MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — When President Obama visits Minnesota this week, he plans to spend a day in the shoes of a St. Paul woman.

In a new video posted online from the White House, the president says he was struck by a letter from a woman named Rebekah. In the letter, she writes about what she thinks needs changing, and her struggle to get ahead.

The president reads an excerpt from Rebekah’s letter in the video:

“I’m pretty sure this is a silly thing to do, to write a letter to the president. But on some level, I know that staying silent about what you see and what needs changing never makes any difference. So I’m writing you to let you know what it’s like for us out here in the middle of the country, and I hope you will listen.”

White House Senior Advisor Dan Pfeiffer said in an email the president will use Minneapolis to launch the first in a summer series of “day-in-the-life” visits across the country.

“He’ll spend a day with Rebekah – and he’ll meet with her family and community members to discuss the issues that matter to them,” Pfeiffer said.

The president says Rebekah’s letter symbolizes other working Americans who are struggling to make ends meet.

“What I’m hoping to do when I get a chance to see Rebekah directly is to tell her that not only am I listening and paying attention, but there are actually policies out there that can end up making a difference in her life,” President Obama said.

WCCO spoke with Rebekah by telephone Tuesday. She says she was surprised to hear from the White House about her letter, and she’s excited to meet Obama.

The president’s two-day stop will include a Thursday night fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee at the Minneapolis home of long-time donors, Sam and Sylvia Kaplan.

President Obama is holding a town hall meeting at Minnehaha Parkway Thursday afternoon, which is where he’ll meet with Rebekah, her family and business leaders.

On Friday morning, he’s delivering an address on the economy at the Lake Harriet Bandshell before returning to Washington.

The president last visited Minnesota in February, touring the new light rail transit station in St. Paul.

Pat Kessler

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