to offer. Veronza has given me the gift of knowledge by opening my eyes to the world around me. He has also given me the gift of his friendship by treating me as an equal regardless of my age. He has also inspired me to help people in need and to care for the environment. But most of all, he has encouraged me to teach my peers in hopes of erasing ignorance and prejudice in the world. What I want most is for others to realize that all people of different races, genders, ages, cultures and sexual orientations should be respected as human being and treated with respect and equality.

It angers me to see the injustice in Veronza’s case as well as others, like Leonard Pelitier. Both have had their rights, freedom, family and friends stripped away from them. I may be only 16 years old, but what I see in these cases is wrong.

I will never forget Veronza and the impact he has had on me and always treasure what he has given to me. I await the day when we will meet in person and I can show Veronza what I have learned. I urge you to grant him clemency before leaving office on January 20th.

Thank you for your time.

Yours truly,
Eda Midori Levenson


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