From: John Edwards <>
Sent: Friday, February 4, 2005 12:03 pm
Subject: A Special Announcement

Dear Friend,

First of all, a belated happy New Year to everyone! The year has already gotten off to a busy start so I wanted to let you know how Elizabeth is doing and tell you about an important new mission that I am beginning.

Most importantly, Elizabeth is doing incredibly well. She is almost finished with her chemotherapy treatment, and her doctors are extremely encouraged by how well it is going. Throughout this entire process, she has been as strong as she was the day I first met her, and there is no doubt in my mind that she will beat this cancer. You must know that we draw tremendous strength and courage from all the support you have given us during this trying time, and we thank you for it. We are so fortunate to have friends like you and we will never forget all that you have done to help us through this.

As you may know, our family is planning on moving back to North Carolina after Emma Claire and Jack finish the school year. North Carolina is our home, we want our kids to grow up there, and we are very excited about going back.

North Carolina will also be playing a significant role in what I do next. The University of North Carolina has been a big part of my life because it's where I learned the tools I've used all my life to help the people who needed help the most.

I am very proud to say that I will be joining UNC to launch its new Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity, which will examine innovative and practical ideas for moving more Americans out of poverty and into the middle class. The fact that millions in this country go to work every day and still live in poverty is wrong and unacceptable. This is personal to me, and I believe that it is one of the most important moral issues of our time.

Together with UNC, I will work hands-on to explore creative approaches to the difficulties that families in poverty face every day. We may not have all the answers right now, but I can promise you this: we will be asking the hard questions. We will work tirelessly so that America's bright light of opportunity shines on all of us.

As I begin this process, I'm going to once again be asking you for your help.

What ideas do you have to reduce poverty in our country? What is working in your community and what can we as a nation be doing better? Once we get the Center up and running, we'll be asking for your input. This is too important an issue for us to be sitting on the sidelines - we need everybody's ideas.

It is my intention not just to talk about solutions but to work across the country to test ideas and promote successful strategies. I hope you and I will have the opportunity to work together again to restore the promise of America in our workplaces and dignity in the lives of Americans who just want a chance to earn a decent living for themselves and their family. I grew up with these people, and their cause will always be my cause. I hope you share both my commitment and enthusiasm for this exciting venture.

Again, we are so grateful for all of your support through the years, and I'm looking forward to working with you hand-in-hand in the future. Thank you for everything.


John Edwards