Northeast residents discuss election workers, the congressional map and safe injection sites in this week’s letters to the editor.
Pay election workers
It’s an under-the-radar problem in Philadelphia’s political system, but one that must be addressed quickly in order to ensure the integrity of our elections.
The city’s election day workers are woefully underpaid. Every election day, those who serve in these important roles work a minimum 14-hour day. For their efforts, they make less than minimum wage.
As a result, there are currently 2,500 unfilled election day worker positions in Philadelphia. That’s less than half the necessary workforce, which means Philadelphia runs the risk of not being able to open some polling places for the rapidly approaching May 15 primary.
With the integrity of our elections in the news on an almost daily basis, we must do everything in our power to ensure the integrity of the process and increase voter participation. For those reasons, I am working closely and in a bipartisan spirit with the Office of City Commissioners to increase their annual budget to allow for an additional $20 for every election day worker.
The impact on the city budget would be negligible, but the increase would demonstrate how much the city values its election day workers and would help recruit others in time for the May 15 primary.
Councilman Al Taubenberger
Philadelphia City Council
Good show, Primerano
I would like to tell you about an event my wife, Jean, and I attended — a dinner and show produced by regional entertainer John Primerano in the banquet rooms of Tiffany Diner and Restaurant.
It was a wonderful evening of entertainment: good music and humor by John and fine food by Tiffany’s.
I happen to know John has entertained from Long Island, New York to Ocean City, Maryland and is a known regional performer. He counts among his endorsees The Amazing Kreskin and the renowned actor Tony LoBianco.
I just had to write to let all the folks know they would have as enjoyable a time as Jean and I should they attend another of John’s shows anywhere, anytime.
Congressional map not fair
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has handed down a congressional map that is not fair to all the parties involved. When you look at statistics provided by the City Commissioners office of Philadelphia, you will see what I mean. We here in the Far Northeast live in the 2nd Congressional District on the new map. Here are the stats by political party and race:
By political party, 72 percent of the district is registered Democrats, 16 percent of the district is registered Republican, 12 percent of the district is registered other party. By race, the district breaks down like this: 24 percent white, 18 percent black, 14 percent Hispanic, 4 percent other and 40 percent unknown. These statistics create an environment where Republican candidates are not given a fair chance.
This map is nothing but a creation to get more U.S Congress seats back to the Democrats. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, I thought, was in a position to create fairness. Political bias should be set aside. It is obvious that these factors did not take place during this process. I know some people will feel that I’m showing political bias. I think I’m looking for fairness for all the parties involved.
Tough love for drug addicts
Didn’t Philly have a big heroin raid in a Mayfair rowhome in 2016? Local, state and federal narcotics agents seized a bulk of heroin and arrested a dozen people.
So why go through all that trouble when Mayor Kenney is allowing heroin injection sites in the city? Kenney could have saved all the manpower and just opened shop in that Mayfair home.
Heroin is still an illegal substance, punishable by jail time, not lounging in a facility and being catered and pampered to. Whatever happened to the old “put in a padded cell” and have them sweat it out to get clean?
Here we have Kenney who is perpetuating and enabling addicts by babying them. Instead, Mayor Kenney, try tough love and get them to quit.