Dan Morain

All lives matter, but especially babies

To Elect, To Serve...
To Elect, To Serve... johman@sacbee.com

On behalf of The Sacramento Bee’s editorial board, welcome to The Take, your opinion-politics newsletter. Please sign up for it here.

As we await the national conventions and vice presidential selections, Erika D. Smith writes about a clueless and inflammatory move by an unnamed Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department employee who diminished legitimate concerns about police use of force. Our editorial writers focus on a positive step by the U.S. House of Representatives, and how to help young parents keep their babies safe. Other editorial writers focus on the need for regulation, and the need to lighten up.

Taking it back

In this era of big-time drama, sometimes it’s the little things that matter. Such is the case for Erica Marie. A Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department sergeant was dispatched to her door to apologize after she spotted copies of a dubious opinion piece, “The Myths of Black Lives Matter,” offered like a brochure in the Sheriff’s Department lobby.

Marie posted her displeasure on Facebook and the post went viral, fueled by anger over police shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana last week. The sergeant told her the article had been removed and vowed an investigation into the incident.

“Viral media is powerful, guys,” she posted. “Don’t be afraid to speak out.” – Erika D. Smith, @Erika_D_Smith

Take a number: 433

The Children’s Memorial Statue at Lake Merritt in Oakland was erected to commemorate children who have died violently in Alameda County. Former Alameda County Supe Gail Steele fought for it, with help from Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. The Bay Area News Group reported that it includes 433 names, as of May.

Our take

Editorial: Sacramento County has launched a $26 million initiative to reduce child deaths. The bad news is that not everyone has gotten the memo.

Editorial: The House stepped toward helping mentally ill people, and showed a commitment to an issue that too often is ignored. The Senate should follow.

Erika D. Smith: The fact that a Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department employee felt comfortable enough to put an inflammatory op-ed related to Black Lives Matter at the public counter where people apply for gun permits says a lot about the domineering cowboy culture in the department.

Dan Walters: Assemblyman Roger Hernández has been treated lightly in case of legislative bad behavior.

Daniel Weintraub, among our regular contributors: Even with health care reform, it’s hard to find a doctor.

José González’s Soapbox: There is much to be done to engage diverse communities in the important work of protecting, using and advocating for our public lands.

Linda Rudolph and Keanan McGonigle’s Soapbox: Every time policymakers decide whether to allow the extraction, processing, transport or shipment of fossil fuels, they must consider the climate change implications, abroad and at home.

Their take

LA Times: California ought to reconsider whether requiring a driver behind the wheel makes an autonomous vehicle safe enough for the public roadways.

Orange County Register: Lawmakers who so arrogantly pretend to wrap themselves in the robes of science ignore the clear evidence that vaping is a much safer alternative to smoking.

San Francisco Chronicle: Coming to a city near you, San Francisco bans Styrofoam.

Miami Herald: Getting a deportation order is only the first step in ejecting someone from the country. The second is finding a country to take the deportee.

Chicago Tribune: A conflict over the public’s right to know involving laboratory beagles at the University of Illinois? Our ears perked up.

Syndicates’ take

Michael Gerson: What American leader is equal to explaining this moment and moving us forward? The question just echoes.

Paul Krugman: Cheap money telling us to invest in our future.

Tweet of the day

Our colleague Foon Rhee @foonrhee, upon visiting the Children’s Memorial Statue in Oakland: “What does it say about us that there are so many names on a new memorial in Oakland to children killed by violence?”