Letters to the Editor
Thank you for your article on the debate over a California state constitutional convention ("State of Emergency," MetroNews, Sept. 23). California's problem is not complicated. Over the last 30 years, the share of corporate income paid in state taxes has declined by almost 50 percent (www.cbp.org). Corporations have used the minority-rule, two-thirds provision in California to slash their taxes and starve our state services, schools, universities, health care, parks and everything else that makes up our quality
of life. At the pinnacle of our budget crisis earlier this year, corporations used it, not to help solve the deficit, but to exacerbate it. They manipulated the legislative stalemate to secure themselves an additional $2.5 billion a year tax break.
George Lakoff has proposed a simple ballot measure that will go further to solve California's problem than a convention will. It is one sentence: "All budgetary and revenue issues shall be decided by a majority vote in both houses of the legislature." Imagine that! Either we as a democratic society begin to assert our rightful authority over these corporations, or they will completely take us over. The America our ancestors fought for was founded on the sovereignty of the people, not of the dollar bill.
Thank you for including Town Cats as the "Best Place to Pet a Kitty" ("Best of Silicon Valley," Sept. 23). I was thrilled to open this issue and see Town Cats listed. I adopted two sweet cats from Town Cats and became a volunteer because I believe in the work that they are doing. Town Cats is a phenomenal organization, all volunteers, surviving on a shoestring budget.
What will accelerate the establishment of locally based food systems ("Back to the Garden," Cover Story, Sept. 30), is for cities to regard urban farming as an economic engine and encourage entrepreneurial farmers to set up businesses within their borders. You can see other pioneering commercial urban farmers throughout the United States and Canada who are taking the task of relocalizing food production into their own hands at www.spinfarming.com.
In the Bag
You mischaracterized routing-industry opposition as "backing off" ("Paper or Plastic?," Fly, Sept. 23). By voting 9-1 for a plastic-bag ban, Councilmember Sam Liccardo, Mayor Chuck Reed and their colleagues charged to the front of a nationwide movement. The environmental review they ordered is actually required by law and standard practice before final adoption of an ordinance, and cities that skipped it have been sued by affiliates of the plastic-bag industry. It is actually because of Liccardo and Reed's careful research and wisdom that San Jose will implement a bag ban successfully over immense political pressure from a very powerful lobby. All San Jose residents should be proud of them.