Where is our moral compass?
Re “Raising the minimum wage will squeeze nonprofits” (Viewpoints, May 8): Roy Alexander wrote a great opinion piece. I hope it serves to advance the dialogue to encourage governments to sufficiently fund critically needed services for children and their families. Aside from the ethical reasons to adequately fund the services, economically we can pay now or pay later when the consequences play out in our judicial system.
It is discouraging that the city can provide funding for a $500 million arena and at the same time leave disadvantaged children behind. Where is our moral compass as a community?
I started my consulting firm in 1989 initially serving children’s groups largely as the result of government cutbacks for social services. That funding has not returned to those levels for the last 25 years. Instead, governments continue to shift policy due to financial constraints, as opposed to effectively addressing what children actually need.
This amounts to nothing less than a lapse in ethical leadership.
Rose Lester, Carmichael
Minimum-wage hike might help
I just about fell out of my chair when I read the commentary by Roy Alexander. He is bemoaning the fact that Sacramento Children’s Home will have to pay someone enough to clothe and feed their own kids when wages go up. Lord have mercy, we can’t have that.
Alexander is worried that their “funding streams will not cover an employee making $15 per hour.” Well, maybe if people were being paid a living wage, he wouldn’t have to “see firsthand the struggles when parents can’t make ends meet, and how financial pressures can spiral into overwhelming challenges.”
Paul Chollet, Auburn
More money for wage earners
I sympathize with the financial consequences to nonprofits and small businesses. My father, son and I have all been small-business owners. I’ve volunteered with nonprofits since I was a child. I’m very familiar and supportive of the Sacramento Children’s Home, which is surely one of the social anchors of our community. But I’m also aware of the population they serve.
Many of the individuals and families would have a better chance of becoming strong, healthy, independent citizens if paid a living wage. If an 18-year-old could leave the protective environment of the children’s home and secure a job with his or her entry-level skills that would provide a small, shared apartment, food and transportation, he or she could realistically begin building a sustainable and independent future. The salary deductions need to come from the top earners, not the bottom.
Carol A. Voyles, Sacramento
Death penalty is too costly
Re “The death penalty problem” (Forum, Dan Morain, May 8): Years ago, when a felon was legally convicted and given the death sentence, I agreed with the jury. Now the death penalty is a total waste of money – the taxpayers’ money!
It allows felons to have more lawyers, more trials and a delayed death sentence. I suggest to all that a sentence of life in prison without parole would be better. It saves the taxpayers money and achieves a better goal. No parole and no lawyer fees. Repeal the death penalty.
Marilyn A. Chilton, El Dorado Hills
Death penalty is not a deterrent
The death penalty is not an effective deterrent, is grossly overpriced and is an international embarrassment. California would be better off without it.
Jimmy Woodward, Carmichael
Odd to advocate for polluters
Re “Cap and trade is not a tax” (Forum, Another View, May 8): After reading Alex Jackson’s commentary, I thought I was Alice falling though the rabbit hole. Instead of advocating for an industrial facility to meet clean-air standards, he advocates that a company should be able buy its way out of cleaning up its pollution by paying for credits. That a company can pay to pollute. Wow! My neck hurt from my head spinning around and around.
Cap and trade should be repealed as it does not produce cleaner air. Being able to pay to pollute because a factory somewhere else surpasses clean-air standards and buying their credits does nothing for the citizens who live close to the factory.
No one has a right to pollute the air that we breathe to make a buck.
Set the standards and help factories and businesses comply so maybe businesses will stop running from country to country to pollute.
Michael Santos, Antelope
Civil law protects us from religion
Re “Want a homeless tent city? Try religious freedom law” (Forum, Erika D. Smith, May 8): Our society is ruled by civil law, not religious law. The U.S. Constitution prohibits government from “establishing” religion, while protecting the individual’s right to religious belief and practice.
This means people can participate in any activity and call it religion, so long as it does not violate civil law, and no one can use religious belief as an excuse to discriminate against or persecute others engaged in lawful activities.
Nowhere does the Constitution say or imply that religious belief can be used to overturn, weaken or ignore civil law. Just the opposite, it protects everyone from the fervor of a few.
Larry Crane, Davis
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