Transparency needed

Editor:

I’m writing regarding the Los Lunas Village Council’s unanimous vote to approve Facebook’s request for $40 billion in Industrial Revenue Bonds.

I am a volunteer with Valencia Water Watchers, a group that along with others opposed the bonds. One reason is the village’s lack of transparency, which seems to be built into the system. While I understand the mayor and village councilors can’t have all answers to our questions at their fingertips, the practice of refusing to answer questions at a hearing is frustrating.

VWW submitted IPRA requests, but they take time … I suggest the village in the future make available on the agenda, which provides the link to a hearing, a fact sheet detailing the facts and reasons for their intended actions. This transparency would make a hearing more meaningful and relevant.

Another failure of transparency is the use of WebEx, which requires new savvy on the part of constituents used to Zoom during the pandemic. Furthermore, the practice of muting all attendees at the hearing at the outset assumes that we will be unruly and disrespectful. The person in charge can easily mute anyone who violates decorum.

As someone signed up to make a comment, I could not unmute myself and had to wait until I received a message asking if I wanted to be unmuted — even though clearly the mayor had called my name several times and was giving me a chance to speak.

Geri Rhodes

Los Lunas

What about Washington, D.C.?

Editor:

Several injustices continue to fester in our country, but one of them has a good chance of getting fixed soon.

We all know our nation was formed by immigrants, AKA settlers breaking free from an unstable English king. The men who formed our nation crafted a Declaration of Independence that established a new nation of immigrants with autonomy from England, then a Constitution and Bill of Rights that fit 1700-era men’s hopes and desires for life, liberty and the pursuit of land and laborers.

Over time, and after many battles on Indigenous people, a national Civil War, marches, unrest, uprisings and social movements, we continue to amend and clarify our Constitution’s Bill of Rights to be fair and inclusive of all people — men and women — living in the U.S.A., regardless of ethnicity, natural abilities, creed, color or station in life.

Although we have fair representation in all 50 states, we have turned a blind eye to the more than 700,000 people who live and work in our nation’s capital — the seat of our democracy — Washington, D.C.

The District of Columbia was carved out of Maryland and Virginia to consolidate our three branches of government; however, most lawmakers, Supreme Court justices, and the executive branch all the way up to the president live and vote elsewhere because D.C. is no-man’s land for representation.

It’s jarring that license plates in D.C. showing “Taxation without Representation” are just so common that it almost seems like it will always be that way. Residents in Washington, D.C., pay taxes just like the rest of us, yet they have no representation and are only allowed to vote for mayor and city councilors. This can not be allowed to stand any longer. D.C. qualifies for statehood.

While D.C. has a population of 712,000, more than Wyoming or Vermont, they have been denied representation by both houses of Congress. Just in the last 10 years or so, the population has become more gentrified, with an almost even split between Black and non-White people to Anglo-Saxons.

At the time D.C. was first denied representation, Black people made up 71 percent of the population. It is not lost on me that our nation’s capital has carried forth an antebellum way of life that suppresses certain voters and continues to deny people their equal rights under the law.

During this Women’s History Month, I (was) reminded of Eleanor Roosevelt’s passionate advocacy for four basic rights she believed every citizen in our democracy must enjoy: Equal education, the right to work for equal pay, the right to equal justice and the right to participate in the making of the laws by use of the ballot.

Lawmakers have systematically and unfairly denied residents of Washington, D.C., their rights to have their voices heard; rights that citizens in every state in our union enjoy and sometimes take for granted.

It’s time for us to recognize Washington, D.C., as our 51st state so that they too can be included in our so-called American Dream.

Michelle Tafoya

Los Lunas

Thanks firefighters

Editor:

The Belen Fire Department is a blessing to our community. We have all been experiencing getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

My husband’s appointment was for a drive-thru injection. He is house-bound due to health issues. I cannot assist him with getting into the car.

I had no way to get him into the car. A good friend suggested calling the fire department. She said they assist people when they fall, (and ways) to prevent a fall.

They not only came to help, they were patient and kind. We want to thank them; without their assistance my husband would not have received his vaccine. Chief Bret Ruff has an excellent crew because of his good leadership.

Patricia Meakim

Belen

That’s malarkey

A modern-day Auschwitz? To quote President Joe Biden, “Come on man, that’s malarkey!”

For as long as I can remember, the anti-choice crusade has attempted to brand itself as “pro-life,” but it is not hard to see through their façade. As “pro-life” Republicans remain fixated on criminalizing abortion, it is not lost on many Americans that this is the exact same Republican party that is steadfast on harming women and families with their regressive policies.

It is problematic to call yourself “pro-life” when you are actively working to imprison or execute women who access safe abortion care. It is actually “pro-hate” when you tear babies away from their parents and lock them in cages with no plan to reunite them.

Silencing doctors and stripping reproductive health care away from millions of low-income folks is actually anti-life. You cannot call yourself “pro-life” while you stand by as the maternal mortality rates skyrocket and women, especially women of color, die in childbirth. Denying affordable health care coverage to folks with pre-existing conditions, cutting programs that feed hungry kids, blocking access to HIV treatment across the globe and inciting far-right violence with lies about abortion care is not only immoral, and unjust, it is dangerous.

Nearly every piece of legislation, every claim against legalized abortion and every bit of anti-abortion activism is built on mistruths, fabrication and coercion. Anti-choice groups do not care about women or even how to actually stop abortion.

They are a movement that relies on deception for one reason: the truth does not benefit them. I am calling out your “pro-life” hypocrisy because the public should know just how dishonest the anti-choice crusade is and the damage it brings to our community.

Pam Cordova

Rio Communities

What’s your Reaction?
+1
0
+1
0
+1
0
+1
0
+1
0
+1
0
+1
0

The Valencia County News-Bulletin is a locally owned and operated community newspaper, dedicated to serving Valencia County since 1910 through the highest journalistic and professional business standards. The VCNB is published weekly on Thursdays, including holidays both in print and online.