December 7, 2004 – Obama

To: The Honorable Barack Obama Senator, State of Illinois

From: John Gordon

5235 North Natoma

Chicago , Illinois 60656

Work Phone: 312-663-3007

Date: December 7, 2004

Subject: Future appointment


I am writing this with the hope that you would consider sitting down with me in the future to discuss the greatest employment program for blind men and women in the United States . I am 42 years old and at 18 years old I became a victim of a crime which left me totally blind. A federal law called the Randolph Sheppard Act gave me the ability to support my family, become a tax paying citizen, and become a productive member of society. Through this federal law in acted in 1936, blind men and women are given priority to operate vending, food service, and concessions on federal property.


Currently blind men and women generate approximately $22,000,000.00 in annual sales within the state of Illinois . However, nationally we amount to approximately $400,000,000.00. Although the Randolph Sheppard Act has been so successful in the last 68 years, we are continually faced with factions who are attempting to dilute the meaning and spirit of the law. I know that if you gave me the opportunity to sit down with you, you would not only understand the situation much better, but you would also be willing to champion this issue and the opportunity that it has provided for many years.


As the Vice President of Randolph Sheppard Vendors of America and Chairman of the Illinois Committee of Blind Vendors, I am not only speaking for myself but for many blind men and women and their families.