Letters: 10/10/19

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Support for Joan Peck for 

Longmont City Council

I believe Joan Peck is a terrific candidate for Longmont City Council because she cares so deeply about the lives and prosperity of ordinary people in Longmont. 

Joan was the major force on Council promoting the acquisition of air quality monitoring equipment to monitor our air quality. This was necessary because it has recently become known that our air quality has been negatively impacted by the massive fracking going on in neighboring Weld County.

Joan has also been a strong advocate for affordable housing, supporting the affordable housing mandate for new housing recently passed by Council. In further concern for providing better housing, Joan is promoting a new idea to address the homeless issue by investigating the purchase of a parking lot where RVs housing otherwise homeless folks could be safely parked, in a manner protecting public health.

Finally, Joan has been a fierce supporter for bringing the promised FasTracks rail to Longmont. She has consistently advocated to RTD, other jurisdictions, and potential investors the proposal of starting first with a less expensive commuter rail during rush hour, called the Peak Plan, as a means of getting the rail going. Joan has been instrumental in keeping the idea of finishing the Northwest Rail both alive and vital.

I urge you to join me in voting for Joan Peck for Longmont City Council.

Judy Lubow, RTD Director District I

Home ads litter streets of Erie

Ubiquitous, they line streets surrounding the old Town of Erie where developers shill new homes to the burgeoning population. They’re stick-mounted advertising posters, which sprout like weeds in abundance. For me, they are visual pollution disturbing the natural environment and, being flimsy, result in roadside litter as they fall apart.

The declarations governing our homeowners association restrict owners from placing ad signs, while these developers drive them into our private property with impudence. The sharpened wood stakes are proximal to our irrigation lines and spray-heads, where the posters often interfere with water distribution. We spend thousands of dollars each year maintaining our landscape and do not appreciate the ad-sign invasion. When they drive one through the irrigation system, we pay for the repair, as is the case to replace dead turf they can cause.

The Town of Erie — per ordinance 4-3 Handbill Distributors — requires advertisers to obtain a license from the town clerk. I wonder whether those placing these signs are properly licensed?

This advertising practice has really gotten out of hand. I implore the Town of Erie to put an end to this unsightly, invasive onslaught. For starters, how about we require that developers put signs only on property they own; not on private and public lands. Educating developers — we know who they are because company names are on the signs — about town restrictions would be helpful. That could be followed by fining offenders who poach land without proper license or authorization.

Robert Carrier/Erie

Trump sees democracy
as empty shell

Donald Trump tried at first to keep his newest law-breaking a little quiet, when he asked Ukraine to intervene in the 2020 campaign. But now he has moved on to committing his crimes in the open, publicly asking more foreign countries (at a minimum recently Italy, Australia and now China) for re-election help. He’s brazenly doing this in plain sight, for every American to see. He is now happily mocking America, committing crimes daily in broad daylight, and totally daring anyone and everyone to do anything about it. He is emotionally desolate and physically desperate. He is a sad loser who is pathetically trying to mask his failures as a human being with lunatic bravado. He narcissistically fills his broken soul with hatred for America and the rest of humanity, wanting everyone else to pay for his deeply felt sense of worthlessness. Having corrupted the Republican Party and turned it into his personal organ, he has gone on to size up our entire democracy as nothing but a weak, brittle, empty shell that’s ready to be crushed. The next few months will tell us all whether he’s right about that, or not.

Frank Sanders/Nederland

One nation under slavery

The U.S. Constitution never represented “We The People.”

In 1787, 55 wealthy white men, predominantly slaver owners, met secretly to draft a constitution. When 39 men signed it, they excluded 94% of the population from representation, according to Boulder’s election reform group Best Democracy.

There were about 3.9 million people in the U.S. in 1787. Now there are 329 million. In 1787, 18% of the population was enslaved. 

In 1772, Lord Mansfield of the King’s Bench found no legal basis for allowing slavery in England. In 1776, 13 American colonies declared their independence. Seventy-three percent of the men who signed that declaration were slavers.

Ten of the first 12 U.S. presidents held slaves. 

Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence, held over 600 slaves. James Madison, a prime architect of the constitution, held more than 100 slaves. George Washington held over 300 slaves. 

James Madison said: “Our government… ought to be constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority.”

In a letter to Madison, Thomas Jefferson argued that a constitution should expire within one generation. 

Corresponding with Samuel Kercheval, Jefferson wrote:

“Some men look at constitutions with sanctimonious reverence, and deem them like the arc of the covenant, too sacred to be touched. They ascribe to the men of the preceding age a wisdom more than human, and suppose what they did to be beyond amendment…  

“But I know also, that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy, as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.”

In 1776, John Adams wrote that a “representative assembly…  should be in miniature an exact portrait of the people at large. It should think, feel, reason and act like them.”

In 1994, Bishop Desmond Tutu said: “The system of proportional representation ensures that virtually every constituency in the country will have a hearing in the national and provincial legislatures.”

FairVote reports that 89 nations now use proportional representation to secure fair, inclusive representation for diverse populations in their parliaments. Another 34 nations mix proportional representation with some winner-take-all elections.

Today, 14 political parties hold seats in South Africa’s parliament under proportional representation. Only two parties are represented in the United States Congress. 

We still live under an archaic system of government designed by slaveholders to preserve slavery and exclude people from representation. We are more than 200 years overdue for a new constitutional convention to design a modern system of representative government. 

Gary Swing/Unity Party candidate for U.S. Senate