Wednesday’s Letters to the Editor
Seeking a pledge
EDITOR: Finally, Windsor appears poised to enact what voters urged: campaign finance limits. Why does this matter? Limiting the amount of money that can be donated to a candidate allows voters to assess the worth of the candidate, not the wealth of their donors.
Yes, campaigns need money, but this levels the playing field. Candidates might have humble means but good ideas, integrity and the community’s respect. They should not be scared off by candidates who, advantaged by personal wealth or funded by outside interests with deep pockets, can outspend them.
The Town Council acted too late for the April 12 special election. But candidates can immediately follow the intent and spirit of the ordinance. I challenge all candidates to self-impose a $500 limit from each donor. Candidates should want policies that produce diverse candidates and ideas and reject practices like those of former Mayor Dominic Foppoli, who amassed more than $90,000 for a campaign.
Before marking my ballot, I’ll see which candidates accept the challenge. I urge you to do the same, then assess the worth of the candidate.
A neighborhood ignored
EDITOR: Our neighborhood in the 2900-3800 blocks of Sebastopol Road in Santa Rosa has evolved into a trash-strewn place with derelict RVs parked on the street, steps from people’s front doors.
This has happened during the tenure of the first City Council member to specifically represent our neighborhood, Natalie Rogers. There are large trailers and RVs that haven’t moved for over a year. Rogers appears obvious to this blight.
Political scientists tell us that politicians elected by district can view their jobs in distinctly different ways. One is to solve ordinary quality of life problems in their district, such as trash, illegal parking, crime and blight. The other is to see themselves not as a neighborhood advocate but with a mandate to pursue broader social and political change for society.
Rogers appears to be of the second persuasion, so our neighborhood suffers. It is a profound disappointment and sign of disrespect for our low- and middle-income neighborhood that the city and Rogers in particular allow this. What is wrong with having the clean, quiet, quality place to live we used to have? This would never happen in Santa Rosa’s higher-income council districts.
Stand up and be counted
EDITOR: Steve Schlich (“Defending democracy,” Letters, Jan. 13) asks how we can defend our democracy. He’s actually defending democracy by speaking up and writing his letter. All of us should speak up, organize and vote like our democracy and maybe our lives depend on it. Get active on local, state, national or international issues.
It will take a nonviolent tsunami of people power to overcome Jim Crow 2.0 and save our democracy. Sonoma County led the way with over a 90% turnout in 2020, which should be the goal of every election nationally.
All elections should be by mail, run and counted by nonpartisan civil servants, with a paper trail for recounts. Ranked choice voting encourages participation. We need a true democracy that truly represents the will of the people.
A Ludicrous idea
EDITOR: The idea, proposed in a Press Democrat editorial, that Dr. Sundari Mase, Sonoma County’s public health officer, should consult with the supervisors and/or business leaders before imposing a health order is ludicrous (“Virus rules need community input,” Jan. 18).
Just reading the paper’s headlines — “Infections surge across the county,” “US facing omicron death wave” — tells you there is an urgent problem. A problem not to be messed with.
Mase is a pro. She knows what she is doing. She is doing her best to keep people safe in the face of a very difficult situation. Give her some credit.
Relying on the supervisors or business leaders to make to make appropriate health decisions is folly.
EDITOR: I’m sure I’m not the only person affected by empty shelves in many stores. Recently, I needed a bulb of fresh garlic; unfortunately, the store had none. However, I could buy a plethora of Valentine’s Day candy, decorations and gifts. Doesn’t make sense.
EDITOR: Imagine German parents saying, “We have decided that we don’t want to teach our children about the Nazis, Hitler, the Holocaust and World War II. We think that makes them feel badly about being German, and it makes them uncomfortable.” I think most of us would find that unacceptable.
This is what those who are trying to sanitize American history are saying as they try to control school curricula, purge books and block discussions about our history. It’s not about protecting kids; it’s about protecting white privilege. Attacks on critical race theory and efforts to block teaching history honestly is a public relations campaign. It’s racism — same old product, different package.
I think some white American parents are afraid their kids will be different, believe that everyone should get a fair shake and move into a multicultural, multicolored world. For some, that’s a bad outcome.
German kids learned about their history and didn’t melt. Germany has become a strong defender of human rights while working to heal from a national trauma. American kids can handle the truth. It’s their parents who are having a hard time.
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