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Letters to the Argus-Courier Editor April 22, 2022

Letters to the Argus-Courier Editor April 22, 2022.|

An Easter season lesson

EDITOR: Antisemitic violence and other intimidation against Jewish people in our country are on the rise. We, the undersigned Christian leaders serving the people of Petaluma, decry this open hatred toward our Jewish sisters and brothers.

We recognize with sorrow that, while antisemitism continually mutates into new forms, the roots of this injustice reach far back into our own Christian tradition. There is evidence that religious disputes had started hardening into sectarian animosity as early as the time of writing the New Testament itself. This gave rise to a distorted view of Jesus, prevalent through the centuries in the church, which has obscured the fact that he was himself Jewish.

It pains us to think that there are still Christians who teach that “the Jews killed Jesus.” In point of fact, Jesus was not executed as a religious heretic — the punishment for that was stoning. He was crucified because that was how Roman law dealt with rebellious slaves and political subversives.

For Christians to perpetuate historical untruth is bad enough — to imply that this falsehood justifies disdain toward the Jewish religion or hostility to Jewish people is to go against all that Jesus taught and preached in his lifetime. It is an affront to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Our calling as Christian people is to stand up for those who are oppressed, to treat all people with respect and dignity, to speak out against injustice, and to work for peace among all of God’s people. We do these things alongside our Jewish neighbors, who do so heeding the voice of the Hebrew prophets who also inspired Jesus.

In this Holy Week, as Christians, let us hear Jesus’ command to love God and to love others. As we walk through our yearly observance of Christ’s Passion, let us be clear that we repudiate those teachings that sow the seeds of antisemitism, and embrace those which are consistent with Jesus’ life of compassion and justice.

Shalom for all of God’s children,

The Rev. Daniel Currie Green; St. John’s Episcopal Church, Petaluma; The Rev. Laurie Warren; Deacon, St. John’s Episcopal Church, Petaluma; The Rev. Robert Herrmann; Petaluma United Methodist Church, Petaluma; The Rev. Kathryn Ann Gulbranson; Elim Lutheran Church, Petaluma; The Rev. John Chase; First Presbyterian Church, Petaluma; The Rev. Jason Hubbard; United Church of Christ, Petaluma

A vote for Hooper

EDITOR: Over the years windy days cause PTSD for our community. We’ve learned to organize during the most destructive wildfires in California history inflicting great loss. During the Tubbs fire, we heard news of our immigrant community heading to the beaches because they were too scared to seek shelter with no information in their language. These fires brought vast inequalities in Sonoma County to the surface.

Fast forward to 2022 and we still have advocates like North Bay Jobs with Justice and NBOP sending letters to our supervisors with clear recommendations about wildfire evacuation zone policies and how to make an inclusive, culturally responsive emergency operations plan for our county.

It is unacceptable for Supervisor Rabbitt who has had the time to affirm his support for a clear evacuation zone policy to only come out during a campaign season. Los Cien’s forum made it very clear that Blake Hooper was the most critical of the county’s response to equity, diversity, and racism.

Blake Hooper will work with farms to make sure that farms have certified and tested evacuation plans that take workers into account.

Blake Hooper will make a true commitment to language access, making sure that the County communicates in the language that farmworkers speak.

Blake Hooper will have regular town halls and community meetings in rural areas, with language access, and ensuring that farmworkers are able to attend.

Zahyra Garcia (They/Them)

Ad Hoc CAC Member

Thanks to first responders

EDITOR: I love my community and have unwavering respect for the responding fire department that saved my house on Garfield Drive from being engulfed by the huge fireball that was my next door neighbors house on April 7. So much has happened since that awful sunset event.

First let me compliment the fireman some more. When the first truck arrived, they immediately set out to keep the fire from spreading (it was soooo close to our house!) And it worked! A fan was put in our garage to blow the smoke out, and it worked! We ended up with minimal smoke damage. These amazing and capable firemen even wiped their feet before traipsing through the house checking attics and giving us an all clear.

