Printed Letters: September 8, 2016
Homelessness is a complicated issue
Grand Valley Peace & Justice was recently mentioned in the article regarding homelessness and the city’s search for a solution. At Grand Valley Peace & Justice, the mission includes an imperative to serve the vulnerable and disenfranchised impacted by social issues of the day.
It is the social issues in our communities and world that create burdens on nonprofit and governmental agencies, not the people who are impacted by them.
It can be easy if you are uninformed to believe that if someone just gets a job that this solves the problem. In Colorado, a minimum wage worker must work 88 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, just to afford a two-bedroom apartment at the fair market rate. On top of that add day care, food, clothing, medical and other needs. It then becomes more apparent how difficult it is to afford housing, not only as a family but also as an individual. In Grand Junction, the wait for housing through the Housing Authority is two years and the vacancy rate here is extremely low — 3 percent — so those who wait have little from which to choose when there are openings.
Homelessness is a much more complicated issue than many might imagine. As program coordinator at Grand Valley Peace & Justice, I invite you to attend “The Faces and Voices…Homeless in America” exhibit at our own Western Colorado Center for The Arts from Dec. 2, through Jan. 21. During that time, you can read and hear the stories of how people became homeless and what the experience has been like for them. The myths and facts of homelessness will be displayed as well as the photographs of families, men, women, children and veterans who are members of our community.
There is so much more to homelessness than what one might perceive from seeing someone standing on a street corner or sitting at a park. Next time you see someone, ask yourself, what am I not seeing?
Letter made incorrect assertion about border in 1800s
A letter in Sunday’s Sentinel says, “drove the Mexicans across the Rio Grande…” We did not. Read the actual diaries, letters, and records from the 1800s. The border was established after payment to the Mexican government, and those to the north of the border immediately became U.S. residents and citizens.
The U.S. Army put a lot of effort into protecting all those citizens from murder and theft by local tribes and bandits from both sides of the border. There was even a popular rumor in Mexico in those days that the border agreement would lead to free American schools for everyone, even in Mexico.
Emerge Colorado helps women be politically involved
American women have had a lot to celebrate this summer. In June, The White House hosted the United State of Women Summit and 28 major companies signed their Equal Pay Pledge. In July, we saw the first female presidential nominee of a major party. In August, female athletes were the unquestionable breakout stars of Team USA. And two weeks ago, we celebrated Women’s Equality Day.
Despite these high points we can’t afford to take for granted what’s at stake for American women right now. Women are more likely to live in poverty and work a minimum wage job. Access to reproductive healthcare is threatened, and sexual assault pervades our campuses and communities.
We need quality legislation and leadership to address these critical issues. However, it’s difficult when the individuals who understand them best remain so underrepresented in government. Women bring a unique perspective and prioritize policies that help women and families. We need more of them to jump into politics and begin moving up the ladder.
Why not you, or a woman you know? When it comes to politics, many don’t know where to start. That’s where Emerge Colorado comes in. We’re Colorado’s premier candidate training program and give Democratic women the skills and network they need to run for office and win. Let us help you be a force of change.
49ers quarterback portrayed ignorance and poor judgment
The editors are celebrating with their editorial on that kneeling quarterback for the 49ers. While I can agree that he has a right to not join in respectful acknowledgement of our national anthem, I am deeply offended by his ignorance and poor judgment. The football enterprise pays him how many millions of dollars to use his status as quarterback to stage an on-field political protest? He ought to be penalized by the team or by the NFL appropriately. If he is paid to be quarterback then he ought to model his focus on football and not be grandstanding for terrorists.
The yellow journalists give him far too much ink; he has already shown his reasons are without merit.
ROBERT JAMES BURKHOLDER