Letters for the week of September 23, 2020

A vote for equality

At a recent candidate forum, Luanne Van Werven stated a person influential in her life and whom she most admired was Phyllis Schlafly.
Schlafly was an infamous anti-choice activist who led the fight against the Equal Rights Amendment. The amendment was simple. All it said was that men and women were equal in the eyes of the law, but Schlafly and her supporters fought to keep the status quo and stop a simple acknowledgement of women as equal citizens.
In a 2006 interview with the New York Times, Schafly attributed the improvement in women’s lives in the 20th century not to feminism but to “labor-saving devices like the indoor clothes dryer and paper diapers.” In the past, Schafly called the atom bomb “a marvelous gift that was given to our country by a wise God.” She also claimed that elite coastal “libbers” were trying to destroy traditional gender values. Much like a certain president, Schlafly lied constantly and ignored all attempts to hold her accountable, choosing instead to create a web of alternative facts for her supporters.
Luanne has complained that Alicia Rule accepted a donation from the Washington State Democrats, stating that she should not be taking donations from out of the district. Odd statement for Luanne to make after all the years of oil money coming in to her campaigns from all over the nation.
I encourage everyone to vote for Alicia Rule, a social worker with years of experience working to help people solve their problems. Alicia always practices civility, empathy and compassion. She sees the big picture and is able to bring people together to work on solutions solving issues to promote the greater good.

—Sheri Lambert, Laurel

Hidden agendas

Evan Jones touts himself as not having an agenda. He also warns that we should not elect a “Bellingham politician.” But in a recent email sent by his campaign through the Whatcom County Republicans, Jones elicits some clear signals to the right that he is their man.
His email uses conservative buzzwords such as “gun rights” and “school choice” and highlights that he is endorsed by the Republican Party, Republican County Council member Kathy Kershner, the Whatcom County Sheriff, and the County Prosecutor.
Whatcom County deserves a judge without a political agenda, who is qualified and who is independent from those parties who appear before the court every day such as law enforcement and prosecutors. That will ensure equity.
That’s why I will be voting for James Erb for Superior Court Judge, Position 2.

—Stan Snapp, Bellingham

Erb for judge

Local voters have the upcoming opportunity and responsibility to select a Whatcom County Superior Court judge, Position 2. James Erb brings invaluable and broad experience to serve both civil and criminal calendars of the Superior Court.
James has practiced criminal and civil law for many years and has worked for state, city and tribal governments, including as a Bellingham city attorney for 10 years. While his opponent has experience as a criminal prosecutor, James has not only prosecuted serious felonies, but has also handled a range of civil matters including child dependency cases, provided advisement to the Bellingham mayor, and represented taxpayers in complex issues.
James has received broad endorsements including Washington Supreme Court justices Steve Gonzalez, Raquel Montoya Lewis, and Mary Yu; current or retired Superior Court judges Deborra Garrett, David Nichols, and Michael Ryan; tribal leaders and the Lummi Nation; state legislators; local city and county council members, mayors and other elected officials; the Whatcom Democrats and the 42nd LD Democrats; the Northwest Washington Central Labor Council; and more than 150 local citizens. He has been rated qualified for this position by the Loren Miller Bar Association, Wash. Women Lawyers, and the Whatcom County Bar Association; and rated as well-qualified for this position by the Latina/o Bar Association of Washington, LGBTQ Bar Association, Joint Asian Judicial Evaluations Committee, and the Washington State Veterans Bar Association. James’ many endorsements reflect the judgment of the legal community, elected officials, and local citizens that he is committed to providing fair and equitable treatment to all, and that his experience, integrity and work ethic would make him an outstanding Superior Court judge.
Both highly regarded and accomplished, James Erb is by far the most experienced and best-qualified candidate for the Whatcom County Superior Court Judge, Position 2.

—Catherine Shornick, Lummi Island

Transpo, no

I write in opposition to the recent letter supporting renewal of the Transportation Fund. In my experience those in charge of planning, engineering and executing transportation-related projects have shown a disregard for residential interests, questionable workmanship and poor follow through. We shouldn’t support a Transportation Fund until the city can show us they are worthy.

—Boyd Collings, Bellingham

Transpo, go

For 10 years, the Bellingham Transportation Fund has provided affordable and effective transportation solutions citywide. Now, more than ever, it’s essential to fund crucial transportation projects—for the economy, for our community, for all of us.  As a physician, I know that more mobility options for walking, biking and transit will reduce our carbon footprint and promote public health as it improves air quality and gets more people moving.
I know when I bike with my young children in separated bikeways to a local park, my family feels very safe doing so as do my neighbors regardless of their age or ability.
All people in all neighborhoods deserve to get where they are going safely, whether you walk, bike, take the bus or drive. Please join me in voting Yes on Prop 2020-14 to renew the Bellingham Transportation Fund on Nov. 3.
Together, let’s keep Bellingham moving forward!

—Dakotah Lane, MD, Lummi Tribal Member

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