Letters for October 10, 2019

Take action

What issues is the local community most interested in this election period? This was the question asked by a local social-action group, ACTIONN, when it sponsored 30 focus groups of local voters this past summer and spent September organizing the results. “We are giving local candidates a gift,” explained Daphne DeLeon, a member of ACTIONN. “We pulled together the information and will be presenting it to candidates who are interested in talking with us about what we found,” she said. An audience of about 200 gathered at Little Flower Catholic Church in Reno for the presentation of the Community Platform Thursday, Oct. 3. The platform has four areas of focus: housing, immigration, education and health care. The housing concerns are to significantly increase the creation and preservation of affordable housing for low- and middle-income communities; to protect renters from evictions due to rising rents; and to ensure equitable and sustainable development for low-income communities of color. Immigration issues are to increase legal resources and information available to the immigrant community; and to ensure that all immigrants, regardless of status, are safe and protected in our community. Education concerns are to attract and retain quality teachers, to decrease class sizes, and to address economic and racial disparities in our schools. Health care issues are to increase access and affordability of mental health services, to increase access and affordability to substance abuse treatment, and to support local solutions to increase overall access and affordability of healthcare. “We will be watching local office holders, being sure to follow through thanking those who advance the community concerns we have identified and calling out those who work against them,” ACTIONN member Kelby Peeler explained to the audience. “It is sort of a thank and spank approach,” he added.

Ruth Stacy



Re “Dreamer” (Letters to the editor, Oct. 03):

Dreamer looks both ways and whispers, “Is socialism in the room with us now?” The dictionary definition of socialism is very unlike your fear. I don’t see our government taking over business and industry over private ownership. Activist channel Fox News uses the “red meat” word “socialism” about every 10 minutes, but though they try to convince its viewers that socialism is a threat, alas it is not. If you’re so convinced that socialism is going to ruin our democracy, then you should opt out of your own social security. … You don’t want folks to think you’re a socialist/communist, right? Our fire departments, police departments, FBI, CIA … these are all funded by the collective citizens or, in other words, a social framework. Our roads and bridges and infrastructure are paid for by the collective citizens, or a social framework. Socialism is only an economic theory of social organization that believes that the means of making, moving and trading wealth should be owned or controlled by the community as a whole. I don’t see this in the United States. The term “American Dream” was apparently invented in 1931 by historian James Truslow Adams; he was referring to “That dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for every man, with opportunity for each according to his ability or achievement.”

Kelley Shewmaker


Horse whispers

Re “From the horse’s mouth” (News, Oct. 03):

Thank you for elucidating the so-called “Path Forward” that is being presented before Congress. As a lifetime observer and supporter of the naturally living horses and burros, I see this plan as a spiritless compromise that abandons the true rights of the wild horses and wild burros upon their legal habitats on BLM and U.S. Forest Service lands. There has already been far too much compromise—the many millions of acres that have been zeroed out and the atrocious, so-called Appropriate Management Levels that have been assigned to the herds, 177 left on BLM lands and only a relative handful on USFS lands. Livestock receives 85 percent of the forage allocation within the reduced Herd Management Areas, which is against the Wild Free Roaming Horses and Burros Act, which names the wild horses and burros as recipients of the principal resources. The “Path Forward” is a path backward to the days when people did whatever they wanted to and with the free-roaming horses and burros, and it aims to have only a paltry number of semi-domesticated horses and burros left as mere tokens that will have the “wild” taken out of them, at least in their realized lives. And this would be a terrible shame and disgrace to America! (See my book, The Wild Horse Conspiracy, for further details.)

Craig Downer