Letters to the Editor

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Community members:
A citizen’s committee has been formed with support of the League of Women Voters of Alameda which seeks to place an initiative on the ballot for the 2024 general election to institute Ranked Choice Voting for elections in the City of Alameda. Unpaid volunteers are currently collecting signatures.

I am writing to explain our reasons for supporting this initiative.

We believe that Ranked Choice Voting can help to defuse the disturbing partisan divisions in American politics today. These divisions are fostered in large part by negative campaigning – attack ads which demonize candidates or groups to energize a ‘base’ of voters. This turns off many voters, reducing turnout, and causes others to try to vote ‘strategically’ for a candidate they do not prefer but who they believe has a better chance of beating the negative campaigner.

We think that the need to appeal to a wide spectrum of voters will favor candidates whose positions are less extreme and who are more inclined to work with other elected officials to craft compromises which are essential for good government.

Our League has been studying and promoting Ranked Choice Voting for several years. We have discussed the issue during forums and in informational meetings.

The initiative is not intended as a criticism of Alameda’s city government, which we acknowledge has taken many valuable and productive actions on behalf of our community. We recognize that Ranked Choice Voting is not a ‘silver bullet’ which can restore civility to public discourse. But we believe that it is time to let the voters of Alameda decide this question.

— Anna Crane, President of League of Women Voters of Alameda

I'm screaming since they can't because the bombs
Took everything away. Not just their homes
And schools and hospitals and way of life
But all they ever knew and held so dear.

But pictures of what's lost will never show
The shattered corpses lying in their beds,
And children blown apart in parents' arms,
Because we just refuse publish them.

I'm screaming since I know that seeing those,
Just once, might make the senseless killing stop,
Might move the soulless minds of those who kill,
Might make them find their own humanity.

I'm screaming, well aware that no one hears.
I'm screaming, since they can't, and I'm in tears.

— Arthur Lenhardt

I called the non-emergency number to report a parking issue on my street. Parking Enforcement showed up but did nothing. His “it’s not my job” attitude confused me. He said that Enforcement was now handled by Public Works. “Call after 6 p.m.” he said.

The issue: every day and night at least two commercial vans are parked on my street. They hog the parking and disregard polite written requests to at least respect street sweeping days. No city signs are posted so a few neighbors, including me, have put notes on their windshields.

A city ordinance exists, 17.52.130, that says commercial vehicle parking on residential streets for more than two consecutive hours is prohibited. Parking on our narrow street is important because of no driveways and each address having multiple vehicles.

I am at a loss for the next step that gets me to someone who is responsive. I won’t mention the company name for now.

— Joe Mariscal