Letters to the Editor

Readers weigh in: Election 2014

Prove Cepeda wrong, vote!

Re “The myth of the monolith” (Opinions, Sept. 29): Esther Cepeda argues it wrong. She reasons that “Latinos” are not a homogenous group because we come from “diverse backgrounds.” This view is a common premise that arrives at a false conclusion. I don’t fault Cepeda alone for her ignorance. She merely mimics the talking heads who want to unite us around our disunity. Latinos, especially Chicanos (the overwhelming majority of U.S. Latinos) are indeed a monolith, despite our beautiful diversity. Just like the fully diverse African Americans, Native Americans, Asians, Muslims, gays, women and poor whites, the thing monolithic about us is that we are all kept unequal and disunited.

We have a nation which professes equality, but practices negative discrimination through its entire superstructure. This institutionalized negative discrimination insures privilege for the true American monolith – the wealthy, the powerful – at the cost of our equality.

Despite the onslaught of voter suppression, we wonderfully diverse Americans can still fight discrimination by overcoming apathy and simply showing up at the polls. Vote!

Manuel H. Diaz, Turlock

Save Oakdale, pass Y

The citizens of Oakdale passed Measure O in 2011, increasing the sales tax by a half-cent. That increase expires in April and the city will see its income reduced by $1.5 million annually, or 17 percent of the general fund.

The city has worked diligently to get back on firm financial footing, reducing staff by 56 percent and slashing department budgets to the core. And we finally have a competent city manager. Despite these aggressive steps, the city still faces large future deficits without the sales-tax income. It will take years for property tax income to return to prerecession levels and sales tax revenues only increase as the economy improves.

Measure Y is a new ballot measure to extend the half-cent sales tax. It is not a new or additional tax, merely an extension of the tax in place today.

There are few options available to avoid a financial crisis. Without the tax, we can expect many city services to be discontinued and closure of the senior center, community center and swimming pool. By far the worst measure will be further reducing police and fire staffing.

Without passage of Measure Y, the city will almost certainly become insolvent. We cannot allow our city to become another Stockton, Vallejo or San Bernardino. Vote yes on Measure Y.

Frank B. Clark, Oakdale

Soiseth served nation well

I served alongside Gary Soiseth in Afghanistan in 2009 and 2010. He and I had similar missions: I trained Afghan soldiers while Gary trained Afghan farmers. To do his job, he had to sleep side-by-side with the troops, wade through frigid rivers with the troops, and endure enemy attacks with the troops. Gary was subject to the same threat of direct fire, indirect fire and IED attacks as any coalition member. Gary was in the same up-armored vehicle as me when our convoy was struck with an IED. There were multiple missions where I provided Gary with a weapon because the villages were so dangerous that we needed all the firepower we could muster.

Gary served his country by bringing about economic recovery to a war zone, which in turn kept U.S. service members and Afghan civilians safer. This is why the U.S. Army awarded him the Superior Civilian Service Medal. Based on our experiences together in Afghanistan, I believe the voters of Turlock would be lucky to have Gary’s discipline, intelligence and courage lead their city.

Chandler Greene, Washington, DC

Get rid of all incumbents

Notice that none of the incumbent politicians running for office is using the term “re-elect” in their campaign signs or advertisements? There is a very good reason – why would I reward or “re-elect” someone who is a part of the problem? If I do not do my job, I get fired. Throw out all incumbents, period full stop. Then maybe the message will get through.

Larry Crook, Riverbank