Two points of view on Sacramento’s flavored tobacco ban
JUUL opposes youth vaping
“More teens are vaping now than ever. Let’s stop talking tough and start regulating” (sacbee.com, August 5, 2019) This article discussed preventing youth access to vapor products. To be clear, JUUL Labs exists to eliminate combustible cigarettes. We do not want any non-nicotine-users to buy JUUL products and are committed to preventing underage access. We believe our four flavored (non-tobacco and non-menthol-based) JUUL products are responsibly marketed and play a critical role in switching adult smokers, because they can help smokers disassociate from the taste and smell of cigarettes. Last November, we stopped the sale of these flavored JUUL pods to our traditional retail store partners, enhanced our online age-verification process and strengthened our retailer compliance program with over 2,000 secret shopper visits per month. We are leading the category to reverse the trend in youth use, while preserving this unprecedented opportunity for adult smokers. We will continue to work with California leaders in a transparent and collaborative fashion to achieve that goal.
Chief Administrative Officer,
JUUL Labs, San Francisco
Rent control still coming to ballot
“Rent control is likely coming to Sacramento. How a new plan will affect renters, landlords” (The Sacramento Bee, Section A1, August 8): The Bee’s report on the compromise struck between Housing 4 Sacramento and City Council inaccurately reported that the coalition would withdraw its stronger ballot measure. The coalition may have stated this, but it does not conform to the reality of California law. There are currently no legal means for a charter amendment to be withdrawn from the ballot once it has been qualified. I am a leader of Democratic Socialists of America, Sacramento. We withdrew from the coalition to pursue real rent control by supporting the Sacramento Community Stabilization and Fair Rent Charter Amendment that by law must go on the ballot in 2020. We are joined by other former coalition members Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, SEIU 1021 and Tenants Together in a new and broader-based popular community coalition to win real protections for all renters.
Evil health care system
“Cancer patients are being denied drugs, even with doctor prescriptions and good insurance” (The Sacramento Bee, Section A1, August 10): The denial of chemotherapy treatments to Ms. Smith, even though they were prescribed by her doctor, is an example of the evil of our current health delivery system in this country. Our health care delivery system is one of the worst in the developed world. People need to understand this. Her family would not have been treated like this in Canada. Insurance companies, left to their own devices, will place profit over the health of patients. This story is an advertisement for Medicare for All. By the way, Germany has had universal health care since 1883. We can do this.
“Bricks, death threats and fury: A last-ditch fight against California’s vaccine crackdown” (The Sacramento Bee, Section A1, August 13) Last-ditch campaign or domestic terrorism? What happened to democracy and the rights of all people? I believe the majority of the anti-vaccine activists may be opposed to the proposed law but don’t resort to such animus. Only a few anti-vaccine people are the instigators of the violent threats and attacks on lawmakers. They are selfish people, “It’s all about me!” Do they have to actually have to kill someone before they are considered terrorists? These people are taking the rights of the First Amendment way too far -- down a slippery slope. Is this what has become tolerable in California? Threats and vengeance when they don’t get their way? That’s two-year-old thinking, which defies logic. California, we’re better than this. Let’s stop this behavior now.
More homeless solutions needed
“More homeless are living in cars. Are safe-parking ‘camps’ an answer to Sacramento’s crisis?” (sacbee.com, August 11): Safe parking zones seem like a sad but needed part of a short-term homelessness strategy. But such zones should not be placed near neighborhoods, and/or should be implemented using the fair share approach our Mayor calls for, with 100 or fewer cars per site. Longer-term actual homelessness solutions are needed, such as building more homes, fostering ownership, tackling wealth inequality, education/job training, population control and human services. We can’t keep putting homelessness “on the back burner” or “in a parking lot.”
Wide open walls
“Wide Open Walls 2018 ‘extravaganza’ kicks off, turning Sacramento streets into works of art” (sacbee.com, August 9):It’s my favorite time of year in Sacramento, Wide Open Walls. We’re so fortunate to have artists touch our city with their magic. I was fortunate to have a conversation with artist Maren Conrad at a WOW event. Ms. Conrad is the artist who has graced our city with art featuring Lady Bird, Michelle Obama, Mr. T, koi fish and much more. She mentioned her passion of putting art, such as her dandelion mural, in Sacramento alleyways with no lighting. There are many alleyways with no lighting and the neighborhoods feel unsafe when it is dark in these areas. The murals bring public attention, and lighting sometimes follows. So, whether you are a patron of the arts, a patron saint, or a citizen, please check out the murals of Sacramento.