Letters for December 5, 2019

Re: “Do-over on transit tax” by Foon Rhee (Editor’s note, Nov. 14):

Am I the only one who reads “Do-over on transit tax” and can’t actually find any transit in it?

Buses would be a much faster, cheaper and more reliable way to reach Sacramento International Airport than a meandering light rail route riddled with stops. Tearing up light rail stations to rebuild them for low-floor trains will only have the effect of creating inaccessible stations with raised platforms and fences down the middle. Replacing a few light rail vehicles instead of rebuilding them has the effect of making transit less ecologically friendly.

The fact is, the only way we can connect our homes, stores, schools and attractions now is with more buses. Transit works when it goes where we want to go. Only more buses can do that. Do we need to vote “no” again, so that next time we’ll actually be offered a choice of having more transit?

Benjamin Etgen

Sacramento / via email

Child care is crucial

Re: “We can prevent child abuse” by Sheila Boxley and Michelle Callejas (Essay, Nov. 21):

Thank you for this important essay! And as a side note, we all know CPS workers can’t be available to monitor families on a regular basis, no matter how much they want to be available to help.

One way to mitigate this is to use the child care/preschool system. CPS kids get priority for child care subsidies. The CPS system should maximize the child care system by requiring children be in child care/preschool. Preschool teachers having “eyes on” the children every single day is an invaluable resource to all. Not only can preschool teachers spot potential abuse, they may even prevent parents from ever needing help by simply providing a break, or prevent myriad other family stressors by referring families to resources (food bank, rental assistance) and helping parents understand child development. Wrapping high quality early care and education into a family care plan helps everyone.

Melinda Geiser

Plumas Lake / via SN&R Extra

Trump on homeless

On Nov. 14, Matthew Doherty, executive director of the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, was fired by President Trump, signaling a major policy shift in addressing this issue. Apparently “Housing First”—a concept that emphasizes getting homeless persons off the streets so that wrap-around services can be more easily provided—will be replaced by a renewed emphasis on mass incarceration or warehousing of unhoused persons.

While the president recently signed into federal law new relaxations on drug crimes, allowing early release for thousands of federal prisoners, this homeless policy appears in direct contradiction. Studies demonstrate that criminalization and incarceration of homeless persons, many of whom are mentally ill or drug dependent, does not lead to solutions but to less effective rehabilitation, lower rates of stable housing and employment, increased recidivism and higher income inequality. One can only wonder what the end game of this policy may be.

John McCormack

Sacramento / via email