Monday’s Letters to the Editor
Choices and consequences
EDITOR: I read your article about restaurants taking a stand on COVID-19 vaccinations with great interest, especially Anthony Trimino’s comments about discrimination (“Battle heats up over proving vaccination,” Wednesday). Frankly, I am getting tired of anti-vaxxers whining about discrimination. They made the choice not to get vaccinated, and now they don’t want to deal with the consequences of their actions. Their choice puts others a risk. They must accept that responsibility. It’s called being an adult.
Raise ‘living wage’
EDITOR: Through my term as the coordinator of the Living Wage Coalition, I worked with Marty Bennett and allies to establish the living wage standard in Sonoma County. We have learned that an ordinance is only as good as the enforcement by the city or county.
Updating these ordinances to reflect changing conditions is part of that implementation process. In that light, we strongly encourage the Board of Supervisors to adopt the revisions proposed for the county living wage law by North Bay Jobs with Justice, the North Bay Labor Council and the Alliance for a Just Recovery. These critical amendments will make the legislation more comprehensive, effective and enforceable.
The board should approve a cost-of-living adjustment for 2017-2021 to increase the wage to more than $17 an hour. In December, the board should apply a COLA for 2022.
The workers covered by the living wage law are primarily people of color, immigrants and women.
The county is the largest employer and contractor in the region. The county’s benchmark labor standards have a beneficial effect on low-wage labor markets and private employers not directly affected by the ordinance. A vote for the revised living wage law is a vote for social justice.
Barbara Lee and Israel
EDITOR: Alan Snitow is correct in saying no politician is pure and that it would be foolish to harbor that expectation (“Progressive purity,” Letters, Tuesday). However, his suggestion that East Bay Rep. Barbara Lee is a leader in standing up for Palestinians is pure mirage.
Although some Democrats, including Lee, have said they oppose Israel’s annexation of Palestinian lands, they have never done anything to prevent it. They merely give it lip service. The bottom line is that the vast majority of Congress members, again including Lee, have never seen a bill for billions in military aid to Israel for which they did not vote. Most of the weapons purchased with this aid are aimed directly at Palestinians. With the exception of Iran, Israel is no longer surrounded by hostile countries.
And the most recent of these funding bills, which Lee shepherded as chair of the subcommittee responsible for the legislation, placed absolutely no conditions on Israel receiving the money. They can incarcerate Palestinian children without charges, throw Palestinian families out of their homes and install Israeli settlers in them, and annex anything they like, but Israel still gets the money.
Everyone is ‘the press’
EDITOR: Once again, the oh-so-illustrious editorial board of The Press Democrat stated its belief that the freedom of the press clause in the First Amendment applies only to those who make their living in big corporate media (“Newsom must ensure news crews can cover protests,” Sept. 24). The First Amendment and all its clauses apply equally to every citizen of our republic. I am “the press.” Everyone reading this (if it’s printed) is “the press.” If reporters embed themselves with rioters, they take the same chance as anyone else involved in the riot. If reporters ignore a legal order to disperse, they take the same chance as everyone else if they ignore the order. The entire Bill of Rights must be applied equally to every citizen. There must be no super-constitutional protections, no two-tiered constitutional protections for any class.
EDITOR: I have been vaccinated. I won’t get so sick that I get hospitalized or die. But I can still get and transmit COVID-19. Anti-vaxxers are no more contagious than I. Why can’t they also eat in restaurants?
Texas’ anti-woman law
EDITOR: The Texas abortion law is demonstrably not about saving the life of a fetus, but about destroying the life of the woman. Yet I am told by religious conservatives that the law is about saving babies, human beings, not fetuses. The word “fetus” is the pro-choice word used to dehumanize and desensitize the killing of babies. I have to agree that it is dehumanizing to allow abortion of unwanted babies on demand. That is selfish, heartless and insensitive.
Yet it is also selfish, heartless and insensitive to outlaw abortion and provide nothing beyond the mandated birth. The average cost of delivering a child is $4,500 nationwide. Who has that kind of money? And this doesn’t count the lost earnings from having to quit a job to raise a baby or the cost of raising that baby.
Couldn’t the law also have provided several weeks of paid maternity leave, child care, preschool or help with other education expenses? How about prenatal and postnatal care? Baby clothes, toys, formula and baby food? I don’t think Texas Democrats would have left the state if those provisions were in the law.
You can send letters to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org.