P.O. Box 27217, Washington, DC 20038 USA

January 30, 2001

Dear President and First Lady Bush,

Welcome to the neighborhood!

On January 24, 1989, I also wrote First Lady Barbara Bush a letter welcoming her to the neighborhood. I extend this same message to you, First Lady Laura Bush, although I'm afraid I can no longer include a "Peace Release." Instead, perhaps you would be interested in browsing our website,

As your closest neighbors, we want you to know that we have maintained signs outside the White House for nearly twenty years. At the moment you can't see us, but when the inaugural stands are removed, we plan to return to our traditional spot on the south sidewalk of Lafayette Park. When you see the message "Wanted: Wisdom & Honesty" aimed across the street, please understand that this is a prayer, not an accusation ... a prayer that has stood continuously in view of the White House since June 3, 1981. We have serendipitously learned that there is an inscription on the fireplace of the White House State Dining Room, "... May none but honest and wise men ever rule under this roof."

We pray for your success in bringing the world out of cold war insanity, into a period of trust. We believe global nuclear disarmament is essential. In order to achieve this goal, it must be inclusive. People around the world want to be treated as equals. The United States MUST take the lead in real disarmament. Former President Bush earned our respect by making unilateral moves in disarming Europe a decade ago. We pray you will move us toward the logical conclusion - complete elimination of nuclear weapons.

Please begin by de-alerting nuclear weapons -- you have the power, as Commander in Chief. This will send a GOOD signal to the other, understandably nervous nuclear weapons states.

Please also support the re-introduction D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton's "Nuclear Disarmament and Economic Conversion Act" ( This is a promise to the world, yes, we'll get rid of our nuclear weapons if everyone else does, and we'll use the money saved, instead, to shut down and clean up the nuclear weapons industries, and to begin the process of converting other war industries into more useful endeavors. In other words, people could be building solar panels and windmills instead of missiles and bombs. Nobody loses, everyone wins.

We pray that you will actively (or secretly) support this concept, as former President Bush told us he did in March 1992 (, and will honor the vigilers with a visit, once you've settled in.

We hope that you will schedule a half hour on June 3, 2001, to come across the street and say a few words to those who are gathered to recognize the twenty-year, 24-hours-a-day, in-all-weather, vigil outside the White House in pursuit of peace, justice, and freedom for all.

The remainder of the prayer on the mantle of the State Dining Room fireplace reads: "I pray Heaven to bestow the best blessings on this house and all that shall hereafter inhabit it...." Amen.

Please pay our respects to your folks.

Again, welcome to the neighborhood.

Sincerely your friend,

Ellen Thomas

History of Peace (Lafayette) Park