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Disastrous decision

EDITOR: Usually I don’t interfere with issues related to undocumented immigrants, because adults knew the risks they were taking when they came to the United States. However, when it comes to children who were brought here, some as babies, what wrongly affects them now makes me upset, disappointed and sad.

So I’m calling on my fellow citizens and voters to do what they can to reverse President Donald Trump’s disastrous decision to eliminate Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

Most beneficiaries of DACA came so young that they don’t even know what their place of birth looks like. Are we supposed to send them back to Unknown City? Most of them are diligently working and studying so that they can become productive citizens and future leaders in this place that they call home.

Let’s help them help us.

YOLANDA V. MARTINEZ

Santa Rosa

Disruptive bill

EDITOR: I’m writing to express my concerns about Assembly Bill 1250, a bill currently in the state Legislature that would harm the ability of hospitals and counties to work in partnerships to deliver expert medical care.

As a local example, Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, a Providence St. Joseph Health system hospital, contracts with Sonoma County to deliver dental services to hundreds of low-income students in the Bellevue Union School District. This partnership ensures disadvantaged students have access to good oral health care services that keep them healthy and ready to learn.

Public-private partnerships like this allow the Sonoma County Department of Health Services to provide care that, due to budget and staff restraints, it couldn’t provide on its own.

Providence St. Joseph Health has entered into agreements like this up and down the state to provide services, such as crisis mental health, trauma care, vaccinations and enrolling families in CalFresh. AB 1250 would dismantle these successful partnerships and punish the most vulnerable among us.

The Legislature should reject AB 1250.

TODD SALNAS

President, St. Joseph Health-Sonoma County

Korea vets honored

EDITOR: On Aug. 31, Korean War veterans and their families gathered at the Santa Rosa veterans building to receive a “peace medal” struck by the South Korean government to honor their service during that war (“Peace medals amid new threat,” Friday).

I was a recipient of one of those beautiful medals in place of my deceased father (a combat veteran). The ceremony was moving, with veterans or their widows quietly filing past me as I sat awaiting my turn — some with canes, walkers or wheelchairs, others being helped by family members.

There was polite applause for one veteran who received four medals, one for himself and one for each of his three brothers who also served.

I would like to thank Reps. Mike Thompson and Jared Huffman, the government of South Korea and those who made this event possible. I wish my father could have been there to receive his medal personally.

I was sorry to see that someone felt this historic event should be relegated to page 3 with a small photo of a veteran and his wife, while guess how hot it’s going to be and solar power made the front page.

Maybe a picture of the medal? Background of this terrible war? A picture of the assembled vets and their families in the hall?

HENRY BYORUM

Sebastopol

Promoting divisions

EDITOR: A Phil Hands cartoon in Sunday’s Forum section captioned “Attention Progressives” featured Jim, a pro-gun, pro-life redneck as a hero for being a part of the “Cajun Navy” during Hurricane Harvey. Certainly Redneck Jim and those who responded as he did are heroes and deserve appreciation for what they did.

What is disturbing about the cartoon is that it appears to taunt progressives such as myself with the implication that we are so divided as a nation we would be surprised the Jims of this nation act this way.

This cartoon illuminates the way all too many reinforce the many divisions in America. Instead, let us think of a cartoon — and a reality — in which the boats are filled with liberals and conservatives working together to make things better. That’s what will make America even greater.

JERRY NEWMAN

Sebastopol

Suffrage and slavery

EDITOR: Ann Hurd (“Hasty statue removals,” Letters, Aug. 30) equated voting rights with the travails of slavery. American women couldn’t vote until 1920, but, she reasons, that doesn’t mean we should tear down statues of the oppressors — men. On the current downing of Confederate monuments epitomizing the pro-slavery passion of the South, slow down and wait, she counseled.

Eleven million Africans endured the unspeakable horrors of less-than-human enslavement to build this country with their bodies. Rape, torture, lynching. Is a lack of suffrage really comparable? And let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that our Jim Crow days are over and done. They’re not.

For people of color in this country, all times have been reactionary, and they hold a potency and power that is breathtaking. But most of us basking in our white privilege refuse to look and see.

Meanwhile, how many more black and brown boys and young men will be shot to death by police or incarcerated for long prison terms while white counterparts get a wink and a nod from the law? We’ve already had more than 150 years of “thoughtful dialogue and informed decisions,” and I wonder if you would feel the same if your boy with a toy gun lay dead on the ground.

KATHLEEN FINIGAN

Santa Rosa

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