Letters to the editor, April 14, 2017
Mayor Javier Gonzales shouldn’t be surprised that Hillary Clinton lost the presidential election — the same fate may fall on him. The hard-working middle class families who built this city and country have been forgotten by our public policy makers. Those hard-working people are now standing up and pushing back with their votes. More anti-middle class policies and taxes are not going to fix the city’s ability to improve much of anything, including the education of the city’s children — getting the public involved will. For example, a regressive tax on sugary drinks won’t fix the problem of educating our children. Encouraging parents to stress the importance of education to their kids and ensuring their kids stay engaged in school might have more benefit. It’s not the Los Alamos schools and taxes that enable the kids to perform so well in school — it’s the involvement of their parents.
Now that Donald Trump has filled his administration with sociopathic billionaires and corporate whores, it appears he didn’t drain the swamp: He turned it into a sewer.
Entitled to opinion
Milan Simonich is entitled to his opinion, but not to omitting important facts (“Gonzales’ track record main hurdle facing soda tax proposal,” April 10). Mayor Javier Gonzales is doing an outstanding job. For starters, he turned a $15 million deficit into a $15 million surplus without raiding the water division. He created a film commission, resulting in a record number of film jobs and a number two ranking for filmmaking in the country.
Gonzales started the Mobile Integrated Health Office, cutting down on 911 calls and saving thousands a month in emergency room charges, while making sure people are cared for. The mayor’s Verde Fund is now awarding its first grants, funding the goals of carbon neutrality by 2040 and fighting poverty. The city’s cultural affairs task force is working to make the arts accessible and affordable for all. And it is fact that many prominent, respected groups and individuals support the mayor’s efforts on pre-K education and are for the soda tax.
Banking on New Mexico has worked long and hard championing a Public Bank of Santa Fe. Several years ago, this dedicated nonprofit convinced the City Council to invest in a public bank feasibility study. That study affirmed that it could be done and would be of great financial benefit to Santa Fe.
A task force must now present the “ways and means” to actualize a public bank. At the April 26 City Council meeting, Councilor Renee Villarreal will introduce a resolution that creates that task force. Santa Fe residents can show support for this historic undertaking by attending that meeting.
Thanks to Councilor Villarreal for introducing this critical resolution and thanks to her co-sponsors, Councilors Joseph Maestas, Carmichael Dominguez, Peter Ives and Signe Lindell. As the nation’s politicians appear determined to drag the country backward, it’s heartening that our local officials are leading Santa Fe into the future.
Seeing is believing
A speech about the horror of seeing “beautiful babies” suffering and dying. Fifty-nine Tomahawk missiles. One Syrian airport, temporarily damaged. What does this mean (“For Trump, no more ‘American First,’ ” Commentary, April 8)? Does it mean genuine concern for the Syrian people? If so, we will see a sustained diplomatic focus on Syria and probably deployment of American forces there. In the interim, we will naturally open our borders to more Syrian refugees.
Does it mean genuine concern about the health and welfare of “beautiful babies?” If so, that concern should extend to American babies. We will see increased funding for pre-natal, infant and child care; Environmental Protection Agency funding to assure healthy environments for children, and Department of Education funding for enhanced educational opportunities. Does it mean that Donald Trump wants to distract attention from his sinking administration’s multiple failures? If so, we will hear lots of ballyhoo but see no real activity of any sort. What will we see?
Soda is taxing
Soda was readily available to me as a child, and I admit to a sweet tooth now even as I enter my senior years. But I cringe at the thought of anyone imbibing soda. I watched as my brother-in-law removed a persistent garage floor stain with 12 ounces of soda. To drink a soda is to invite that dissolving action to erode your teeth and enter your gut. Also, almost a teaspoon of sugar is swallowed with each sip. Soda drinkers nearly double the chance of getting Type II diabetes. Why expose yourself or your family to an increase risk of developing tooth decay, weight gain, osteoporosis and acid reflux?
Healthy family choices do not include soda. Soda has no nutritional value. I hope the soda tax substantially diminishes soda consumption citywide and we need to rely on our first pre-K students, as educated and healthy city leaders, to target another funding source to sustain the pre-K program.