Re: Sept. 15 article, “DA to hold off on felony charges in Rep. Dawnna Dukes case for now.”
For the past several years, East Austin and all of House District 46 has essentially been unrepresented in the legislature.
Sure, technically we have a “representative” in criminally-indicted Dawnna Dukes — but for the past two sessions she has had by far the worst attendance record of any representative, missing 84 percent of roll call votes in 2015. Is this truly representation?
Meanwhile, the Democratic Party seems content to let our community down by refusing to take any disciplinary action against Dukes. For East Austin to thrive, now is the time to begin thinking differently and replacing our absentee legislator with someone who represents the values of limited government and individualism, so our community may have a strong voice once again.
BRANDON WALTENS, AUSTIN
Re: Sept. 14 commentary, “Before Austin offers tax incentives, let’s see if they work.”
Thanks to Judge Bill Aleshire for an excellent piece asking the question that is not asked often enough, especially of our city leaders: “Do incentives to companies help the people of Austin?”
As Aleshire ably demonstrates, the answer is a resounding “no.”
When will we learn that there is a cost to our precious quality of life when we try to lure companies to our fair city with incentives? In my opinion, the cost is too high: increased stress on the housing market, traffic, natural resources and infrastructure. Add higher taxes to the list and it is not a bargain.
Please, Mayor Steve Adler and the Austin City Council — remember why we elected you: to preserve our quality of life, not to promulgate a policy of growth for growth’s sake.
SANDRA MARTIN, AUSTIN
Re: Sept. 13 letter to the editor, “DACA decision morally, ethically wrong.”
I heartily concur with the letter.
In addition to the construction trades need for help in rebuilding the Texas coast communities, Florida’s large population of devastated mobile home residents are now faced with a deficit of manufactured housing available because of labor shortages in that area of the economy.
In the previous election, Dr. Ben Carson spoke of his friends in the large-scale construction and agriculture fields that told him mass deportations would be very deleterious to their businesses and would drive up prices of homes and food. I can hardly think of a worse situation or time to deport hands, backs and brains willing to work to improve the lot for all our citizens in those fractured locales.
HERB STEINER, SPICEWOOD
Re: Sept. 10 letter to the editor, “Lamar Smith enjoys respect for a reason.”
GOP strategist Matt Mackowiak wrote a letter to the editor claiming, “Lamar Smith enjoys respect for a reason.” I respectfully disagree.
Mackowiak said Smith is “well-respected … by his colleagues.” These are the same colleagues who, according to Gallup, have a 16 percent approval rating. That’s even lower than Trump’s current approval rating of 38 percent! Maybe if his colleagues were more “well-respected” by the American people, then their high opinions of Lamar would matter.
Mackowiak claimed that Lamar has been a “national leader on immigration … NASA and ensuring the [EPA] provides reasonable protections.” I find this near impossible to believe seeing that Lamar has failed to support DACA and Dreamers; held more hearings about extraterrestrials than he has about climate change; and is “trying to put global warming research on ice.”
CHRIS PERRI, AUSTIN
Re: Sept. 14 commentary, “11 reasons Austin will lose the affordable housing battle.”
One way to address Austin housing affordability has not been mentioned. If the city and Travis County gave away free of charge all the habitable land they own — except parks — to developers who could only build low- and moderate-cost housing with some zoning exceptions tied to density, we would see housing units built.
The Austin Independent School District has an incentive to participate: enrollment. Eliminating land costs gets affordable housing built.
DAVID ARONOFSKY, AUSTIN
I am in absolute complete agreement with term limits for our senators and representatives on both the state and federal level, but getting this one is a little tough, since the folks bringing it up and voting on it are career politicians. It is possible, so don’t give up hope.
My idea as to how the law should read is that no one can serve more than two consecutive terms. They can run again after sitting out at least one term. This will cause them to have to live with their decisions for at least a while — and they will also be running for re-election on their own time the second time around. Maybe they might vote with their constituents in mind rather than their party.
JAY MCINTOSH, GEORGETOWN
Re: Sept. 13 letter to the editor, “Don’t blame Hernandez; Travis told to stay put.”
The letter writer is supporting Sheriff Sally Hernandez’s decision not to send immediate support to Houston for hurricane relief. The writer states, “Travis County did not have the authority to act. You have to abide by the rules for results.”
Since when did Hernandez abide by the rules? She certainly won’t abide by our immigration laws. No one in law enforcement should get to pick and choose which laws they enforce or don’t. If you take an oath to uphold the laws of our country, then do it. If you don’t like the law, then work to change it. But until it changes, enforce it — or we have anarchy.
BOYD R. KRCHA, ROUND ROCK