Letters to the Editor: Oct. 1, 2022

What a beautiful and inspirational tribute to A.J. Wagner “A.J. Wagner belonged to the whole community.” In that opinion piece, RESULTS was brought up, as well as Wagner’s back story and belief in the power of Congress to end poverty. This story of Wagner should be a reminder to us all to carry on his work and dedication to those who are struggling to make ends me. Last year, the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) monthly payments put money back into the hands of American families when they needed it most, monthly bill time, and allowed families to choose how best to use it. New data proves how well it worked. The new 2021 U.S. Census Supplemental Poverty Measure report shows that the 2021 Child Tax Credit (CTC) reduced child poverty by 46 percent! In one year, the expanded CTC pushed the child poverty rate to the lowest level ever measured. But 51 senators let the CTC expansion expire last December. This data shows they made a huge mistake. I call on all of the senators from both sides of the aisle to put aside partisan politics and pass an expansion of the CTC.

- Sarah McVoy Miller, University City, MO

Animals need to be shown respect instead of being treated as objects. The Big Cat Public Safety Act (HR 263) will help in so many areas. Ending the public possession of big cats will ensure the safety of law enforcement, who are often called when assistance is needed to capture a dangerous wild animal. It will toughen laws for the unlawful acts of animal trafficking and criminals involved. It ensures the safety of the public from another massacre that happened in Zanesville, Ohio in 2011. This legislation will put an end to the suffering animals go through being improperly housed and cared for at roadside zoos that offer pay for play with animals. Big cats are forced to go through speed breeding to produce enough kittens for people to play with and have pictures taken with. These kittens are taken from their mother’s before being fully weaned to be hand-raised, abused and mishandled for public enjoyment. Once these kitten are too large to “play” with safely, they are sold to the highest bidder and often live a life in misery. We need to prevent these awful tragedies. Mike Turner has a chance to help by voting for the Big Cat Public Safety Act.

- Crystal Wilson, Dayton

I read about the insistence of the reform group’s demand to include the language of “necessary” in use-of-force policy revisions. They cite policy in Baltimore and Cleveland, both operating under Department of Justice Consent Decrees.

A DOJ Consent Decree is a “kiss of death” for local management of police departments. This group advocates for the “need” to include the “necessary” language in our local policy, as is used in use-of-force policies in Baltimore and Cleveland. Both of these cities are in the top 10 of America’s most violent cities. While the Consent Decrees and “necessary” language may be doing something in Baltimore and Cleveland, they are not lowering the violent crime rate.

While I am appreciative of the work completed by the group and positive changes made, it is time to remember the definition of advisory; “having or consisting in the power to make recommendations ...” Your voice has been heard and it is time to step aside.

It is apparent that local citizens are fortunate to have a leader the caliber of Chief Afzul; trust his judgment. Do not “tie his hands” with any policies from crime-ridden cities in your effort to make Dayton a “better place.”

- Jeff Peterson, Dayton

Responding to Rep. Tom Young’s letter to the editor defending his support of controversial House Bill 99: H.B. 99 was criticized by parents, teachers, and the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio (FOP) because it is bad policy. It permits teachers with minimal training to carry loaded weapons around children — without requiring schools to inform parents. Legislators received expert testimony that could have improved H.B. 99 — but Rep. Young and his colleagues passed the bill without most of those changes. That was a mistake. No justification will change it; only amending the law will. I grew up in a gun-owning household. I learned early that guns require careful and thoughtful handling, training and storage. That teachers with as little as 24 hours of training could carry a loaded gun around my child turns my stomach. Prior to this law, armed teachers were required to have the equivalent of police officer training. If that was too high a bar, then find a commonsense middle ground. H.B. 99 is not the answer. If you will not listen to parents, at least listen to the police union. Rethink this dangerous law before it costs lives.

- Megan Overman, Dayton (Write-in candidate for OH-37 State Rep.)

This letter is intended as a reality-based voting guide. In most campaigns, one candidate claims to be a good neighbor and his/her opponent is a dirty, rotten scoundrel. The other candidate claims to be an outstanding citizen and his/her opponent is a lying weasel. Both claim that they are going to Washington to represent you. The reality is much, much different. Let’s use the Senate race between Tim Ryan and J.D. Vance as an example, but the same principles apply in all Congressional races. If Mr. Ryan wins, he will gladly shine Senator Schumer’s shoes, if asked. If Mr. Vance wins, and Senator McConnell asks him to pick up his dry cleaning, he will tug his forelock and comply. The fact is that once your elected officials arrive in D.C. their loyalty transfers from you to the leader of their caucus. Why, you ask? It is because the leaders have absolute power over office space, committee assignments, etc. If the leader doesn’t like them, their lives will be miserable. There is a reason why Democrats and Republicans vote with their caucus something like 99% and 95% of the time, respectively. These facts simplify voting. You can ignore what the candidates say about where they stand on the issues. It is irrelevant. If you agree with the policies and priorities of Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, vote for the candidates with Ds after their names. Otherwise, vote for candidates with Rs after their names.

- Donald Kunz, Centerville