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Teachers’ risks call
for rapid vaccination

Many teachers in this diverse state live and/or teach in communities of multi-family dwellings or with households led by essential workers. This fact calls for vaccinating all classroom instructors before sending children back to school.

Many of our teachers risk their health every day in non-pandemic times because of viruses contracted at school sites. Many of our teachers have major health issues that compromise the immune system, such as diabetes or cancer. Bottom line — vaccinate our teachers and send them back where they yearn to be — with our children. Protect them like the treasure we didn’t realize we had.

S. A. Perez
Novato

Bay Area must
address food deserts

I am writing to express my concern about food deserts in the Bay Area. This is a nationwide concern, but it is important to start at the local level and eventually be able to make a bigger change nationwide.

Food deserts are areas that have limited access to healthy and affordable options. Often, people will turn to what is convenient and familiar to them. They may not be as educated about what they should be consuming because their primary goal may be to obtain an affordable meal.

The reason this is such an important issue in our community is that poor food choices can cause childhood obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic illnesses. Food pantries with free produce and farmers markets have been successful solutions to this ongoing issue. Spreading awareness would be a great first step to getting our community together to provide these types of solutions.

Jennifer Garcia de Alba
San Leandro

State’s biggest problems
not created by liberals

According to New York Times columnist Bret Stephens, California’s woes are due to it being a “blue” state (“Please don’t make California the model for America’s future,” Page A7, Feb. 3), citing facts such as Texas, Arizona, Nevada and Washington having no state income tax as a reason for the exodus. People are moving to Texas, Arizona and Nevada because property is cheap. They are moving to Washington because it’s beautiful. This is not the fault of “the liberals.”

California has two huge problems. The first is being a victim of its own success as measured by the housing crisis, a crisis exacerbated by the refusal of conservatives to consider eliminating R1 zoning.

The other huge problem is Citizens Ballot Initiatives. This is not liberalism. In fact, the worst ballot initiatives; Prop 13 and three strikes , were conservative driven.

What the Republicans seem to want is a massive underclass, a small, wealthy elite, and unbridled exploitation of our planet. I’ll keep my liberal California, thank you very much.

Deborah Goldeen
Palo Alto

Republicans preach unity
only when in the minority

Marc Thiessen’s hypocrisy is more than evident with a cynical call for unity (“It’s up to Manchin to make Biden live up to unity vow,” Page A7, Feb. 4). It seems it is up to Democrats to genuflect and prostrate themselves to the satisfaction of Republicans so that what was once normal legislative business in Congress is carried out. When Republicans were in power, they had no problem using reconciliation to pass the tax bill, with no support from Democrats in either chamber or to deny President Obama’s court nominations when Sen. Mitch McConnell refused to even bring them before the Senate for a vote.

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