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Concerned about the ‘undocumented’

I am a resident of the 173rd district — a constituent of Rep. Michael Driscoll. As a youth and high school student in Philadelphia, education is a particularly important focus of mine. I aim to seek higher education in college and use that education to gain the experience and knowledge I need to find a career for myself. I noticed that Rep. Driscoll expresses support of educational interests, particularly in funding early education and “fostering a climate that will enable hard-working college graduates to find good jobs in the state.”

I support these goals and acknowledge his efforts in funding early education, with the policy committee roundtable he hosted to discuss early education rates and funding in 2020. Nevertheless, as an older student, I am wondering what sort of policies Rep. Driscoll is pushing to support college graduates looking to find jobs. Is there more of a focus on businesses that these college graduates are looking to work at, or policies and programs to assist the graduates themselves? I am, however, happy to see that he is working to help small businesses and programs through grants to fund their needs.

On another note, I have noticed a lack of action for other needs. In 2018, Rep. Driscoll voted for House Bill 28 that forces municipalities to cooperate with federal immigration authorities. Although this did not pass, I am wondering about his stance on immigration. If this bill were to have passed, I am concerned that it would jeopardize the privacy and status of undocumented Philadelphian immigrants. Does Rep. Driscoll believe that the approximately 50,000 undocumented immigrants in Philadelphia should be held under the surveillance of federal immigration authorities?

I am interested in his thoughts on these topics, and I anticipate his policies and efforts to bring change in the next few years.

Megan Chan

Julia Masterman High School

Leftist indoctrination

Over the last several weeks, the Northeast Times has been printing letters by high school students on various political topics. Has anyone noticed that all the letters reflect only the so-called “progressive” point of view? It appears that our schools have become centers of leftist indoctrination.

The latest example of this is the student letter in the Feb. 9 issue, praising Rep. Kevin Boyle for his anti-gun stance. The author complains about a bill that “would give gun owners unnecessary rights.” Has he ever heard of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution?

He parrots the phrase “gun violence” that is propagated by the news media, entertainment industry and academia. The correct term is “criminal violence,” but, of course, that is not politically correct. Schools should be teaching students how to think, not what to think.

Leo Iwaskiw

Somerton

Hope prevailing

It takes an army to fight poverty, and once again our friends in the Greater Philadelphia region proved their willingness to step up and help their neighbors. Thanks to your generosity, the Salvation Army in Greater Philadelphia raised more than $373,000 during our Red Kettle campaign, making the holidays brighter for thousands of people.

Many assume the funds raised in the Salvation Army’s classic Red Kettles over the holidays are only used to make Christmas possible for underserved families. In fact, 5,000 local children woke up to a present under their tree this past Christmas thanks to your donations.

However, the Red Kettle fundraising season is about much more than Christmas. Our holiday fundraising supports programs that help more than 300,000 local neighbors in need year round. At any given time during the year, someone is at risk of being homeless. A family is hungry. A young child needs a winter coat or school supplies. Someone is seeking counseling or rehabilitation. Someone is looking to find a way out from being trafficked. If not for the money you donate during the holidays, we would not be able to help.

Whether you rang a bell, donated a toy, put some change in your local Red Kettle or donated online – thank you. You have helped us prove that poverty is not limited to one season – and neither is hope. Thanks to your time, talent and treasure, Hope Marches On, and our doors remain open in Greater Philadelphia.

Major Tawny Cowen-Zanders

Salvation Army

Nursing homes need help

While we applaud the proposed investment in hospital front-line health care workers announced by the Pennsylvania General Assembly, nursing homes continue to be Ground Zero for the pandemic. Our members’ staff, residents and their families continue to reel under the pressure of the pandemic and its impact on our most vulnerable Pennsylvanians.

A lack of funding is creating a harrowing trend we’ve pointed out repeatedly during the pandemic: High-quality, nonprofit nursing homes are closing or being forced to sell to out-of-state corporations. Last month, the Jewish Home of Greater Harrisburg joined the list. Since 2020, nursing homes in Pittsburgh, Erie, Allentown and Berks and Montgomery counties have closed or sold. While hospitals are battling front-line issues now, the trouble for nursing homes started long before the pandemic.

Homes rely on Medicaid to care for residents who can no longer afford to pay for their care. Pennsylvania’s Medicaid reimbursement rates have been routinely flat-lined in state budgets. In 2017 alone, Pennsylvania nursing homes suffered a staggering $631 million shortfall. Facilities used to rely on their Rainy Day funds to cover the shortfall, but the pandemic has drained these accounts.

