Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss a new animal shelter, anti-Trump protests and pre-existing conditions

Shelter the people

The $800 million bond issue Kansas City has placed on the April 4 ballot includes $14 million for a new animal shelter. (Feb. 14, 4A, “$800 million bond package is a big political gamble”)

I love pets, like most people, but it would be treating animals better than the city’s homeless people. With that $14 million, a vacant high school could be fixed up and used for the homeless. The school would have a kitchen, showers, restrooms, gym and many rooms for beds — perfect for the homeless.

Is it humane to treat animals better than people? These people deserve a chance to get on their feet and do it with dignity.

Sandra Keeney

Creighton, Mo.

Protest message

On Presidents Day, people demonstrated and paraded with slogans that read, “Not my president.” (Feb. 21, 3A, “Hundreds protest Trump at Not My President rally”)

As children, we would flip a coin or agree to vote whether we would play tag or hide and seek. We played by the rules, and if the flip of the coin or the vote went against what we wanted, we still played by the rules to which we had agreed.

“Not my president” says, “I agreed to the rules, but it didn’t come out right, so now I am not going to play.” “Not my president” is un-American. I hope it means, “not the president for whom I voted.” If not, the America of diversity, tolerance and a melting pot of cultures and ideas is at risk of being lost.

Our country is great in allowing such freedom of expression and even the right to leave if we choose.

We must live peaceably and abide by the basic ground rules of respect and civility, even if the flip of the coin or the vote did not go our way after we gave prior consent.

John P. Hastings

Leawood

Hooray for UMKC law professor Edward Cantu, who patiently offered a civics lesson Monday to the protesters on the Plaza.

Yes, my friends, he is your president, duly elected. So the backlash against President Barack Obama’s executive overreach is President Donald Trump’s executive overreach.

Let’s hope congressional cowards will finally get down to the people’s business and reassert legislative prerogatives.

Susan Wilcox

Overland Park

Gerrymandering

Anyone seeking to understand how nearly every incumbent easily wins reelection to Congress despite an approval rating that hovers around 10 percent will find a lot of answers in “Gerrymandering erodes genuine democracy” (Feb. 19, 21A). Brian Klaas does a good job of detailing the many ways in which democracy is undermined by gerrymandering.

His solution — computer models and bipartisan citizen commissions — would help, but he fails to mention the most powerful solution. Replacing our winner-take-all system with proportional representation would put an end to gerrymandering and would also shift the focus of our elections to party platforms and issues. It also would end attack ads and make it easier for third-party and independent candidates to win seats in legislatures because there would be no more “wasted votes” or “spoiler candidates.”

There are 94 countries that use some form of proportional representation to elect their legislatures. Many political scientists agree that it is a more genuinely democratic system.

I have submitted initiative petitions that would put proposals for proportional representation on the ballot in Missouri in 2018 (one for Congress and one for the General Assembly). Missouri voters who are tired of politics as usual will have an opportunity to support genuine democracy.

Winston Apple

Independence

Pre-existing needs

In 1943, I survived polio when many didn’t. I am almost completely paralyzed in both legs, wear long-legged braces and use crutches to walk.

Clearly, I have a pre-existing condition. In fact, there is no such thing as a disabled person without one. I’m 74 years old and realize that it’s nearly impossible to get old and not have a pre-existing condition.

I have been refused insurance over the years. Now, of course, I qualify for Medicare. It doesn’t cover my brace, crutch and shoe repairs very well, but it is a big help. It does cover the other medical needs I have. The lord spared my life in 1943 but didn’t give me a pass on anything else going wrong that might require a doctor or hospital.

I cannot express strongly enough the need for pre-existing conditions to be covered by whatever is going to replace the Affordable Care Act. Millions of us will be affected. Maybe even you. Anyone can acquire a pre-existing condition at any time. That’s life.

Joe Woelfel

Olathe

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