Letters: Fight for a livable future; reader complaint; voting rights restoration

Fight for a livable future

I am the mother of a nature-loving child who lives in the Pacific Northwest. My daughter often tells me she wants to “save the trees” when she’s older. I want her to have a livable future where she doesn’t have to worry about the trees or staying inside for days at a time because of toxic air from wildfire smoke.

Because our government hasn’t taken solid action despite demands from the people, here we are fighting for a livable future for our youth. Now we have a chance to really take meaningful action. The Department of Ecology is making new rules on how fossil fuel projects will be evaluated in Washington state. It is past time for them to protect low-income communities of color, properly evaluate health risks, and properly evaluate the impact fossil fuel projects will have on our environment.

Under Ecology’s new leadership, they have already denied a permit for the Kalama methanol facility. This was an inspiring decision and I hope to see them implement that wisdom into their new rules for fossil fuel projects. It is time for us to get serious about the mess we made and start healing the communities we’ve destroyed.

Nichole Snyder,

Federal Way

Reader complaint

I, and many of my friends, agree that the content of the Federal Way Mirror has greatly deteriorated over the years. We hope you can fix it.

It would be nice to hear more news about the business community — what is opening, what is closing, and what is planned for the future.

Also, hats off to Jim Ross of Billy McHale’s (“Make the Mirror great again,” letters, Feb. 19). We totally agree with his assessment of political columnist Bob Roegner’s continual complaining and harassment of the mayor. His animosity is getting very tiring.

PS: I am 85 years old and had trouble trying to send an email. Sorry.

Coreen King,

Federal Way

Voting rights restoration

In ancient democracies, the right to vote was only revoked if the right was abused, fast forward to the beginning of Jim Crow laws in 1865, and voter disenfranchisement has morphed into the beast we see today, arguably worse. Washington State has an opportunity to mend a piece of this injustice, and media coverage of this issue has been almost non-existent.

House Bill 1078, and Senate Bill 5086 are on this season’s legislative agenda, they would restore voting rights to persons with a felony conviction upon release from total confinement. The gist? HB 1078/SB 5086 would restore voting rights to persons on probation and parole.

In the United States, about 4 million people are living in communities that don’t have their constitutional right to vote, meaning we have 4 million neighbors who live in an environment in which they cannot vote to make civic change. Minorities are put in prison at the highest rates, thus they are disenfranchised at those high rates. When put in prison at a politically formative age, the chance to create a consistent involvement or interest in civic participation is lost, this is passed on to their children, creating a lasting cycle that perpetuates their lack of involvement. Consequences of voter disenfranchisement aren’t solely an issue now, but its continued existence has rippling effects that last far into the future.

This bill isn’t about punishment, that’s already been taken into consideration in our legal system, this bill is about their release and reintegration into their communities. They carry the title of felon with them everywhere they go, they are denied housing, jobs, and public services due to actions that they have already served time for. We don’t need to keep reminding them of their felony status every election. We need to show them that they can make a difference and welcome them home.

Kara Koch,

Federal Way

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