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Why wouldn’t Florida want to teach more civics? | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Tuesday’s letters to the editor.
A message recorded by Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2020 welcomed students in the Civics Fellows Program at the University of South Florida's St. Petersburg campus last week. This week, DeSantis vetoed a bill that was unanimously supported in the House and Senate that would establish the program into law citing concerns over promoting certain "orthodoxies."
A message recorded by Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2020 welcomed students in the Civics Fellows Program at the University of South Florida's St. Petersburg campus last week. This week, DeSantis vetoed a bill that was unanimously supported in the House and Senate that would establish the program into law citing concerns over promoting certain "orthodoxies." [ JUDITHANNE MCLAUCHLAN | (Photo courtesy Judithanne McLauchlan). ]
Published Jul. 6

Teach more civics

DeSantis vetoes civics bill unanimously passed in House and Senate | June 30

Why would the governor not want our citizens to have a basic understanding of how our democracy works? I am a retired 69-year-old woman and very grateful that I was given the opportunities in elementary, middle and high school to learn how our government works and to learn how each of us as citizens has a responsibility to be active in ensuring our democracy endures.

The fact that thousands of Americans thought they could actually overthrow the results of a free and fair election demonstrates that far too many people do not understand how our Constitution, and subsequent laws, work and that our civic education has failed or is nonexistent. What purpose is served by keeping our citizens ignorant about how laws, voting, and political power works within our country? It certainly is not to engage people in the democratic process and in practicing their rights and responsibilities as citizens.

Ann Doyle, Tampa

Yes in my back yard

Florida Realtors backs affordable housing ballot proposal | June 15

As a manager of rental properties in Tampa and Clearwater, I have already seen the alarming impacts of the mounting housing affordability crisis on renters, property managers, and our community. Housing affordability is an ongoing challenge that demands the attention of policymakers to ensure America’s housing market is prepared for both current and future renters to find quality, affordable housing.

The country is in a severe housing shortage, which coupled with the pandemic’s economic impact, is fueling the affordability crisis. There are two pieces of legislation in Congress that could properly address the crisis and help ensure that there is ample affordable housing for the renters who need it most: The Yes In My Backyard (YIMBY) Act and the Housing Supply and Affordability Act. Both bills would work to address this problem for decades to come.

Eliminating barriers to development of new housing, while simultaneously improving affordability in markets with rising housing costs, will help curtail the housing affordability crisis across the country. Congress needs to pass both the YIMBY and the Housing Supply and Affordability Acts — the nation’s 40 million renters, housing providers, and the nation as a whole depend on their action.

Bonnie Smetzer, Melbourne

No more Olympic protests

Dan Crenshaw wants Gwen Berry kicked off the Olympic team. How un-American | July 1

I think Olympic events are never a place for politics or protests of any type. This event represents an opportunity to bring people together from diverse backgrounds and to connect and celebrate in a way that reaches beyond their differences. While there are many injustices throughout the world, this is not the place to grandstand. This takes away from the spirit of the games and should not be tolerated.

While I am not suggesting punishing American hammer thrower Gwen Berry (who turned away from the American flag and placed her t-shirt over her head during the medal ceremony at the recent U.S. Olympic trials), she should be advised that this is not acceptable and if it happens again she would be barred from any future games. A warning should suffice for her and other athletes from this type of behavior in the future. Yes, actions have consequences, something we seem to forget quite often.

Jesse Otazo, Clearwater