Politics aren’t personal
Dear Real Change,
Regarding your article “Undeliverable: Mayor’s staff, activist do battle over mailing list” [Feb. 7]; though I am not politically or personally affiliated with Keith Gormezano, I believe that the Mayor’s office mischaracterizes his use of the list when Ms. Craver wrote that he last used the list to send “personal” email. By using the word “personal” in that context, she implied that Gormezano used the list for perhaps frivolous, even kinky, odd, or invasive purposes rather than for political rebuttal as allowed and encouraged by law. By drawing attention to Mr. Gormezano’s act of legal civil discourse as anything but that, the Mayor’s office implies that it shall malign those who use public resources as intended to critique the Mayoral agenda. Such a response by the Mayor’s office goes against the spirit of public disclosure statutes, which I believe are intended for just such purposes as Mr. Gormezano’s: to foster public debate and allow for multiple points of view. Furthermore, regarding appropriate behaviors, I believe the Mayor’s office is obligated to fully disclose to all subscribers of the Mayor’s list the potential legitimate uses of their personal information. Has it done so?
The Mayor’s office responded inappropriately; it editorialized and promoted an inelegant, misleading political point in the service of the Mayor’s views regarding the Viaduct — views currently unauthorized as of this writing. Since the Mayor has opted to jump the gun and stump for such a solution, we should be applauding Mr. Gormezano’s initiative in challenging the Mayor’s misuse of a public mailing list.
BY Rony Wiesel | Seattle
Dear Real Change,
In response to your op-ed [“Civil Right: It’s still OK for landlords to turn down would-be renters because they get government assistance. Change that now,” Jan. 24], and the increase of landlords who reject renters with Section 8 housing vouchers, we would like to publicly agree that this is wrong. This becomes an increasingly pressing problem on March 1, when Governor Gregoire’s policy on full-family sanction comes into effect.
Currently, there are problems for those who utilize this voucher system, but with this new policy, more families will lose their benefits, causing more people to be homeless because they will not have the security of the voucher.
With Washington’s seeming hidden agenda of producing a welfare-free state, it is losing sight of the real goal: to support the positive empowerment of the low-income and working poor. The sudden annihilation of benefits (i.e., TANF) means that Washington risks having an explosion of the number of people on or below the poverty line. This in turn will be an economic strain on the taxpayers’ already emptying pockets. So, of course, many people are wondering where the money will come from. The following are two options we are posing that will eliminate some of the tax burden many Washingtonians complain about.
First, eliminate select businesses getting tax cuts in the name of job creation, even though studies have proven over and over that higher tax subsidies failed to create more jobs.
Secondly, last year five of the biggest oil companies posted profit increases of 30 to 65 percent over their already enormous earnings in 2005. Putting a surcharge on large oil corporations’ excess profits would be another resource for funding. This legislation would add an extra 3 percent business and occupations tax surcharge on the gross receipts of major business that refine or sell petroleum. The state already collects a tax on petroleum and has an oil spill tax.
For more information concerning full-family sanctions, including how to get involved in stopping this process, visit the Welfare Rights Organizing Coalition at www.wroc.org. Or come to 1820 E. Pine St., Suite 324, Seattle. To contact your legislators for more information or to take action go to www.leg.wa.gov or call 1(800)562-6000. Both WROC and your representatives are open to hearing your story.
BY Emily Besançon. Chris Charles, Shaira Gonzales, Elena Sequeira (Gardner), and Danielle Vredenburgh
Real Change welcomes letters to the editor of up to 250 words in length. Please include name, address, phone number, and email for author verification. Letters should be addressed to Editor at Real Change, 2129 2nd Ave., Seattle, WA, 98121, or emailed to [email protected].
For copy of actual issue, go to https://www.realchangenews.org/2007/02/21/feb-21-2007-entire-issue