Yes, we have fire damage to the house that will need repair, but nothing like it could have been. Thank you to the First Responders!

I would also like to thank them on behalf of the Wojtczak family for putting out the garage-centered fire before it consumed the entire house! As it is, both work trucks and their tools are a complete loss. A fire restoration team is in the house today removing things before a demolition team can get in there. So much has been lost to smoke damage. It has been a week and the family is searching for a rental as they won't be able to return to their home for months. In light of this, I have, with their permission, started a GoFundMe campaign to help offset the costs that insurance will not pay. I have seen crowdsourcing be of great benefit to many and so reach out to you, fellow neighbors.

Please donate and share the campaign. https://www.gofundme.com/manage/house-fire-recovery-fund-for-the-wojtczak-family.

Extenuating circumstances create opportunities for us to come together as a community and this community has done so again and again. Thank you, Petaluma, and Sonoma County, for being a place that I can love.

Sincerely,

Robin Alexandra Boone

Petaluma

Another vote for Hooper

EDITOR: I am supporting Blake Hooper to replace David Rabbitt as second district supervisor. A key issue for me is that Rabbitt is supported by groups like the Farm Bureau and Sonoma Alliance who favor the big monied interests in the county while Blake is supported by Sonoma County Conservation Action that supports open space and habitat protection while promoting city centered development. Rabbitt has been ok on some things I support, like parks. He voted to place Measure M on the ballot to raise the sales tax for parks. But his claim that parks doubled in the south county during his watch is only technically correct. The Tolay Lake Regional Park did open during his term, but the deal to buy the property came before he was in office. It took nearly a decade of David’s three terms to open Tolay. The point being that while David touts how he sits on a lot of regional boards, he doesn’t initiate things. We need a doer not a sitter.

Jerry Thompson

Petaluma

Community engagement, safe streets

EDITOR: Doesn’t matter if you are in a car, on a bicycle, using a wheelchair, riding a scooter or walking. We need safe streets that are safe for everyone who uses them.

Especially ever since we approved the Measure U Sales Tax, our City staff has been moving very quickly to play catch up on the deferred maintenance and on moving our transportation network into the 21st century. Our City has also committed to taking bold climate action. Our City has promised to build for equity for everyone. Our Measure U Sales Tax is paid by everyone and it needs to benefit every person who lives in Petaluma.

One of the Top 10 goals that our City Council will approve this coming May 2nd is currently labeled “road projects, bike paths, pedestrian improvements.” Makes sense. But what does that mean?

You will be hearing a lot this month from a lot of different people about a fully articulated vision for improving our streets, not just in some random fashion but, with a clear vision and a clear set of priorities for making our streets safe for everyone. We spent decades planning and building for more cars going faster all throughout Petaluma but now it is time to plan and build for streets that are safer – not just for some people but – for all people to use the streets however it is they want to get around on our streets.

Students want to walk and bike to school safely. People want to be able to get around town without always using a car. Neighborhoods want cars driving slower. The future of Petaluma is streets that are safer. This requires a clear vision and a clear action plan; not just a vague goal.

Check out the Safe Streets Petaluma’s Policy Platform for a concise, complete approach to planning for and modernizing our streets. Tell your City Council that you want safer streets and a well-articulated plan for getting there. What can we accomplish over the next two years? A lot. Let’s do this.

Teddy Herzog

Petaluma

A vote for Dr. Carter

EDITOR: I’m writing to express how inappropriate I find it that Brad Coscarelli, a candidate for Sonoma County Superintendent of Schools, decided to join with CRPUSD teachers on the picket line. He’s making no secret of the fact that he is the teacher’s union candidate, and by joining the picket line Brad is broadcasting that he intends to act without a shred of neutrality on important issues. Is that really what we’re looking for as voters? Someone who will second guess our local elected officials and see every school issue through what will benefit unions? It’s an overreach of power, and I want to see balance and unbiased leadership for our county.

Dr. Amie Carter is the candidate with the experience to be a level headed, student centered and thoughtful county superintendent of schools

Dan O'Donnell

Santa Rosa

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