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Tuesday’s Letters to the Editor

Becoming an ‘influencer’

EDITOR: After reading the article about social media influencer Katie Sorenson and her travails with the police (“Influencer faces misdemeanor charges,” Friday), I was left with a question: How do you get a job like that?

I admit that I’m not quite up to speed on social media. OK, I never use it. Being retired, I’m not looking for a big salary. If millions of people start following my lead, it should be worth something. Shopping at crafty stores like Michaels is a daunting prospect. If it’s required for the job, I could do it. I’m a big boy. I hope someone out there can shed some light on this issue. It would do my heart good to know that there is room for a crusty curmudgeon in the exciting new field of social media influencing.

DAVID BERG

Santa Rosa

Equal-access elections

EDITOR: The tide of the 2020 election has gone out to sea off Mar-a-Lago. Prior to a tsunami, the tide recedes. What will happen next?

Well, politicians are using devious administrative devices such as new and confusing voter ID requirements, purges of registered voters, limiting drop-off boxes and criminalizing giving food and water to voters in line. How do we turn the tide? We need to decouple federal elections from each individual state and have one standardized system to elect federal officeholders. Equal protection under the law is guaranteed by the Constitution.

In a new federal election voting system this would equally apply an expanded voter access system to all Americans of voting age. Everyone would get a mail-in ballot or vote at a polling place with an exclusive federal election ballot.

In America, each state has a separate tax system and judicial system from the federal government. A separate federal election agency could be hardened against cyberattack, guarantee a paper trail of votes, be funded to meet the needs of the electorate, defeat the big lies of stolen elections and be truly equal for all voters, as is our constitutional right.

STEVEN GARCIA

Sebastopol

Saving water

EDITOR: There is another obvious water saving tip that should be added to the list published on April 25. During COVID, we are all washing our hands for 20 seconds; perhaps as many as 10 times a day. If we let the water run, billions of gallons could be wasted across the country. So, wet your hands, turn off the water, soap your hands, wash, turn on the water and rinse. This seems like common sense, but I bet most people just let the water run.

DON STRATTON

Petaluma

DACA and citizenship

EDITOR: Although DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, has provided some undocumented immigrants with temporary work authorization and protection from deportation, it does not provide a long-term solution.

It provides temporary relief, but there is a long list of eligibility requirements for permanency, including age requirements, continuous residency in the U.S. since 2007 or being in school or a high school graduate. The list does not end there; they must also maintain a clean record.

Nevertheless, if you are eligible, you are protected for two years. Then, you must reapply. Although a person has been eligible in the past for DACA, there is no guarantee that they will be approved each time after that. Even though you are given temporary relief from deportation, at any chance your DACA status can be revoked.

It is important to note that DACA is temporary and does not guarantee a pathway to citizenship. There needs to be another solution because DACA recipients deserve more. Most DACA recipients were brought here as young children and have only known the United States. They should be automatically approved for U.S. citizenship, because this is their home and community where they have been raised since childhood.

REBECCA MAGALLON

Rohnert Park

Drought choices

EDITOR: It is encouraging that Gov. Gavin Newsom recognized the emergency of dwindling water reserves in Sonoma and Mendocino counties. His announcement forewarns that we will all have to sacrifice to survive an extended drought. In an April 23 editorial, The Press Democrat called for “the brave and necessary step” of restrictions on water use and recommended implementing conservation measures immediately (“Drought requires stronger mandate for conservation”).

That’s why I am having a hard time reconciling county officials’ plans to cover many acres of agriculturally zoned land with cannabis, a particularly water intensive crop. Could someone explain why the Board of Supervisors is thinking of allowing a huge expansion of cannabis cultivation in the middle of a water shortage?

The decision to move forward on permitting cannabis is on the table. Whether it’s 65,000 acres, as a county consultant wrote in a study, or 20,000 or 10,000, it’s too much.

If we have to ration water, who will get priority — traditional agriculture and businesses of the county or a controversial new venture with known impacts on neighborhoods, residents and our water supply?

In this equation water is the more limited commodity and, unlike cannabis, is essential for our survival on earth.

MERCY SIDBURY

Sebastopol

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