This letter is in reference to your article, "House and Home" (Aug. 29).
I take issue with both Celeste Singh and Deborah Kay. No one put a gun to their head and had them sign their loan documents. They both were given the information that showed them what their loan payments would be for the length of their loan. It should have come as no surprise to them that their payments would escalate if they had read the paperwork.
And at no time in the article do they take responsibility for their plight. I have sympathy for Ms. Kay at the loss of her daughter, but she quit her job. That has consequences, which were her choice. Why is it the bank's responsibility to negotiate and make her life easy, and to negotiate to "reflect her current financial situation"?
My wife and I have been homeowners in the Napa Valley for over 20 years. We are both self-employed and live within our means. We lost equity in the housing crisis but are not asking for a bailout from our lender to "reflect our current financial situation."
Both as a youth and now as an older woman, I've walked almost daily. Years ago I lived on Brush Creek Road. Monday, on a whim, I parked my car and revisited Brush Creek, relishing autumn air and changing neighborhoods. A police car passed me, then turned around. One of two officers asked, Are you OK? Yes, I am. Why are you walking on a dangerous road? Enjoying the day. Saying we needed to talk, he beckoned me to follow him to the roadside and opened the rear door. I got in reluctantly. Seated on uncomfortable metal, bars inches from my face, was an affront. Again concern was expressed. Where do you live? What are you doing here? Can we take you home? No. How about to my car? He agreed, continuing his questioning.
Now, I've hiked rugged trails and walked dangerous New York and Chicago streets. However, never have I felt as unsafe as I did that day with the Santa Rosa police. By walking on a city street, what unwritten law did a rational, old woman break that could provoke such condescending behavior?
In the above, I submit, lies the difference between true compassion and intimidation. It's also called profiling.
Working families in California are facing the biggest and most devastating attack on our rights this election in November. Proposition 32, set to appear on the ballot, is a deceptive and destructive measure that threatens the jobs, wages and retirement of workers like us—while at the same time giving corporate special interests even more power and influence over our politics and government. The proponents of the so-called Stop Special Interest Money Now Act claim the measure would actually lessen the big-money influence in Sacramento, but the truth is the ex-CEOs and ultra-wealthy anti-worker activists behind this measure secretly wrote in a whole heap of exemptions for themselves and their Wall Street cronies. We cannot afford to sit back while corporate CEOs and billionaires trample our rights in order to push their own self-serving agenda.
It's sad that the powers that be in Santa Rosa are so scared of district elections, claiming it will divide our city and lead to political provincialism.
What could be more provincial than having the northeast section of the city dominate our city council for decades? During the last 30 years, there have only been four councilmembers who have lived on the west side of town.
I support district elections because it's time for broader representation from all geographic areas of the city, all age groups, all income levels and all ethnic backgrounds. District elections will give all neighborhoods, including neighborhood businesses, input on important issues and bring new ideas and energy to our government. In cities that have switched to district elections, voters are more engaged in politics. Isn't that a good thing?
That's why I am supporting Julie Combs for city council. She has fought hard to expand community and neighborhood input in city decision making. She is a champion for district elections because it will bring fairness and greater citizen access to city government.
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