Three letters: Prop 38, Prop 35 and anti-Obama display

Proposition 38 a dramatic 12-year tax increase that will cause pain across the board

Dear Editor, Proposition 38 increases taxes on earnings for 12 years. The revenues go to schools, child care, preschools and school debt. I am against Prop 38 because it taxes everyone from the lower class to the upper class and taxes will increase nonstop for 12 years. It will hurt people who are not financially fit. including people who make as little as $7,300 – their taxes will increase, too, hurting lower income households and even college students. And it will last for as long as 12 years. If this proposition passes, Matthew Smith, a writer for The Daily Aztec, says 60 percent of the state’s population would face a dramatic tax increase. Raising the taxes on a big chunk of the people in California during this slow economic recovery – and sky rocketing tuition would be economic suicide. I come from a medium income household and growing up wasn’t easy compared to many others. I had all my schooling but there were some things growing up that I wanted but knew I couldn’t have because my family was not financially fit. There were times that we weren’t really broke, but there were some times we had to watch our spending because we had to. A 12-year tax increase will make it hard for families to maintain the lifestyles they have now. This economy is slowly getting better, but if this proposition passes a lot of families are going to be hurt. If this proposition passes, people will still have to pay for schooling, early child care and preschools. This can hurt them even more because they pay this crazy amount of taxes and still pay for schooling. It just isn’t necessary for everyone to pay all this money, especially since they don’t have a lot of money to give in the first place. I encourage you to vote no on Prop 38.

Christina Ramirez, Gilroy Community

Solutions: Prop 35 more harm than good for human trafficking victims

Dear Editor, Community Solutions strongly recommends a NO vote on Proposition 35. Though written with good intentions, Proposition 35 is not the right response to combating slavery. Proposition 35 claims that a drastic increase in prison sentencing standards will prevent the incidence of trafficking. However, research shows the more effective crime prevention strategy is Risk of Capture, which is possible through targeted education of law enforcement personnel and prosecutors. Proposition 35 only requires two hours of training for law enforcement. The authors of Proposition 35 chose to create lower sentencing standards for those convicted of labor-related human trafficking. Under current federal and California definitions of trafficking, all individuals who are enslaved – whether for labor or sexual purposes – are acknowledged as victims of slavery. A binary approach to victimization diminishes the suffering of many. This fall, California Attorney General, Kamala Harris, will release a report based on a statewide Human Trafficking Work Group to examine California’s current and future level of response to human trafficking. This report involved more than 100 individuals with extensive expertise in anti-human trafficking work, including victim-services providers, law enforcement and advocates. These are individuals who regularly work with survivors of human trafficking.  In fact, one of the members was Perla Flores, Community Solutions’ Solutions to Violence Director and Chair of the South Bay Coalition to End Human Trafficking. The report and its recommendations will provide a much better path to addressing modern day slavery. For these reasons, Community Solutions strongly recommends a NO vote on Proposition 35.

Erin O’Brien, President, Community Solutions

Story on anti-Obama display will only ‘add fuel to fanatic’s fire’ to ‘incite racial division’

Dear Editor, Doing a story on a fanatic is one thing, but giving him front-page press is another. The write-up about Blake Lebeck and his anti-Obama display will only add fuel to his fire. Furthermore, you gave his location. It was bad enough that his neighbors saw this offensive display, but you arranged it so that people from miles around could see it. Did you consider the possibility that this could inflame some unbalanced individual or group to harass or do physical harm to him or his family? That is irresponsible journalism in my opinion. This man is clearly a bigot based on his use of racial symbolism, specifically, the watermelon. The noose is clearly and endorsement for a lynching, reminiscent of the Klan. I support his right to express his political opinion, but I think he is trying to incite racial division. He should move to the Deep South where far too many people still hold his beliefs. Making a verbal threat could land him in prison. It’s too bad he can get away with a symbolic threat like this and be rewarded with so much publicity.

Robert Jones, Morgan Hill

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