Unsurprised by Mayor Steinberg
“Steinberg endorses ‘split-roll’ initiative to raise property tax on California businesses” (sacbee.com, July 15):
Not surprisingly, Mayor Steinberg supports the “split-roll” initiative because he’s never seen a tax hike he doesn’t like.
He cites the COVID-19 crisis as the reason for his support, even after receiving $89 million dollars from the federal government to directly address the effects of COVID-19, significant parts of which the mayor and council directed to other entities they deemed worthy.
Opponents to the measure are correct in thinking this will be the first step in dismantling, if not completely repealing Proposition 13, the proposition which has allowed you, your parents and grandparents to be able to live in their homes free of a stifling, burdensome tax imposed on the middle class for over 40 years now. As usual, there are no guarantees of accountability for the additional money Proposition 15 would generate, but the mayor assures, “zero cost to residents.”
Can voters rely on those assurances anymore?
The need for speed
“Did someone with COVID-19 infect you? California is short on contact tracers to find out” (sacbee.com, July 15):
Before the vaccine comes out, everyone will experience having a friend, coworker, child or parent with COVID-19 symptoms.
The speed at which tests can be done and results returned is critical! If people wait days to get tested and a week to get results, they have far too long to spread the disease. This cycle must be less than 72 hours.
This gross medical negligence is killing Americans! If a foreign country had attacked and killed 100,000 Americans, we would have demanded immediate action. What prevents our government from fulfilling this most basic duty? Aren’t the lives of the people the core essence of homeland security?
We demand 20% of the military and homeland security budgets be put it into medical protection immediately. The federal government must institute a fully funded national strategic program headed by Dr. Anthony Fauci and the Centers for Disease Control.
Ralph Smathers MD,
College textbooks are expensive
“Gov. Newsom orders most California schools to stay closed until coronavirus spread lessens” (sacbee.com, July 17):
With Gov. Newsom’s new guidelines requiring most California schools to remain closed, many colleges will be forced to be online.
Due to this, professors will turn to digital course materials such as access codes, which are expiring passes that students buy to submit homework. This will make it incredibly difficult for students who cannot afford already expensive textbooks to begin with, compounded by the fact that libraries are closed.
I just graduated, but while at UC Davis I would go to the library in an attempt to cut the added cost of paying for a textbook over $200. Unfortunately, with most students learning from home, that is no longer an option and those who cannot pay will be unable to learn.
However, switching to open textbooks offers a solution. They are written under an open license, meaning they are free to share and adaptable to different classes.
Rest in peace, John Lewis
“John Lewis, lion of civil rights and Congress, dies at 80” (sacbee.com, July 17):
John Lewis was an American treasure.
John Lewis was the truest kind of patriot. He believed America could be better and even live up to his highest founding ideals of equality and liberty for all. He made good trouble to help us get there. He gave a voice to the voiceless and he reminded each of us that the most powerful non-violent tool is the vote. Our hearts feel empty without our friend, but we find comfort knowing that he is free at last. Now it’s up to the rest of us to carry on his work.
Rest in power, John.
Hallandale Beach, Florida
Do better, UC system
“UC Davis unveils preliminary fall plans; full update expected later this month” (sacbee.com, July 18):
As an incoming senior at UC Davis, my worry is not about whether or not I am attending classes in person but rather how am I going to afford it.
The cost of attendance is $30,000 for in-state tuition. $1,200 of that is just on books alone. This is ridiculous.
Students already have a hard time trying to get by with these high tuition prices but with something as important as textbooks, students should not have to be paying these prices. High textbook prices set students up for failure. I know of students who opt not to buy books because they are simply too expensive and have to rely on other resources just to get by. 23 community colleges throughout the state have already implemented zero-cost textbooks into their programs.
If these schools can do it, why can’t a nine school system such as the UC system do the same?
President Trump’s unfair census order
“Trump’s census order could strike 2 million California immigrants from 2020 count” (sacbee.com, July 21):
So, undocumented immigrants are deemed by President Donald Trump to be good for our country when they clean the Trump hotels, attend to the landscape at the Trump golf clubs, harvest, prepare and serve the food and pay their taxes.
But they are somehow in Trump’s mind not good enough to be counted in our US census? If we count on them for their labor and for their many contributions that enrich our economy and the fabric of our culture, surely they should be counted to be represented in our government.
Is there something that doesn’t add up here?