Letters for June 15, 2006

Women could lead
As a male registered voter, 55-year Nevada resident, dyed-in-the-wool Westerner, and a long-time observer of the good-old-boy political machine here, I have some questions: Is the Nevada electorate prepared to consider electing a female governor? Are Nevada’s women going to turn out to vote for a change?

U.S. News & World Report and the Center for Public Leadership at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University commissioned a study published Oct. 18, 2005, with numerous remarkable findings regarding the national public’s confidence in leadership. Sixty-four percent of respondents believe that the country would be better off if there were more women in leadership positions. While both genders see more female leadership as a positive, men feel this way more than women (69 percent to 31 percent).

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research’s (IWPR) “The Status of Women in Nevada” ranked Nevada on its key indicators. On the Political Participation Index for 1998 and 2000, Nevada received a C- grade for our women’s 51.6 percent voter registration (49th in the nation), and for our women’s voter turnout of 41.8 percent (48th in the nation). Almost 88 percent of women in Nevada live in urban areas.

Regarding the woman voter registration/turnout trends, 2000 registration was 54.2 percent, up 5.2 percent from 1998’s 49 percent. The 2000 turnout was 48.4 percent, 13.3 percent higher than 1998’s 35.1 percent. If this trend continues into the 2006 elections, more Nevada women than ever before will vote in this election where there is a good chance the general elections will have a Republican woman (Lorraine Hunt) running against a Democrat woman (Dina Titus).

Nevadans generally have had the ability to judge a person by the number of cattle instead of the size of the cowboy hat. We’ll soon see if two women are vying for the title of “Nevada Trail Boss” in the general elections this year.

Richard Macauley

Let’s talk about it
Open letter to the Reno City Council:

I haven’t been involved with local government before, but you all are planning such huge changes for our “Greatest Little City” that I am terrified. When and how and where was the decision made for annexation by Reno of thousands of acres to the north of town? When and how and where was the public input on Reno’s annexation plans? Don’t you think such a massive change should warrant public discussion? Or do the people who live here not count? Or the sage grouse and antelope?

Amy-Louise Mazza

The border frenzy
I find this subject off the hook, as the nation reaches the point of pandemonium.

For 65 years, I have lived around, worked with and been friends with people from all over the world. I find we have far more in common than anyone cares to admit.

Most people throughout history have come to this country to be safe from dictators, to earn a living for their families, and to seek the American Dream.

Many came and found something far different: The Irish worked to death in coal mines, the Chinese worked and died by the thousands to build our railroads, the Italian and Jewish people came and created small business. The Japanese came and worked in various available avenues until World War II, when they suffered unspeakable acts in internment camps. The Africans did not come of their own volition. And now, slavery has come under a new disguise called “the prison industry.”

The government would have us believe that murder by vigilante justice on the Mexican borders will keep us safe!

We might want to consider a few facts before we accept the murders on the border. We are made to believe that the poor people coming and willing to die for the “American Dream” are criminals, dope dealers seeking welfare and food stamps, etc. But the truth is the majority of these people only want to work and support their families.

As for the hype on drugs and criminal activity, in the ‘80s, crack cocaine was brought into America by our government to complete the new prison-industrial complex. Think about this: From the 1800s through 1983, California had only 13 prisons. Today, it is some 39 prisons.

Opium was introduced from Asia; marijuana came from all over, including right here in America, but America has created its two most deadly drugs: alcohol and methamphetamine.

Let’s face reality and stop the fear factor in American government. They call it many things, but the truth is that every people of every race and religion that came to this country came to a place of racism, hate and distrust.

The killings on our borders are hate crimes! When we kill under the name of National Security, I guess it makes it sound cleaner, but hate is hate by any name!

Bonnie White