Letters to the Editor
For your consideration I would like to submit this poem about my wife, Mary Alice, and I raising a guide dog puppy here in Alameda.
We picked him up at 10 weeks and he is now 16 weeks.
Firenze asleep, breathing soft
Curled resting against my leg
Yellow lab of long service lineage
Namesake of that ancient city
on the Arno River
I see you strutting like a Medici
Over the Ponte Vecchio
Past the Uffizi and the Duomo
Then rest beneath the marble
Firenze, a world heritage city
Where millions tread your narrow
From all points of the globe.
Because Firenze belongs to the
And so Firenze beside me
You don’t belong to me
You are not mine
You will pass through my life.
For one messy, mouthy, magnificent
Green jacket to your brown leather
So sweet puppy, Firenze rest now
The great wide world awaits you.
I think maybe the unsaid thing about this whole homeless crisis is that fundamentally, a capitalist society has to have an underclass in order to function — someone to “capitalize” on. If there’s no longer any need, then there’s no reason for anyone to pay for anything and the powers that be cease to be in power. Don’t let the moneyed elite overpower what you know is right. Everyone deserves comfort.
Next Monday, July 1, the minimum wage in Alameda increases to $13.50 for every employee. This new law acknowledges the economic challenges minimum-wage workers confront and is an important step for the economic vitality of Alameda.
Minimum-wage workers in our community will now have a better chance to make ends meet in one of the country’s most expensive areas. The new minimum wage also allows Alameda to remain competitive with our surrounding cities. Oakland, Berkeley, Emeryville, Richmond and San Leandro have all increased their minimum wage requirements to more than $13.50 per hour.
Like most things in the Island City, it will take all of us to make the most of this change. While local businesses want to support their employees, some worry that the minimum-wage increase could impact the overall health of their businesses. They fear that if prices increase, their customers may visit them less or not at all.
The heads of local business associations told me about how important it remains to support small businesses during this change.
“Now more than ever, Alameda residents need to know how important it is to support our local businesses,” Janet Magleby, executive director of the Downtown Alameda Business Association said. “Local businesses sponsor kids’ sports teams, donate to school fundraisers and help families in need, playing a key role in keeping Alameda vibrant.”
Linda Asbury, executive director of the West Alameda Business Association added, “It’s really important for Alamedans to look to local businesses first. Shopping local fuels our local economy, bringing in needed funding to continue improving this very special city.”
Not only do local businesses provide needed goods and services, they know us — our favorite table, our kids’ names, our favorite authors.
By working together and shopping local, the new minimum wage will benefit everyone. Let’s continue to support our local businesses!