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District elections

EDITOR: It recently came to my attention that only one member of the City Council lives on the west side of Santa Rosa. As an occupant of the west side myself, I was disappointed by the lack of representation for myself and my neighbors. But I was pleased to see the possibility of district elections in place of at-large elections (“SR moves toward elections by district,” Thursday).

More than 30 percent of Santa Rosa’s population is Latino, and the majority of local Latinos live on the west side. But their representation in city government is weak. Shouldn’t they have a voice as well as the rest of the city?

One reason for a lack of Latino representation is that the cost of running for City Council is too much, and west side occupants are generally less affluent in comparison with the rest of the city. Government shouldn’t be about who is wealthier but about representing the people — all the people.

Why shouldn’t the council make the switch? If this allows the entirety of Santa Rosa to be represented, shouldn’t it be worth the process of making the change?

You may find me at the next public council meeting to see the progress on this issue.

DELANEY TEMPLE

Santa Rosa

Art, not history

EDITOR: This is in response to Bruce Johnson’s letter equating the removal of confederate statues with erasing history (“Erasing history,” Monday). Statues aren’t history, they’re expressions of art. History is fact (or should be), while what constitutes good art is constantly evolving with society.

Time marches on. After 167 years, it’s time — time to accept the fact that the war that almost tore our country apart wasn’t an honorable time, and the architects of it shouldn’t be glorified in art. Taking down these statues isn’t malice toward these men, as Johnson suggests. It’s merely saying they belong in history books where our children can learn the simple facts of this war, and they should no longer be depicted in one person’s opinion of art. They’re just statues, not undeniable facts. They’re not even great art.

As for blowing up the pyramids because they were built with slave labor, I think we can agree that some art stands on its own merit.

KAREN DUNTON

Santa Rosa

Climate ‘changed’

EDITOR: My wise and beautiful friend Amity Hotchkiss made a declaration this past Saturday as we were driving with hordes of people through the town of Bodega Bay to beat the heat. She said that we shouldn’t call it “climate change” anymore. We need to start calling it “climate changed.” Because it did, and we haven’t.

TIM DIMOCK

Santa Rosa

Labor Day blues

EDITOR: According to Thomas Hobbes, life in the state of nature was “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.” It was man against man and survival of the fittest. Our ancestors decided that giving up all their natural rights to gain a semblance of equity and an opportunity for individual development and social cooperation was worth it.

In the state of nature, the largest and strongest man had the advantage, whereas today the man with the greatest fortune rules. Our political, social and economic leaders are the “strong men” today. The rest of us are merely worker bees who build the hive determined by others.

Workers today might be satisfied with this state if they were properly rewarded for their efforts. But, as columnist E.J. Dionne wrote, “they never receive the rights or benefits that are supposed to come their way” (“Workers will see through Trump’s con,” Monday).

The working class made America what it is. All workers deserve a living wage tied to inflation, a wage that provides a modest standard of living and a sense of dignity and respect. It’s the very least we can do to thank those who make our lives possible.

GENE HOTTEL

Santa Rosa

Net neutrality at risk

EDITOR: A cursory search of The Press Democrat’s website reveals fewer than 10 stories about net neutrality in the past year, and only half of those stories specifically cover Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai’s proposal to gut Title II net neutrality safeguards.

Considering that the public comment period for the rule change was marred by spam and distortion (which the FCC refuses to meaningfully investigate), we are left with a greatly diminished voice to address this dire threat to free speech and innovation.

I applaud The Press Democrat Editorial Board for taking a public stand on this issue, but it’s not enough. The press must consciously and consistently raise awareness of net neutrality’s vulnerability and the imminent risk it faces. Politicians and members of Congress pay attention to local newspapers and, more important, local people do, too.

If we sleep through this crisis, we may wake up someday soon to find our bandwidth throttled and our internet access limited by Comcast, AT&T and the other beneficiaries of Pai’s bad-faith plan. And we’ll be overcharged for the privilege.

ERIC LEUSCHNER

Windsor