Letters to the Editor

Unions, wages, primaries, democracy

Workers rally outside the Ronald Reagan State Building in Los Angeles after Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill creating the highest statewide minimum wage, $15 an hour, by 2022.
Workers rally outside the Ronald Reagan State Building in Los Angeles after Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill creating the highest statewide minimum wage, $15 an hour, by 2022. The Associated Press

Unions are needed, need to change

Re “Key to minimum wage fight, Regan divides labor family” (Insight, April 11): It was refreshing to see labor leader Dave Regan admit the movement is in trouble and is willing to do something about it.

When I was a kid, many jobs paid well enough that a family could survive on a single income. Jobs often included health care and a pension. It was the result of strong unions lifting up all workers. It’s no coincidence that as union membership declined over the last 40 years, wages stopped keeping up, benefits were eliminated for many jobs, and now most families need two breadwinners who often must work multiple jobs.

We need strong unions as much as ever, but if unions keep going in the same direction, they may not survive. I’m glad one labor leader has the guts to talk about the problem, take risks and try new strategies to rebuild unions, even if it makes some people angry and uncomfortable.

Donna Young, Sacramento

Ballot measures are the way to go

After so many years of seeing working people fighting for survival and legislatures doing little to help, I agree with Dave Regan that ballot measures are a way the people can say “enough is enough” and take matters into their own hands.

Regan’s approach may cause a stink with some politicians, corporate CEOs or political consultants, but they should feel the heat when they don’t do what the people want. The people wanted a $15 minimum wage, but it took a ballot initiative from Regan’s union to push Sacramento politicians to respond to voters.

This country was founded on the idea of democracy, and there’s nothing more democratic than people exercising their right to be heard directly through the ballot. If that makes elected leaders stand up and take notice, then we should do it more often.

Michelle Crisp, Sacramento

Shoppers will head out of the state

Re “California’s minimum wage hike has winners and losers” (Viewpoints, April 13): Daniel Weintraub is right. There are many winners and losers with California’s minimum wage increase. More than he enumerated. When the wage increases spur higher prices, combined with extending the temporary sales tax hike, we will shop where our dollars go further. Merchants in Reno, Medford, Ore., Klamath Falls. Ore., and Las Vegas will also be winners, and local retailers in California will lose even more.

Dave Sandbrook,

Westwood

Learn rules before getting in the game

Re “Candidates may end up in delegate ‘bidding war’  (Insight, April 12): So Donald Trump has finally figured out how his own party’s nomination process works and is ranting about the “corruption” in the “rigged system.”

It is “totally unfair,” according to Trump. The primary system to which he is referring is governed by his party’s own rules which, in fact, seem to have been “rigged” for his own benefit in this campaign. He has garnered 45 percent of his party’s delegates yet won only 37 percent of the popular primary vote. Sounds totally unfair to me.

As to his ranting about disenfranchised voters and offense to democracy, isn’t this a party primary, anyway? Trump apparently hasn’t figured out that there is a difference between a primary election and a general election. Just wait until he hears that we have an Electoral College.

Peter Glick, Sacramento

Is this really how democracy works?

How many hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent on the primary voting process? With superdelegates and the Republican National Committee planning to try to throw out Donald Trump, what is the point?

I do not like Trump at all, but I have to agree that if he has been the clear front-runner almost all the way, he should get the nomination. Or else, to heck with it, why have primary elections? Just a waste of time and money!

Gabriel Lewin, Davis

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