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They deserve better
“Tom McClintock wants us deported. But is anything more American than a ‘Dreamer’?” (sacbee.com, July 10): Congressman Tom McClintock knows Tomas Evangelista’s story. He knows Doris Romero’s story. Anyone who was present at the 2017 town hall remembers Romero’s heartfelt plea to McClintock, asking that he act as her voice and be her advocate. We also remember the smugness and cruelty of McClintock’s practiced response in refuting her request. Since then, the constituents of California’s 4th Assembly District have seen McClintock relentlessly advocate for depriving the “Dreamers” and other undocumented immigrants of opportunities to pursue their stories, which Evangelista reminds us are “as American as that of his forebears.” I have come to realize that the cruelty of McClintock’s rhetoric and actions is the point. It matters little that numerous facts are provided as evidence of the value of immigrants to our economy and our society. McClintock fervently demonstrates the moral bankruptcy demanded by this administration. Fourth-district constituents deserve better. Everyone does.
Take a cue in governance
“California’s latest gas tax increase is about to kick in” (The Sacramento Bee, section 7A, July 1): We just returned from Nashville, Tenn. The gas was $2.39 per gallon. There were no potholes or cracks in any of the roads that we used when driving from Memphis to Nashville – or in any of the other cities we visited. And, by the way, there were no homeless people on the streets and no graffiti. Gov. Gavin Newsom should meet with the governor of Tennessee to see how to run a state.
Let’s protect coastal communities
“Offshore oil drilling threatens our health and economy. We need a permanent ban” (sacbee.com, July 6): As a business owner whose livelihood is based on clean and safe water, we were quick to join the Business Alliance for Protecting the Pacific Coast (BAPPC). With over eight years in business and over 40 years recreating on San Francisco Bay, I know that our ocean and bay ecosystem have been steadily improving. This has opened up not only new avenues for businesses, but has also led to a resurgence in local wildlife. Thanks to the efforts of our community, we have a dramatically healthier bay ecosystem and regularly see osprey, river otters, kingfishers and many animals we had long written off. To put all that at risk again makes no sense. That is why I am grateful our senators, Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris, are working to pass legislation to permanently protect our coasts from all forms of offshore drilling. It’s time to come together, to protect our coastal communities.
Tom Steyer isn’t like Trump
“Tom Steyer for president? Spare me. What it says about the arrogance of rich white guys” (sacbee.com, July 10): Marcos Breton clearly doesn’t want another “old rich white guy” in the race for president, but let’s set aside the Trump-like crudeness of this argument. Saying Tom Steyer is “just like Trump” is just bonkers. If Steyer really believes he is the next great progressive standard bearer, this does demonstrate a disturbing degree of narcissism. But Steyer has devoted himself to building a political base of voters to oppose the corruption and bigotry represented by Trump. If Breton would think before writing, he might see that Steyer is not under any illusions of grandeur or entitlement. Perhaps he plans to use his massive list of supporters to qualify for one of the upcoming debates in order to further spread his resistance message. I doubt Steyer believes he will be president. But knocking him for using his fortune for activism and belittling him as Donald Trump’s equivalent are below Breton’s usual standards.
Make college tuition free
“College should be affordable, but free tuition for all is not the way” (sacbee.com, July 7): Enrolled for nominal fees 50 years ago in both a California college and university, no one then accused me of accepting “candy” or “free” stuff as my tuition was mostly tax funded. Remaining expenses were paid from a summer job, part-time work and loans that were not burdensome. Values change. Greed, as recent scandals reveal, has corroded many aspects of higher education and corruption has crept in like ivy over its hallowed halls. Who can deny that an amoral profit motive inflicting high interest loans exploited and enslaved students with crushing debt? Forgiving some of the student loan debt is justified under shockingly different circumstances from my college days. Reform is required, not half measures. Tax as necessary for college funding, treating all students equally no matter their economic status. Don’t perpetuate privilege through an ability-to-pay system. An affordable education to all is what serves and perpetuates our democratic values.
Spencer P. Le Gate,
Follow the money
“Let’s ‘drop kick’ our petroleum habit. The future of cars is electric, and it’s here” (sacbee.com, July 5): Two phrases come to mind after reading this article: Beware of people bearing gifts and rose colored glasses. Proponents of electric always leave out how batteries are made. The raw materials are mined, requiring toxic chemicals and processes to separate the minerals needed to produce them. After the batteries have outlived their usefulness, then what? They will end up in landfills or maybe they will be recycled, causing more of a toxic mess. The electric vehicle rage is impractical, and charging infrastructure is non existent. This is nothing more than one group of investors selling the public on its ideas so they can make money. As the phrase goes: Follow the Money.