Letters to the Editor – June 2018

Ensure Student Voices Are Heard

I’m a recent alumnus of Fresno Unified School District’s Edison High School.

Our youth feel unsafe when they are walking to school with people getting killed in their city through gang violence. As a Black man growing up on the west side of Fresno, I have seen how the violence in the city can easily take away someone’s life.

Our city’s violence stole a family member of mine not too long ago. Of course, I was traumatically distraught, and this caused me to feel less connected to the vital parts of my life such as my self-care, my education and my relationships on my school’s campus. I am not alone, there are a lot of other students who have gone through this and feel similarly when at school. Once they are on campus, many see no adult showing they care for what students are going through, let alone try to ask about the student’s well-being.

Help ensure my brothers and sisters’ safety at school. I join hundreds of students across the city who are concerned by one of the most recent school tragedies that has happened—Parkland. Unfortunately, it took 17 innocent brothers, sisters, kids, parents, future engineers, future nurses and so forth to be viciously taken away from the education system and their community for us to see that it is time for this violence to come to an end.

The best way to change this is to formally process the ideas that the students have by hearing, valuing and reflecting upon their voices. You can help lead this change by supporting AB 2820, which will build meaningful community engagement and a positive school climate fostering strong relationships and is central to the effective implementation of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF).

The LCFF is designed to give schools more money for students who need more support. Students like foster youth, English learners and low-income youth are prioritized through the LCFF. The new funding model finally allows student voice and input in the critical budget making decisions on a local and statewide level.

Support this policy to ensure that student voices are never again left out of conversations regarding school climate and engagement. Meaningful engagement with students helps proactively build positive schools and ensure a healthy climate for all. I’ll be joining my fellow students and doing my part to fight for safety in our schools and community by using my vote and encouraging others to do the same.

Draquari McGhee

Fresno


 

Destroying Democracy?

California Senator Dianne Feinstein wrote to me, “President Trump’s budget would cut funding to the U.S. Agency for International Development by 33%, seriously inhibiting its ability to fulfill its mission, which includes combatting global poverty and coordinating international disaster relief. The budget would also cut 17% from the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which could arrest crucial progress in the global fight against AIDS.”

She does not state that the causes of terrorism are poverty, disease and a country’s occupation by a foreign military. The United States still maintains nearly 800 military bases in more than 70 countries and territories abroad—from giant “Little Americas” to small radar facilities. Britain, France and Russia, by contrast, have about 30 foreign bases combined.

Remember that in the mid-18th century the British wanted to make sure that the colonists were obeying laws that were meant to help British finances. Second, the British started to tax the colonists more. By 1776, the American colonies had become larger and wealthier and no longer felt the need or the inclination to accept British rule.

We considered our response a revolution. The British saw us as terrorists.

Add to this China’s $900 billion belt-and-road initiative aimed at building public infrastructure all over Asia, and its 1,666 official assistance projects from 2000 to 2012 in 51 African countries.

Also, President Trump is paying for his $700 billion increase in defense with spending by cuts to the CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) and other irresponsible cuts in social programs that actually work and help people. We should ask what could be gained by abandoning crony-capitalist, non-competitive Defense Department corporate contracts.

Could President Trump, the Republicans and the wealthiest Americans be doing more to destroy democracy and asking for more trouble for Americans?

Mike Starry

Fresno

  • The Community Alliance is a monthly newspaper that has been published in Fresno, California, since 1996. The purpose of the newspaper is to help build a progressive movement for social and economic justice.

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