Letters to the Editor: January 21, 2023

I wish to commend Dr. Derrick Forward, President of the NAACP and Mayor Mims for their promotion of the collaborative “Gun Violence Reduction 2023 and Beyond.” As Coordinator of the Community Homicide Prayer Vigils, I am deeply aware of the lives lost by violence, particularly gun violence. Since 2006 we have held prayer vigils for over 500 persons in Dayton, Trotwood, Harrison and Jefferson Townships. The vast majority of these were gun related. Prior to COVID we held vigils at the site of the homicides, usually within a week of the occurrences. As of October, 2022, and in consultation with community and religious leaders, we now gather on the second Saturday of each month at McIntosh Park at noon, to pray for victims of violence throughout Montgomery County. Violence goes beyond a few neighborhoods. It is indeed a community problem. By gathering in a specific location, at a consistent date and time, we hope to draw attention for the need of prayer. By coming together we give public witness to the value and preciousness of every life.

We agree that thoughts and prayers are not enough. Both should lead to awareness and commitment “to do something.” Let us do that something as a community. Let us come together in bearing public witness that all life is precious and that we are neighbors, brothers and sisters of one another in this community.

- Sister Jeanette Buehler, CPPS, Coordinator, Community Homicide Prayer Vigils

Our elected officials swear to represent the majority of their constituents defined as “all the residents in an electoral district.” I respect an elected official’s personal stance on an issue, but am more interested in the stance of their constituents and whether or not the elected official is truly voting per the wishes of the majority of their electoral district. We could reduce a lot of the divisiveness in this country by having elected officials back up their for/against votes by adding a simple statement quoting that the majority (51%+) of their total constituents support his/her vote. I, for one, will quit griping if you are truly representing your majority. When the Ohio Governor and my Congressman made personal statements about being anti-abortion, I researched how Ohioans felt. I found that:

  • About 61% of Ohio voters agree with the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision [gives individual states the power to set their own abortion laws without concern of running afoul of Roe, which had permitted abortions during the first two trimesters of pregnancy], while 32% are against it.
  • However, 62% of Ohio voters are against and 39% for the Ohio Heartbeat bill, a recently passed law that bans abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected [6 weeks], according to a Quinnipiac University poll released July 29, 2022.

So, can you, our Ohio elected officials, please go back and do research among the constituents of your districts to better represent the majority?

- Robin Cox, Anderson Township

Not one month since sports betting was legalized in Ohio and the greedy money trolls are threatening UD basketball players because the bettors lost money on a UD game. Way to go Mike DeWine and the Republican majority led Ohio statehouse... you bowed to out-of-state gambling barons and threw Ohio in the sports betting arena with the lions. College sport was never meant to be a casino game of chance. I lived in Las Vegas for 20 years. Gambling destroys everyone involved financially, ethically, and morally.

- John Barlow, Dayton

I have participated in many advocacy groups over the last three years related to home care funding and the same message about there being no money in the budget or state funds to increase home care wages, yet then I read the article about Ohio’s Rainy Day Fund and I think about the thousands of people across Ohio people with disabilities who cannot access authorized home care and I think about my own struggles while living in Riverside and the lack of ability to recruit workers due to low wages and other systemic failures to the home care system. I think about the two hundred day back up plan I was on in 2021. January is human trafficking awareness month. To raise a little awareness about the care crisis, I want to say that the care crisis is so bad in Ohio that people with disabilities have been affected by human trafficking as a result of a lack of investment in home care wages. I was told to look on Craigslist for caregivers after waiting 17 months to contract one home care worker and an inability to find anyone to work for so little wages I became a victim of human trafficking. It infuriates me knowing we have all this money in our rainy day fund but we have ignored the care crisis and put people in harms way. It is time Ohio legislators and our Governor invest in a home care workforce and utilize some of the rainy day funds to increase home care wages.

- Alicia Hopkins, Columbus

A limerick for you:

We finally have a new speaker,

The old one was a long streaker.

Red or blue,

He is way overdue

In the causus view.

- George Brack, Dayton