EDITOR: As with many of us, Mike Thompson is my congressman. Barbara Lee was my representative for many years, and I was concerned about losing her representation when my husband and I moved to Sonoma County a few years ago. However, I have had many opportunities to hear Thompson speak and to follow his work since moving here, and each time I cast my vote for him, I feel confident that I am represented (“Noncompetitive elections,” Letters, Nov. 27).
One example is his Nov. 17 Close to Home column urging us to learn more about the local and global impact of climate change and become involved in efforts to mitigate climate change; it was like having a conversation with friends (“The political war over climate change”). I applaud his advocacy for gun control and his participation in the bipartisan House Climate Solutions Caucus.
I want to be represented by someone who is smart, honest, courageous and solution-driven. I feel fortunate to have Thompson speaking (and speaking out) for me and for the next generation. Let’s use Thompson as an example as we continue to reach out and speak to our neighbors in California and nationally. November 2020 isn’t far away.
JOANNE M. BROWN
EDITOR: Physician-assisted death is legal in five states and Washington D.C., but it should be legal across the country. Arguments against it include fear of abusing the practice or emotional harm to others. However, if we have free will, if we control our actions, then we should have the choice to end our own suffering.
Every day, people make the choice to live and others make the choice to end the pain of their family pets. Yet every day, people must endure their own pain with the knowledge of their imminent and inevitable death.
In California, assisted-death laws require having a terminal illness, mental competency and the capability to self-administer the death-inducing medication. These conditions prevent abuse of the practice and prevent emotional harm to others.
People may also fear physician-assisted death because of the human tendency to hold on to hope. We want to believe in miracles — in the impossible. But if someone is competent and wishes to end their life instead of being in pain and prolonging their certain death, then we should grant them that option.
If we can make this empathetic choice for animals, we should be permitted to make this choice for ourselves.
EDITOR: I propose a simple solution for the current conundrum with the immigrant caravan: Offer them $3,000 each to go home and make a better life, and pay their travel home.
Make the payments secure (from gangs and their government) and metered over a year with the provision that should they return they will be immediately deported.
Next, add schools and training programs for 100 communities in Honduras and Guatemala that give their residents the opportunity to make a better life through modern technology. This will give them hope, the lack of which brought them to our border in the first place. Use the Peace Corps or some other nonprofit, such as Teachers without Borders.
Work with their governments to clean up their act regarding corruption and gangs. Make their countries a better place.