Hospital care during COVID-19 makes headlines, but nursing homes cannot be forgotten. Lawmakers and the Wolf administration must release emergency funding – and provide a robust increase in Medicaid funding in the upcoming 2022-23 fiscal budget. Without this, history shows more nursing homes will close their doors.

Bob Bertolette

LeadingAge PA

Making a mess of America

Are we still squawking over Jan. 6?

Remember the looting, the fires, the smashing and destruction of businesses during the BLM protests or have you forgotten the fear of the people who had to board up their windows and doors because of the terror of the BLM marchers?

I still remember the video images of the looters ransacking Walmart and them carrying out merchandise and flat screens, but according to one individual, such actions as a peaceful march for a cause. That wasn’t for a political cause, that was pure thievery.

Why are you treating the BLM as angels, on a pedestal who did no wrong, when they deliberately terrorized our city. And to this day they have not been arrested or prosecuted as much as the Jan. 6 people have been hunted down and held as political prisoners in jail.

Time to move on from Jan. 6 and worry more about what is going on now with Biden that you so adamantly elected over the great job President Trump was doing.

Are you complaining about the mass migration coming across our open borders under Biden? 

Are you proud of getting rid of Trump to be replaced by a no-for-good joke of a president Biden who made a mess of America?

Isn’t it a coincidence that the House Democrats started the Jan. 6 investigation by blaming Trump to draw your attention away from the now-forgotten Hunter Biden’s nefarious dealings with Ukraine as soon as Biden got into office? 

Stop parroting what the media are feeding you and wake up to the reality that the lies fabricated against Trump are nothing but a sham. The real insurrection was to overthrow Trump from office.

Al Ulus

Somerton

Don’t infringe on rights

Ms. Fink’s op-ed was well written and thought out. Being aware of what is being taught in the public schools today and what is not, let’s take a look at the Second Amendment:

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

The bold part of the statement is a separate thought from the first. Shall not be infringed speaks for itself. There is a rash of crime in this area because emboldened thugs whose very births into this world are an abomination, fear no repercussions for their actions because they feel they have a friend on their side in DA Larry Krasner.

The importance of the Second Amendment is the ability to rebel against a tyrannical government. It also gives citizens the right to protect themselves, without restrictions from the government. The Second Amendment also allows us to protect ourselves from foreign and domestic attacks, if the government won’t.

Cities that have the most restrictive gun laws such as New York are experiencing the highest surges in crime. There is less crime in others areas of the country that allow citizens with clean records to carry firearms to protect themselves. If a thug intends to rob or carjack someone, but believes there is a good chance their would-be victim may be armed, they may hesitate to carry out their intent.

I have news for you Ms. Victoria Fink; numerous lives are already at risk as we have emboldened criminals who learned from the summer of 2020 that they may rob, hurt people, damage property and there will be zero repercussions from city officials for their actions. During those riots, it is a fact that Philadelphia Police were ordered to stand down. That came straight from the father of a Philadelphia police officer.

People have the God-given right not to be victims and no mayor, governor, president or any other city, state or federal official has the power or right to infringe upon that.

Peter DiGiuseppe

Rhawnhurst

Let’s vote at the polls

In response to Christine Moretti’s opinion post on Jan. 26, I confess I don’t know about the 440 voter-suppression bills that have been introduced. It’s not as simple as being a U.S. citizen, showing a valid ID, also that poll watchers be allowed to watch the vote being counted, unlike what happened in Philly. Can we do away with mail-in ballots, with voters just going to the polls? Can we make it where everyone has belief in election results. Senate Democrats Manchin and Sinema showed real courage in standing up against the Democratic bills being proposed. The Fourth Estate has finally, slowly realized it cannot continue to support the Democrat lies.

Tom Anderson

Holme Circle

Backward thinking

The entire state of Jersey’s students will have the choice of wearing masks to school in about a week. Last week, Philadelphia’s students under the Hite administration are going backward in requiring more sophisticated masks with the number of cases going down. Superintendent Hite when given a 50-50 choice of either lessening or increasing a mask mandate he can’t even get it right. To the entity in Ohio that hired him we have to say, “No givebacks.” Just remember New York City wouldn’t even take our police commissioner even though she had the right skin color and sex.

Mayer Krain

Modena Park

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