Law could stifle Black votes | Aug. 13
Don’t guarantee incompetence
Former state Rep. Sean Shaw has a valid point about Amendment 3 — that it “will make it much harder for minority candidates to win legislative races.” And if that’s true, then it will also make it harder for minorities to gain insider access to information and develop experience in political processes.
That said, I think we now know what a tragic mistake gerrymandering districts to guarantee minority presence in legislatures has been for Florida and for the United States. “Packing” minority voters into selected districts meant “bleaching” those minority voters out of all the surrounding districts, which resulted in all those surrounding districts being represented by ultra-conservative Republicans who were thereby guaranteed total control over the legislatures.
Florida is in shreds because of this. Our infrastructure is in tatters. Our economy has tanked. Minorities are suffering worst of all from lost jobs, lack of health care and underfunded schools.
Guaranteeing secure positions for minorities in the Florida Legislature turned out to guarantee incompetence at all levels of government.
Jim Perry, Tampa
GOP has never stopped Harris | Column, Aug. 12
I won’t like it
Dan Morain points out that Kamala Harris’s failure to seek the death penalty for David Hill almost cost her the election for California attorney general. While she was district attorney in San Francisco, I remember a guy getting 90 days for assaulting a police officer.
She and Willie Brown are indifferent to crime victims, even contemptuous of them. They have always fought any victims’ rights legislation. Don’t believe me? Ask her how she stands on Marsy’s Law.
I will vote for Joe Biden and Harris because they are running against Donald Trump, but I won’t like it.
Pete Wilford, Holiday
Trump blocks postal funds to thwart voting | Aug. 14
Here’s a suggestion
As a labor arbitrator, I have at times held authority over my decision until the decision was implemented. With that, I would suggest that someone goes to court and ask for an order for the appointment of a judge who would assure that the presidential election will be held under our Constitution and also assure that all absentee ballots were both received and counted. President Donald Trump seems to want to discourage mail in ballots. That is not good in our great country. We are better than Mr. Trump’s world.
Ross P. Alander, Tampa
Weighing coastal development options | Editorial, July 29
Consider climate change more
The Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board has published a short-sighted opinion when it comes to St. Petersburg’s Coastal High Hazard Area ongoing amendment proposal. The Editorial Board admits that the plan “sounds dicey,” but then completely forgets the science-backed concerns of increasing density in flood zones by placing the economic opportunity above the long-term health of St. Petersburg. The idea that prohibition of high-density housing in the Coastal High Hazard area would make affordable housing more difficult is unfounded and laughable. Developers aren’t going to voluntarily build affordable housing on water adjacent properties, particularly if they cost more to build.
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Putting more people and property in flood zones without considering the impact to public infrastructure, as this plan allows, is not a good idea. At face value, it makes no sense. In depth, the details of the higher building standards intended to mitigate flood and storm risks are weak and toothless. They do not go far enough. The Coastal High Hazard Area amendment proposal is nothing less than a money grab for developers to snag waterfront property for luxury, high-end housing at great risk to the city’s longevity in the face of a climate disaster. The Editorial Board should do better than to consider climate change in headline only.
Amy Baxter, St. Petersburg