Saturday’s Letters to the Editor
The Senate’s history
EDITOR: Tim Flagerman raises a point heard somewhat routinely about the U.S. Senate being dysfunctional in part due to the disparity in state populations and the resulting perception of lopsided representation (“A broken institution,” Letters, May 9). As we all learned in eighth grade civics, the Senate was created by the founders to represent the interests of the states — not the people directly.
The people’s representation is the purview and responsibility of the House of Representatives, which alters its constitution regularly through redistricting following a census, thereby providing relatively equal voices of the people.
The Senate’s equal representation of two seats was designed to ensure that more populous states did not have greater power than less populated states. It is, essentially, the same type of formula as used for representation of the citizens, except that the number won’t change until such time that we gain (or lose) a state.
Swing and miss
EDITOR: The Press Democrat’s endorsement in the 2nd Supervisorial District is a swing and a miss (“Rabbitt stands out in supervisor’s race,” May 10). It’s time for new leadership and a fresh perspective.
The incumbent has had 12 years to fix the mismanagement in the county’s behavioral health division that left it underfunded and woefully unprepared for the explosion of mental health needs during the pandemic. Twelve years to fix the racist and hostile county work environment that forced an exodus of top officials of color. Twelve years to stop kicking the can down the road on our housing crisis.
We need a new approach. Please join me in supporting Blake Hooper for supervisor. He has a great vision for strengthening city and county partnerships to address housing issues and to keep families from getting priced out of Sonoma County. He has helped those affected by the fires get back on their feet, and he has innovative ideas to make our communities more prepared and resilient in the future. Let’s get Sonoma County back on track.
EDITOR: It’s ironic that in the same week you ran an article about the condition of Santa Rosa roads, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a $19 billion relief package for all Californians — $400 per vehicle for up to two vehicles per household, in addition to $1,000 in hazard pay to medical workers.
Imagine how many miles of roads, bridges, power lines, dams and other infrastructure could be upgraded to benefit us all for decades to come. Instead, the governor proposed a one-time payment, which would disappear in a puff, and frankly is tantamount to bribing the electorate.
I find this idea insulting, naive and shortsighted. Newsom needs to govern as people have elected him to, and stop this nonsensical plan. We need effective and intelligent leadership, not bribes.
End misuse of Title 42
EDITOR: Every immigrant and asylum-seeker deserves to be treated with dignity, compassion and respect. That simply isn’t possible if our government continues to use Title 42 to block them from safety.
This cruel Trump-era immigrant scapegoating policy must end. Seeking asylum at our nation’s borders is a right guaranteed by law. We have the ability to process asylum-seekers without violating their human rights, and our government has a plan to do so in an orderly way. Moreover, simple public health measures like testing, vaccination, treatment and quarantine can address the impact of COVID-19.
Continuing the misuse of Title 42 would force asylum-seekers who are fleeing violence, persecution and war to return to the dangerous conditions that forced them to flee, without even having their asylum claims considered. Imagine if Poland turned back the trains of Ukrainian refugees because they might bring COVID-19 across the border. America must do better.
America’s families want lawmakers to create a fair process for considering asylum claims that treats all with dignity. It’s time to end the misuse of Title 42 once and for all.
Our worst enemy
EDITOR: Are you paying attention? The party that purports to care about democracy is creating a national censorship board through the Department of Homeland Security and the party that purports to care about your rights is trying to remove the rights of women to control their own bodies. Both parties are driving us toward World War III while failing to help everyday Americans. Our biggest enemy isn’t Russia or North Korea or China, it’s our own government. Stop voting for them. Stop donating to their reelection campaigns. And turn off cable news.
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