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Constitution and census

EDITOR: Gary McClernan (“Citizenship and census,” Letters, Thursday) seems to think only persons who are citizens and eligible to vote should be counted for purposes of House district apportionment. In fact, the Constitution says all “persons” shall be counted, including women (non-voters then), children and even slaves (albeit only as three-fifths of a person). It says nothing about “citizens.”

As for allocation of government funds, noncitizens pay taxes too. Shouldn’t they be equally entitled to federal money?

As far as I can tell, adding the citizenship question to the census only serves Donald Trump’s white nationalist agenda.

JOHN SCHWIRTZ

Santa Rosa

Cannabis ‘hysteria’

EDITOR: The hysteria emanating from rural residents about cannabis policy is reactive and irrational. These neighbors are using 1980s drug war thinking when evaluating public policy. I support organic, Sonoma County grown-in-the-sun cannabis.

The folks growing cannabis here now, and since the 1960s, don’t want crime or any sort of lower quality of life. They live here and are a part of our social fabric. The county’s efforts to regulate and tax cannabis are a welcome safety feature against marauders and thieves, because they enable measures such as cameras, security gates and fences and coordination with local law enforcement.

It is real that neighbors have concerns, but the time to work out any differences is well worth the result of a safer, less violent cannabis condition.

GAIL SHELDON

Guerneville

Veganism and hunger

EDITOR: Sure, vegan diets would allow for the production of more food (“Going vegan,” Letters, April 2). But when was the last time you went into Oliver’s Market and found the shelves empty because they had run out of food? Like, never?

We have enough food in America now, but it doesn’t get to the hungry because of our economic and distribution practices. A vegan family doesn’t save half their food budget, then turn around and give the savings to a family that suffers from food insecurity.

We don’t have a production problem. We have an economic problem. Even if the whole nation went vegan, the poor would still go hungry if they couldn’t afford to buy food, however that food was produced.

Veganism may be the moral choice, but without broader changes, presenting veganism as a panacea to hunger is unfounded.

ELLEN SKAGERBERG

Santa Rosa

Postal subsidies

EDITOR: If you want to send a letter to Grandma, a Mother’s Day card, a Valentine to a loved one, keep the Postal Service subsidized, and good for you for staying in touch.

If you are Amazon.com, I don’t want my taxes to subsidize $1.46 per package you send. Most Amazon buyers are looking for a lower price, and if an extra $1.46 pushes it over the edge, they should buy local.

Subsidize the private letters to loved ones. Charge the businesses enough to make the U.S. Postal Service sustainable. They are making profit, why should I take a loss to help them?

GLENN NORUM

Santa Rosa

Student protests

EDITOR: Although I believe that the causes behind the school walkouts that have occurred lately are extremely relevant and important, I also feel that many students who claim to be getting involved in social issues are only taking advantage of these protests. As a student myself, I find it extremely disappointing to see so many of my peers claiming that they are walking out of class to support a cause when, in reality, they only want to skip a class that they may dislike.

It is inspiring to see so many people coming together and forming a united front for causes such as immigration and gun control. However, because of the large number of people taking advantage of this, the purpose behind these walkouts is being tainted. It is important for those who aren’t invested in these causes to reconsider leaving class for the sole purpose of not taking money away from our schools.

I am in full support of anyone who stands up for what they believe in, but it is extremely disappointing to see students taking advantage of these causes to get out of class.

SOFIA ROLL

Santa Rosa

Choosing a sheriff

EDITOR: For the first time in more than a quarter of a century, we are fortunate in Sonoma County to have a contested race for sheriff during which the public can have a discussion with candidates about their vision for the office. We have three candidates, all of whom are qualified, all with different visions for the office and different management styles.

The Community Advisory Council for the Sonoma County Independent Office for Law Enforcement Review and Outreach, the Sonoma County Commission on the Status of Women, the Sonoma County Commission on Human Rights and the League of Women Voters of Sonoma County are co-sponsoring a forum and debate for the candidates at 6:30 p.m. on April 30 at the Santa Rosa Veterans Building.

We encourage the public to attend and to submit questions for the candidates. Questions may be submitted to jmbrown.iolerocac@gmail.com, emiliacarbajal.cac@gmail.com or jim.duffy.iolerocac@gmail.com. The deadline to submit question is this coming Friday.

JIM DUFFY

Rohnert Park

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