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Letters to the Editor

Your vote matters

Regarding the upcoming special election for the open 6th District City Council seat, I will not be seeking the Republican endorsement. I have not come to this decision lightly and it was very difficult, but after much consideration and discussion I have decided that it is not in the best interest for me and my family.

It was with great pride when I ran in 2019 against Bobby Henon, as my goal was to bring change, honesty and integrity to the 6th District, something that was truly missing, however that did not come to fruition. During the last two years, I continued to be a strong voice for my neighbors and have helped in any way that I could and will continue to do so moving forward.

I have met and worked with a lot of great people in the community and appreciate all the support that I received and continue to receive. As a member of the leadership team of the Philly GOP and a ward leader in the 6th District, I will work very diligently to help find an appropriate candidate to fill the vacancy.

Philadelphia is in desperate need of representation by elected officials who will put their constituents first, something that has been missing for a very long time. Bobby Henon’s conviction and Councilman Kenyatta Johnson’s upcoming trial are just more examples of the climate of Philadelphia’s political corruption that is considered “business as usual.” This only enforces that a one-party controlled city needs to end and those in power need to be held accountable. Our current city administration continues to fail us at every turn, and it’s a disgrace that we need to turn to state and federal officials for help. Homicides, carjackings and other violent crimes are destroying this city, and no one is safe or exempt.

As we head into this election cycle, I will be working closely with 3 candidates who I feel will best represent the Northeast and complement state Rep. Martina White and Councilman David Oh who continue to be the only Philadelphia elected officials fighting for us. They are Sam Oropeza for state Senate, Mark LaVelle for state representative and Aaron Bashir for Congress. All three of these gentlemen are hardworking family-oriented individuals whose values align with every Northeast Philadelphia resident and deserve the opportunity to represent us and bring much-needed change.

It is important for all Northeast residents to realize that your vote matters. We can no longer have elections with less than 25 percent turnout.

Nothing changes if nothing changes.

Pete Smith

PhillyGOP Secretary, Ward Leader

Kevin Boyle doing a great job

As a student living in Rep. Kevin Boyle’s district, seeing his commitment to ensuring equality for a wide variety of marginalized groups is admirable. The wide range of sponsored bills he has truly shows this, supporting women’s rights, LGBT+ rights, access to education and also the rights of the working class.

I appreciate how Rep. Boyle has spent a lot of time in 2020 pushing for economic recovery from COVID-19. While many people are of the belief that we must try to move on as quickly as possible from the impact the pandemic has had on the economy, no true progress can be made without our government specifically focusing on COVID relief. While large corporations have received bailouts and have even increased their profits during this time, much of the working class has suffered, through lack of job security, unlivable wages and poor working conditions.

It is clear that he understood the ramifications of the GOP undermining trust in the 2020 elections. The Jan. 6 attacks further prove the importance of repressing unfounded extremist claims. Prior to the election, Rep. Boyle worked on ensuring a fair and accessible voting experience and even after the attacks he introduced resolutions to condemn it. It is good to see how strongly he criticizes the mob of white supremacists that raided the Capitol, along with their extreme right-wing rhetoric that has caused so much damage to our country as a whole.

Being one of Rep. Boyle’s constituents, I feel fully represented by his stances, especially the ones focusing on social issues. While it’s easy to get caught up in the politics happening on the federal level, I see the extreme importance in focusing on lower, state and city-level politics through seeing his dedicated fight to helping those he represents. When Amy Coney Barrett was nominated for the Supreme Court and many feared overturnal of laws that provide people who have the capacity to give birth with many foundational rights, he introduced a bill to ensure equitable birth control access in Pennsylvania. When a gay couple was attacked in Philly purely for their sexual orientation, Boyle introduced H.B. 218 to make sure that LGBT crimes are covered under the definition of a hate crime.

I do hope to see an increased focus on minimum wage and working conditions as a whole, this is always important but now more than ever with the supply chain issues we see around us. With the increased global inflation due to COVID, many people are living paycheck to paycheck, struggling to make ends meet. I am sure he is aware of this, and am confident that Rep. Boyle will make the right decisions.

Nadija Sulcaj

Julia Masterman High School

Use respectful language

Reading the Feb. 16 NE Times, I was brought up short when a letter to the editor referred to “thugs whose very births into this world are an abomination.”

In our Northeast Philadelphia community, it should be a given that every birth is a sacred event; to call any birth an abomination is almost blasphemous. Another high value in our culture is respect for our neighbors; to call someone a thug whose very birth into this world is an abomination expresses the opposite of respect.

The letter-writer was talking about people who perpetrate violence with guns. The fact is, the violence of the dehumanization and disrespect exhibited in his language is itself one of the roots of criminal violence: Violent, disrespectful language begets violence. People working on the streets in neighborhoods rife with gun violence have found, over and over again, that the profound disrespect society exhibits for people is one of the reasons some turn to guns: to gain respect. The fact that people who have been hurt – for example, by violent, dehumanizing language — are more likely to hurt others has become a key insight among those who are dedicating their lives to violence interruption and healing of violence-induced trauma.

In fact, the language to which I reacted so strongly is so dehumanizing, disrespectful and trauma-inducing that the NE Times should reject letters containing such language, or should edit it out. In a society as filled with violence as ours is, the letter-writer’s violent language is like falsely crying “Fire” in a crowded theater – well beyond the bounds of free speech. It should not be given a platform.

Rev. David W. Brown

Fox Chase

Dr. RINO

Have political ads gone too far? Now a well-known celebrity is running for a Senate seat in Pennsylvania. Even if he has made poor decisions, there is something distasteful in comparing him to a RINO. RINOs are animals and should not be compared to a human being. There is even a period after each letter in the word. What is that all about? What a disgrace.

Marie Patton

Fox Chase

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