Being responsible for homelessness
Re “Faces of homelessness” (Forum, Jan. 29): Yes, the homeless are starving and dying in the cold; it’s a national disgrace. The homeless are important, so why are Americans and our government sending money to the needy in other countries? Shouldn’t our governments and charities be concerned with Americans first?
Sacramento had three military bases closed; the facilities were destroyed or commercialized. There were barracks, chow halls and on-base housing that could have been used to shelter and support the homeless.
If you give each homeless person/family a permanent place to live, you openly invite more homeless to Sacramento; then the politicians will continually ask us for more help. Ever notice more money is spent on planning than progress in California?
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Ron W. Loutzenhiser, Galt
They come for me
Re “Speak out about injustices, because we are Americans” (Forum, Jan. 29): I am so glad that Frances Kakugawa has expressed that the Americans who experienced the horrible eradication of their civil rights must speak out about it.
The internment of Japanese Americans teaches us what can happen when our country’s leadership promotes fear of “the other” based on ethnicity, religion or any group characteristic. We must remember that we are all Japanese-Americans, we are all Muslims, we are all Syrian refugees.
When they come for one, they come for me. No one has civil rights unless we all do.
Eugenie Denise Mitchell, Sacramento
Stop oppression of immigrants
My wife and I left the oppressive apartheid regime in South Africa in 1972. This was a heartrending decision to leave friends and family behind, but we wanted to bring up children in an all-inclusive accepting society. We had been brought up as being color-blind and welcoming to people of all color, race, religion, ethnicity and sexual preference.
America has been good to us, but now we see with horror the reversion to exclusionary and oppressive politics by President Donald Trump, which is why we left our country of birth.
His isolationist view for America in this global world view is scary.
This country has been built on the backs of immigrants – remember the Pilgrims, Italians, Germans, Swedes, etc.?
The people must speak out and not allow us to descend into a right-wing isolationist, reactionary country. We are so much better than that.
Dr. Paul Gottlieb,
Here are specific actions to take
Re “Women’s march was inspirational, but actions will you take next?” (Forum, Jan. 29): Many people have made the point that while the women’s march and similar marches around the country have been impressive, they have lacked concrete and coherent plans to follow through.
Marchers represent a tremendous potential energy that will probably not be as impactful as it could be. It will be a mistake for marchers to wait until the midterm elections to take action. Women and men can send a powerful message if they act now to increase Democratic Party registrations by signing up new members, requesting independent voters to re-register as Democrats, and seeking out Republican voters who are disenchanted with their fragmented party and its leadership. They need to be particularly attentive to voters that are or soon will be of voting age.
Incumbent Republican members of Congress are already ill at ease because of these marches. Imagine how they will react if they sense a tidal wave of civic activity is underway to restore our democracy.
Tyrus Ross Clayton,
Contain costs of affordable housing
Re “We must address crisis of high housing costs” (Viewpoints, Jan. 29): I agree with the author Ray Pearl that California policymakers need to fix broken policies that deprive too many Californians of a place to call home. However, in addition to reducing barriers to construction, I would add the need to address the high cost of building affordable housing.
I worked directly within the California Department of Housing and Community Development’s multifamily affordable housing program for 12 years. It was a rare project that did not cost over $300,000 per unit. It was common for a project to cost over $400,000 per unit and sometimes over $500,000. This is merely the cost per unit, not the total cost of a project which would be multiples of the per unit cost. Costs of this magnitude are simply unsustainable using taxpayer dollars.
Hopefully, policymakers will add cost containment to their menu of affordable housing solutions.
Eric Pfost, Sacramento
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