Letters to the Editor: Nov. 27

I am a past employee of Tenneco Owen Sound. In September of 2017, we were told our facility was sold. We were also told that nothing but the name would change. So imagine my shock when we showed up to work one morning and was told there would be a dock meeting. We all thought “Oh, they are going to announce the new name.” But that was not to be. Instead, they told us they were closing the plant in two years. Mouths dropped open, there were tears and we wanted answers. Our facility was the best in the world and we had the awards to prove it. How could they do this? We employed over 500 people. It was a shock. So then we were told that the equipment was going to Kettering and Mexico. Our people were to help set it up and teach others how to run it. Another blow. So as I feel bad for the employees, it just goes to show that business is business. There are no commitments to anyone but the bottom dollar. We have all found jobs elsewhere, but we don’t trust anyone we work for anymore. Hang in there, people. You will get through this.

- Dianne Girdler, Owen Sound, Ontario

Ohioans deserve fair districts! Recognizing the threat to democracy, Ohio citizens overwhelmingly voted to amend the Ohio Constitution to end gerrymandering and provide a process for fair redistricting that would reflect how Ohio citizens generally vote, keep communities together, not unnecessarily split counties and not unduly favor or disfavor one party over the other. The expectation was that those given the power to draw redistricting maps would do so in good faith, in an open transparent process, and work together to honor these goals. Unfortunately, the Republican majority entrusted with this responsibility has chosen to unduly favor their party despite the overwhelming desire of the majority of Ohio citizens for fair redistricting. Having attended many hearings, viewed various maps, and despite disingenuous claims that the process has been open, transparent and fair, the reality is that Instead of ending the practice of gerrymandering, they have embraced it. Fair redistricting allows meaningful voter participation in deciding how and by whom they will be represented. True democracy is denied when elected officials have the power to select who they wish to represent, instead of voters being able to choose who will represent them.

- Beth Schaeffer, Oakwood

We need to be very clear about the intent of HB 322 and HB 327 – they are specifically designed to ensure that only a white-centric view of racial issues will be promoted in Ohio schools, colleges, and universities. Furthermore, these bills would intentionally suppress the viewpoints of many non-white scholars and activists regarding race. The “divisive concepts” language in these bills is often code for “ideas about race some white people don’t like”. Consider this: HB 327 threatens educational institutions with a complete loss of state funding for teaching “divisive” ideas about race, when there is no penalty whatsoever for educational institutions where racist incidents actually occur. Talking about race from a perspective other than a white one leads to penalties. Actual racism does not. That speaks volumes. In addition, any legislation that impacts how race can be discussed in Ohio schools should have had broad and substantial input from non-white communities – neither of these bills did. Be better Ohio – let your legislators know that suppression of non-white perspectives on racial issues is unacceptable.

- Jared Cutler, Beavercreek