Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor on candidates, abortion, Carbon Act and racism (Aug. 4, 2019)

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Joseph Shepard

Elections are important opportunities to elect individuals to lead our communities into the future. The ideas, lived experiences, work ethic and ability to lead are important aspects to consider; especially with many of the struggles we’ve seen in recent years in school funding.

With those aspects in mind, Joseph Shepard is the right choice to work for our students in USD 259 on the board of education.

Shepard’s lived experiences have taken him from struggle and a short stint of homelessness to a budding career in higher education; currently working at Newman University after graduating with his bachelors and masters degree as well as having served two terms as student body president at Wichita State.

Shepard’s ideas of healing centered engagement to ensure we help heal the whole child and address the root of trauma, and supporting academic advancement by working with teachers to personalize curriculums and celebrate the academic successes of students is not only what our students need, but supports the great work our superintendent has been doing.

Shepard’s commitment to fiscal responsibility; transparent communication; and inclusion, equity and diversity is not only the right thing to do but necessary for a brighter future.

Even with those great points in mind, the most important one is how our young people light up when Shepard engages them and leaves them inspired to achieve the American dream that we can all be proud of.

Wichita City Council member Brandon J. Johnson

Abortion rights

Last month, Oklahoma County District Judge Cindy Truong upheld a ban approved by the state’s Republican-led Legislature in 2015, banning the use of the dilation and evacuation method, the safest and most commonly used procedure for abortion in the second trimester. Although other states like Kansas and Alabama have blocked these laws from taking effect, Judge Truong became the first to uphold this ban, which will prevent doctors from providing abortion in the second trimester.

In order for all people to live healthy and autonomous lives, we should be able to trust our physicians’ medical judgment without interference from lawmakers that does nothing to support public health or safety. This is why I support clinics like Trust Women. They talk about abortion as the essential health care it is. Health care that I and many others believe is the right of everyone to have.

Tawny O’Brien, Park City

Carbon act

It’s time for some climate heroes in the U.S. Senate. If nothing is done soon, millennials and our children will face severe, irreversible climate conditions in the closing decades of the century. I suspect the Senators know of the quickly changing position of the public on environmental damage from fossil fuel emissions. Most republicans want policy that is good for the environment — a whopping 70% of Republicans under 40 accept the scientific consensus and want action. The political will for a livable climate has arrived.

Sens. Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran should quickly secure a favorable legacy on the climate. The logical path forward for them is the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act awaiting reintroduction in the Senate. It’s effective, reducing emissions by 30% within 12 years and 90% thereafter. It has a sunset clause and it protects the elderly and disadvantaged. It creates jobs, improves health and doesn’t grow government. Best of all it protects American workers and businesses from offshoring and foreign competitors.

Industry sees the unavoidable: either regulations or a price on carbon. I hope the Senators will go with the consensus of scientists and economists that pricing pollution is the best way forward.

Alisha Anne Gridley, Wichita

Lost meaning

Each one of us belongs to a certain race. Given today’s political discourse, any person of one race that makes a negative comment — true or not — about a person of a different race is considered a racist. Based on that standard, if the truth be known, all of us are racists. The word has been used so often and loosely that it no longer has any meaning. We need to find a new word to incite anger and outrage against individuals we don’t agree with.

Carolyn Winn, Wichita

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