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Contra Costa DA Becton
stands up for community
Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton has been standing up for us since before she became the first woman and person of color to serve as DA in county history. The Black Lives Matter movement has led to a reckoning with systemic racism and a fight in Martinez between Becton and reactionary forces entrenched on the wrong side of history.
Becton proved she is on the right side of history by backing BLM and charging the 2 people who defaced the Black Lives Matter mural in Martinez with hate crimes. Now she is being attacked for her decision by bullies and cowards who seek to intimidate all who resist them. Becton is not afraid of them, and her fearlessness and devotion to justice are awe-inspiring.
Becton stands up for us against those who thrive on fear, ignorance, and hatred. Now we’ll stand for her, too.
Praise for reporting
on Carlson comments
Hat’s off to Chuck Barney for real reporting in an excellent piece about FOX’s Tucker Carlson on Friday (“Tucker Carlson praises Martinez couple for defacing BLM mural,” July 11). I’ve long been a fan of Barney’s TV program writings and suggestions, but this was a genre switch for him, and true, unbiased reporting for the readers, as it should be.
Chuck gave us the facts, didn’t embellish them, and the reader was certainly given all pertinent information to make up his or her own mind.
For the purpose of this letter, it’s immaterial how I felt about the actual message, although I am sad that a patriotic couple are to be given much more than a slap on the wrist. (Are you listening District Attorney Becton?) It’s great under the current social environment that Barney’s well-written piece actually made it to “prime time.”
Both Chuck and the East Bay Times are to be commended. Please let that keep happening.
ICE order bad for foreign
students, bad for nation
As a graduate student in physics and a member of the international scientific community, I am appalled by the new Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) declaration that international students on some visas must attend in-person classes or be deported or barred from entry into the U.S. (“In Bay Area, ICE order over online classes rattles thousands of international college students,” July 8)
International students are 5.5 percent of all U.S. college students and invaluable members of our community. All stages of my academic development have been possible only through the support of the international community. Beyond this, these students, if deported or forced to take in-person classes against community health guidelines, could be putting themselves and the communities they live in at risk.
International students are people, and they should not be left as bargaining chips in a political fight. They ought to be allowed to pursue their education unencumbered by cruel and arbitrary changes in the midst of a pandemic.
We need a president
with vision for future
President Trump desperately wants the United States to return to “normal”. He has threatened to withhold funding for schools that don’t open to in-class teaching nationwide. There is no consideration for COVID-19 conditions locally, no allowance for local control. He is endangering our teachers and children.
Part of the problem is his unreasonable demand that everyone must obey. He is president, not king. The other problem is that there may never be a “normal” he will accept. He disregards the fact that many businesses are closing. Neiman Marcus, J C Penney, 24-Hour Fitness, J Crew, Gold’s Gym, Hertz and others have declared bankruptcy. For these companies, there will be no “normal.” Things are changing; consider it economic evolution. We must create a new normal, not try to beat a dead horse back to life.
We need a leader who can envision a future, not one who demands a failed past.
Rideshare fee will make
Oakland transit worse
I’ve lived in the Bay Area long enough to see leaders act hastily, but I’m alarmed that Oakland City Council President Rebecca Kaplan is now trying to make it even harder to get around, by adding fees to every rideshare ride.
I’ve spent 25 years supporting underserved youth and adult re-entry programs. I can’t count how many times before the pandemic I relied on Lyft and Uber to get me around.
Rideshare has improved transportation access for low-income residents and seniors, made it possible to not own a car, and removed barriers when transit is not accessible.
Unlike most commuters, I don’t drive. I rely on rideshare to connect to BART and AC Transit.
Hastily ramming through a new fee that punishes residents and our families won’t improve transportation in Oakland, particularly during the COVID-19 crisis when transit options are limited. The City Council should not go through with this.
Executive Director, United Playaz