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Sunday’s Letters to the Editor

Try something new

EDITOR: How many homeless advocacy ad hoc groups need to form before elected leaders hear the message? All humans — not just ones with money, homes, education and racial privilege — have the right to be treated with respect, dignity and justice (a form of love).

We want the environment kept beautiful and sanitary. What new things (already tried and true in other places) can we try? Maybe set aside a million dollars for new solutions? New, like safe parking programs. New, like toilets, water and trash service everywhere they are needed. New, like coordinated food service. New, like temporary villages or camps made from containers or cob housing. Bold and new, like condemning sweeps as human rights violations and dedicating sweep funds to service workers and mental health care and a place to go for all.

Can we try something new now? This year. Before the fires. Before the rains. Before another (swear words not allowed) sweep.

KATHRYN JURIK

Santa Rosa

Recall vendetta

EDITOR: The petulant, narcissistic Gallahers have once again inserted themselves into Sonoma County politics. It’s not bad enough that scores of elders were nearly killed in their senior centers in the Tubbs fire, and then they squelched any reasonable discussion of the SMART issue. Now they’re going to extract another $600,000-$900,000 from Sonoma County for this vendetta to recall a competent district attorney because they have the money.

I was constantly besieged by their “volunteers” at Target to sign recall petitions. When I pushed these shills for reasons, they fell back on an obviously scripted response. They apparently hired any down-on-their-luck person for a $10 per signature bounty.

This disgusting charade should appall any reasonable person. If you have to pay for a signature, it has no more value than the paper and ink it’s on.

Actually, the $500,000 fine after the fire was a slap on the wrist. If I’d been able, I’d have thrown him in jail.

STEVE HAEFFELE

Santa Rosa

Spending the surplus

EDITOR: While any budget surplus is obscene, the state’s $75 billion surplus should not be given to people who did not pay taxes (especially illegal immigrants). How about spending it on desalination facilities or increased reservoir capacity to benefit all Californians?

KENNETH WILLIAMS

Petaluma

Pay state debts

EDITOR: As long as one has debt, there is no such thing as a surplus. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s use of the term implies he is making only the minimum payment on loans, which we all know costs more in the long run.

JOSEPHINE MEYERS

Santa Rosa

Election legislation

EDITOR: The Democratic House majority recently passed H.R. 1 to expand voting rights, reduce the influence of money, limit gerrymandering and establish ethics rules for officeholders.

Because the conservative majority on the Supreme Court eviscerated the Voting Rights Act, Democrats have also proposed the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to prevent voter discrimination.

There is also support for the idea of making Washington, D.C. a state, so that 700,000 Americans can be represented in Congress.

Instead of supporting these attempts to improve American democracy and protect the right to vote, Republicans have passed laws in red states to suppress voting by reducing the time and places for voting, restricting the use of absentee ballots and requiring new voter IDs.

Since there is no evidence of voter fraud, this corporate-

funded campaign to suppress the participation of Black, brown and young voters is a solution in search of a problem.

The history of American democracy has been to broaden the electorate and guarantee access to the ballot. This attempt to suppress voting, therefore, is anti-democratic and un-American.

Elections should be based on merit, not who gets to vote.

TONY WHITE

Santa Rosa

Immigrants’ aims

EDITOR: A refugee from Brazil is quoted as saying, “We sold our house, everything, to come. … We are blessed to have made it” (“Pandemic refugees latest to cross border,” May 17).

As an amateur family historian, I believe that urgency and sentiment is shared by more than a few of our ancestors who came to these shores. Except for Americans of African descent, who were enslaved and brought here in chains, and Native Americans, who already resided here, the rest came for a variety of reasons. But all who were here or ended up here had a common goal: to make a better life for themselves, their families and their posterity. The same things sought by the people in the article.

I don’t comprehend how people whose own ancestors arrived and had the same goals can deny that opportunity to others. I can understand that people need to play by the rules, but some opponents to immigration, including policymakers in the last administration, want to restrict legal immigration. An interesting perspective considering that many of those policymakers and their families were recent beneficiaries of immigration.

I’d like those who oppose immigration to answer one question: Where would you be if your ancestors or recent family members had not made it to these shores?

JOHN WISE

Guerneville

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