Victoria A. Gardner: Childcare: If U.S. can subsidize oil, it can subsidize parenting
Please write to and/or call your elected representatives asking them to include childcare investments in upcoming legislation. Many types of childcare are needed, especially in places of employment so that parents can spend their breaks and lunch times with their children and be readily available in emergencies. This “one-stop shopping” also saves gas, time and carbon emissions, along with traffic jams and accidents. In other words, the parent(s) can drive to one location (their work) instead of making four trips: from home to daycare, then to work, then back to daycare and finally home.
I think it’s also imperative to provide subsidies to parents to take care of their own children. If the government can provide subsidies to multi-billion-dollar oil and gas corporations and computer chip companies, why not subsidize parents? For example, it’s irrational to pay a parent $10 an hour to work a job, but then pay $5 an hour for someone else to care for their children. That means they’re only making $5 an hour and the children have to be without their mother, father, grandparent or another loving relative. “Family Values” includes supporting families in raising their children instead of paying strangers to do so. And the same goes for elder care.
Of course, if parents choose to work and put their kids in daycare, that’s fine too. Each family should have the freedom and support to do what’s best for them.
In addition, both workplace childcare and parent subsidies would support breastfeeding which creates healthier babies and toddlers as well as solving the baby formula shortage. With proper support, most women can make their own baby food!
Victoria A. Gardner, Loveland
Richard Collins: Elections: Give voters a reason to vote
In an opinion piece in the Daily Camera on Aug. 2, Doug Hamilton claims that moving municipal elections to even-numbered years will increase participation in them. His premise is the fact that more people vote in even-numbered years. His error is ignoring ballot fatigue. When the ballot is long, many voters vote for offices at the top, especially for president, and stop. He claims this is unproven. But the proof is readily at hand. Look at the votes in any election. They will show a decline in total votes cast as one moves down, down through the officers and ballot measures. Hamilton should learn from Tuesday’s Kansas vote on abortion rights. Abortion opponents controlled every aspect of the vote and stacked the deck in their favor but lost by a big margin with a huge voter turnout — on a hot day in August with little else at issue. The point is that to increase turnout, give voters a reason to vote. Squabbling city council candidates usually do not, and moving their tussles to the bottom of a long presidential ballot will likely reduce their vote.
Richard Collins, Boulder
Patricia Mather: Pensions: Policy is reducing benefits for retirees
I am a retired federal employee, who worked for the Department of Defense (Army & Air Force). I am writing to raise awareness of the devastating effects of the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) experienced by nearly 2 million people. This policy reduces the earned Social Security benefits of local, state and federal retirees who worked in Social Security-covered private-sector employment, and who also earned an annuity from their non-Social Security covered government employment. The WEP can result in a monthly Social Security benefit that is $512 lower than deserved, causing undue financial distress.
Why should we be penalized for working hard for our country?
Additionally, I, along with other spouses, are feeling the burden of the Government Pension Offset (GPO), a similar penalty, which prevents us from collecting the Social Security benefits our spouses earned from private-sector jobs due to their public service. The GPO affects over 700,000 beneficiaries, with almost half widows or widowers, and half spouses.
We rightfully earned these benefits in exchange for our dedication and hard work to the nation, and, as such, I am inviting other retirees affected by the WEP and GPO to join me in calling on Congress to repeal these unfair provisions. Furthermore, I am writing to urge lawmakers to support H.R. 82/S. 1302. It’s past time to stop punishing us for our public service and allow for us to collect what we rightfully earned.
Patricia Mather, Littleton
Paul Cure: Elections: Joseph will innovate, collaborate in legislature
It is with great joy and enthusiasm that I am writing to ask for the support of my good friend Junie Joseph for Colorado House District 10. There are multiple candidates asking to be nominated for this seat that has been solidly held and guided by Rep. Edie Hooton. It is the time for Junie to take that mantle and be our voice for the next election.
I hope that you join me in my support as there is no better candidate to represent and guide us in these times of uncertainty.
An unwavering champion of equal rights, fair housing, safe streets, better business and wise environmental stewardship, Junie has shown us during her time on Boulder City Council that she will not allow for the status quo to continue but rather innovates and collaborates to ensure the best outcomes for all of us.
Let’s all get on board with this next generation of leadership.
Paul Cure, Boulder