An open letter to our elected officials of the Senate and Congress.
The Republican and Democratic parties have both become totally dysfunctional. They will not work together to pass any legislation to help the people. The Democrats cannot even get their own party members on the same page. When two Senators can hold up passage of a bill that 48 others agree on it is ludicrous. Therefore it is imperative that you change the filibuster rules so that some of these important bills, like voting rights, abortion and others can be made law.
Many Democrats are arguing the filibuster undermines the democratic principle of majority rule. Local and national Democrat activists are upset with Sen. Sinema over her position supporting the filibuster. It’s time for a little history lesson.
During the 2019-2020 Congressional term, a record-breaking 328 filibusters were recorded with Democrats in the minority.
Since 2009, 657 filibusters were recorded under Democratic minorities while 609 filibusters were recorded under Republican minorities. Between 1991 and 2008 Democrats filibustered 63 while the Republicans filibuster 89 times.
In other words, the Democrats used the filibuster 720 times to the Republicans 698 since 1991.
So I would like know how the filibuster undermines democratic principles of majority rules when both parties have used it almost equality. The way I see it the democrats are only wanting to abolish the filibuster so they can push through their socialist agenda at the expense of the minority party. As you guess I stand with the Senator on this issue.
The IRC must remain independent
Re: the Nov. 4 article "Partisanship reigns in redistricting."
The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission must remain independent. The chair, Erika Neuberg, must live up to the independent label that allowed her to be in the position. To do this, she cannot support the partisan preferences of local politicians, state Sen. Vince Leach and Marana Mayor Ed Honea, as described by Maitland in her Nov. 4 opinion. This is gerrymandering. As an independent voter, I prefer more districts to be competitive rather than less. If independent, Neuberg should have this preference, as well. I am tired of seeing a large number of radical candidates on the ballot, the result of non-competitive districting. I will not vote for those responsible for gerrymandering. For the IRC to live up to its name, the formula of 12 safe districts each for Republicans and Democrats, and only six competitive, should be reversed, with a minimum of 12 districts competitive.
COVID is contagious
Re: the Nov. 6 letter "What's off-limits at hospitals."
I doubt that I'll be the only person to respond to the rebuttal to the Oct. 25 article 'Put hospitals off-limits to unvaccinated adults.' The letter writer cites other "bad behaviors" that could also be banned such as "gluttony, smoking, avoiding exercise, poor driving, [and] excessive alcohol consumption."
This is a false equivalence. The behaviors cited may affect personal health, but they do not threaten the lives of others as COVID-19 does. COVID is contagious. The other health issues aren't.
Kudos to Cal football coach Wilcox
Congratulations to the Wildcats football team and coaching staff in ending the long losing streak. I also think recognition should go to Cal's football coach, Justin Wilcox, who arrived in Tucson with a "skeleton crew" of players and coaches due to COVID protocols and injuries, and could probably have had the game cancelled. To his credit and sportsmanship, knowing that his remaining players wanted to play the game and that this was probably UA's best chance of ending the streak, he allowed the game to be played.
Sinema doesn't know what side her bread is buttered on.
Like a slim majority of voters, I voted for Sen. Kyrsten Sinema in 2018. It seemed like a clear choice. We have chosen the lesser of two evils at some point in our lives. This was one such moment. She has, however, abandoned her base, and, more importantly, the people of Arizona. She blocks legislation, such as the reconciliation bill and removing the filibuster: one of the biggest reasons why nothing gets accomplished in Washington. These bills can help lift us out of this COVID recession that we are in. I made a mistake in voting for Sinema, one that I won't repeat in 2024. There are much better candidates out there that will actually hold town halls and who will not ignore constituents and who won't fly overseas to beg for donations. No honeyed words will change my mind, because her actions have spoken for her.
We can do better, safety first
Many question why people are not going back to work. Often these jobs put workers in danger of exposure to COVID. There are people that seem unconcerned about spreading COVID to others when they don’t get vaccinated, wear masks or distance themselves.
I appeared for jury selection. Potential jurors were asked to call with symptoms, wear a mask and distance themselves. I understand that the jury system is not allowed to ask if people are vaccinated or have symptoms. Someone in my group was excused with COVID symptoms after coughing for about an hour a few feet away. Although I’m vaccinated and boostered, I still got tested and self-quarantined after.
As a society, it is our responsibility to protect the public health of our citizens. Laws or rules that prohibit organizations, schools, workplaces or government agencies from taking all precautions to protect citizens need to be reexamined and changed. I was required to appear for jury duty in less than ideal conditions, as are many who need to work. As a society, we can do better.
Driving in Tucson is a very risky business. Two things make it so. One is the high rates of speed that people drive on straight roads all through the city. Second is the risky behavior drivers display when they need to make a left turn. Left turns on anything other than a green arrow and lingering yellow arrow should not be allowed. It should also be illegal for cars to hover in the intersection anticipating that they will be able to dash across the road on the left turn. You starting from 0 mph versus cars driving 40 to 60 mph is a no-win situation. I would imagine the accident rate in Tucson at left turns is extremely high and there are easy fixes. I also would like to recommend a new income stream for the City of Tucson by placing patrols looking for aggressive driving in the city. That would raise a lot of cash and eventually end the risky behavior from drivers.