Letters: Police militarization | Manufactured crisis | Fix schools | Newsom errs | Social Security | Food insecurity
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Speak out against
Re: “Bay Area police stockpiling military-grade weaponry” (Page A1, March 5).
Katie Lauer illuminates in detail the militarized arsenals from drones to armored vehicles owned by law enforcement agencies, which some officers call “a life insurance policy.”
But most policies authorizing the use of militarized equipment for Bay Area agencies are not restricted to “insuring life.” Contrary to the state law, AB 481, that requires them, policies proposed by police to elected officials often don’t clearly define in what situations weapons are authorized, only designating who in law enforcement may decide to use this weaponry. Many policies say authorized uses “include but are not limited to” a list of situations, or use euphemisms, as when the Livermore Police Department says tear gas fired into a house is “a de-escalation tactic.”
Community members have a chance to contest these unlimited uses. Agencies will post annual reports of military equipment use this spring and hold community engagement meetings. Residents should show up and ask hard questions.
Housing shortage is
a manufactured crisis
Re: “Housing scarcity target of new bill” (Page A1, March 2).
The article describes still another bill pushing ever more housing density. The truth is, there is no need for more homes. We are told California has a “housing crisis,” and an acute shortage. If one goes to an apartment locating website one will find hundreds of empty Bay Area apartments everywhere. In a shortage crisis, I would expect only long waiting lists.
To further verify housing availability, Google: “Average Bay Area Vacancy.” You will find this is 5.2%; far from an “acute shortage.”
It is claimed more housing near jobs will relieve traffic. However, massive apartments are being forced into suburban communities, like Danville, where there are few if any jobs.
Local control is being stolen through measures like SB9-SB10. Historically, local zoning allowed communities to control their futures. State, central planning, will destroy suburban communities.
Only GOP can
fix state’s schools
Democrats can’t help themselves when it comes to destroying public education and schools in California. Most recently, state Sen. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, introduced Senate Bill 274, which would ban schools from suspending students who disrupt class or defy teachers. These are known as willful defiance suspensions.
The teachers unions, which donate millions to Democrats, have long ago rendered teachers and administrators impotent. But this bill makes it law. It allows the most disruptive student to get away with doing the most disruptive things. All the other students and their educations are at the mercy of the class clown or street thug. There’s no instruction anymore. Just indoctrination.
So why have public schools at all? They have become such a disgrace and a waste of money. If we want to salvage public education we need to vote Republican and defund destructive teachers unions.
Newsom errs in picking
fight with Walgreens
Many of us are disgusted when a leader picks petty fights to punish companies with whom they disagree politically, whether that company is Disney or Walgreens, as opposed to governing competently.
The desantification of Gavin Newsom is truly embarrassing.
Social Security has
no role in deficit
Social Security is not going broke any time soon, especially in an era of full employment. And, if our government would move forward with giving many of our undocumented residents work papers, that would provide additional income for Social Security, which is funded by the payroll tax.
So, don’t let Republicans fool you into thinking that Social Security is causing the annual federal deficits. Those are being caused by more federal spending than revenues separate from Social Security, which, currently, has nearly as much income as outflow, annually, and has a Trust Fund that holds $2.8 trillion.
Back efforts to fight
Growing up I never faced food insecurity. I did not realize how prevalent it is until I started volunteering at a food pantry. As a volunteer, I was shocked to see how many people relied on thepantry. I remember one mother tearing up as she mentioned this was one of the few options, she had to feed herself and her children. Her emotions show how deleterious food insecurity is. In fact, per the United Nations in 2020, a decades-long decline in food insecurity was interrupted and an increase was seen due to the pandemic.
This increase is a call to urge Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla to sign Sens. Susan Collins and Jeanne Shaheen’s letter, Support Robust Funding for Global Maternal and Child Health, including Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and Nutrition in Global Health. Now is the time to reverse the global impacts of the pandemic and fight food insecurity.