Letters to the Editor

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Can you please pass on my and the Old Man’s condolences on the loss of her dear friend Portia and thank Kathy Gitlitz for her kind words? (“Rudy gets fan mail,” Sept. 10). Our neighbor forwarded her letter to us and it really brightened my day. (Especially as the Old Man gave me a bath today.)

I have emphasized to the Old Man the brilliance of your idea of daily paw and leg massages. (I am not sure washing is such a good idea.)

We both hope our paths cross on one of our walks and you hopefully can find a new friend and companion. (I can speak from personal experience from the shelter there are many wonderful souls looking for a best friend.) Stay safe

—Rudy the Dog Alameda Sun Columnist

A city’s charter is the cornerstone document that tells the story of who that city is. Alameda has had many identities over her relatively short history. Playground for wealthy San Franciscans. A city of homes and beaches. Navy town. A city that proclaims, “Everyone Belongs Here.”

That last identity is in stark contrast to the experience of people who were not allowed to buy property here, who could not get a home shown to them, who were named in restrictive covenants as emphatically not belonging in our neighborhoods. We have not yet done all of the work we need to do to repair the harm to this city done by Article 26. Repealing it will not be enough, but we can’t begin without it.

It’s past time to remove exclusionary zoning from our city’s charter. Let’s move forward, Alameda. Vote “yes” on Measure Z!

— Kristin Welch

I’ve lived in Alameda since 2010 and have always loved it. We were finally able to buy a house recently after years of renting and want others to have the opportunity to be part of this great community.

When Measure A added Article 26 to the charter of Alameda, forbidding the development of multifamily housing units, maybe people believed that it was crucial to protect our island’s beautiful Victorian houses — but that’s not necessary anymore. Our historic housing is protected by a city ordinance that no one is trying to repeal.

Today, it is essential that we develop a future island with more opportunities for more people, of more races and income levels, to live and work and play and go to school here. I value this and want this future for my child and his schoolmates. The dreadful fire seasons we have been experiencing are due partly to climate change, and partly due to the cost of housing development that forces people farther and farther into the urban-wildlife interface.

Creating community that encourages people to live close to their work will help mitigate the emissions of the long commute and remove the need to live far into fire-prone areas, and we as a city will benefit from a more diverse population living in and working for the Island. Thoughtful and forward-thinking development of multifamily housing in Alameda is one of the most basic ways we as a community can respond to the many crises we are experiencing: fire, drought, climate change, and the effects of an unequal society.

Single-family housing is great, but I have also been a renter and an apartment dweller in Alameda and know how important it is to have those options too. We all benefit when we have a stock of housing that’s available for a wide variety of people’s needs and incomes. As an Alameda resident and homeowner, I urge you to vote “yes” on Z.

— Jennifer Snow