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Letters 10/17/2011

- October 17th, 2011  

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Only one letter per reader in a two month period will be accepted. Letters may be edited for length or to correct factual errors. Letters must be signed to be considered for print and a phone number is required for verification. Faxed are not accepted.

Good vibes

Two nights ago, three of us girlfriends, all in our 60s, decided to pick up sandwiches, head to a park on the bay, and sit and enjoy the incredible weather, view and our friendships.

Once seated at the picnic table, all on one side, so we didn’t miss any of some of what Northern Michigan has to offer, we got down to business with unwrapping our deli treats and talking. We watched a young couple laying on the beach, trying to decide if they might be newlyweds, or just young and uninhibited, and decided we didn’t need to be watching. We commented on the young lady toting a guitar and sitting down near the water to also enjoy what we were seeing. And then we noticed what appeared to be a young family, mom, dad and their two kids, just enjoying each other in this incredible opportunity.

We got busy talking about ourselves and laughing, not thinking that we were so exuberant that others might hear us. Suddenly, from behind, we heard a woman’s voice, “Excuse me, I don’t mean to be intruding, but I couldn’t help but hear your laughter, see your friendship and I wanted you to know how the three of you touched me. I just got out of the hospital, due to depression, and hearing your laughter and seeing how the three of you are so connected, touched my heart deeply, and gave me a clear sign of hope and I wanted to let you know and thank you.”

The three of us were moved to get up and give her a hug, and of course, we talked for a few minutes. All three of us have daughters with young families, so for a variety of reasons we were very moved by this beautiful young woman. I shared this moment with my girls and one remarked how brave this young woman was. I wanted her to know that and to also know that while we appeared to have touched her in a positive way, she too touched us, and now others. We hope you continue to speak out and notice the joys in life. Thank you and nothing but best wishes.

Fran Carey • via email

Vote yes on Prop 1

Growing up as a lesbian in Traverse City I have witnessed all kinds of discrimination, and that is why everyone needs to vote yes on Proposal One. We need to keep the NON-discrimination Ordinance.

I believe that everyone deserves the right to have equal job and housing opportunities. Being able to have a roof over your head and food in your stomach is a basic human right. Voting yes on Proposal One ensures that everyone is on an equal playing field, getting a job shouldn’t be any harder than it already is.

There is the belief that voting yes would lead to discrimination; this is simply not the case. This ordinance has been in effect for a year and there has been no unwanted consequence.

Currently, all citizens of Traverse City enjoy the equal rights they deserve in the housing and job markets. There are specific cases where the law does not apply, making sure it does not infringe on anyone’s religious or personal rights.

In conclusion everyone needs to vote yes on Proposal One to ensure equality in our hometown. Everyone deserves the right to a home and a job, no matter what age, sex, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity.

Ashleigh Curtis • TC

League supports Prop 1

The League of Women Voters Grand Traverse Area is supporting a YES vote on the Traverse City referendum to keep the Nondiscrimination Ordinance which the Traverse City Commission unanimously passed in October 2010.

Protections for gay and transgender people already exist in nondiscrimination ordinances in nearly 20 other Michigan cities, including Ann Arbor, Detroit, East Lansing, Ferndale, Grand Rapids, Huntington Woods, Kalamazoo, Lansing, and Ypsilanti.

The Traverse City Ordinance has been in effect for almost a year. It has successfully proclaimed that Traverse City is an open and welcoming city. The Ordinance has had no unintended consequences. There is no reason to repeal it.

Nationally the League of Women Voters has a strong commitment to support equal rights for all persons regardless of their race, color, gender, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation or disability. The Traverse City Nondiscrimination Ordinance which you are asked to vote YES for in November does this. It treats all people including heterosexuals, gays, lesbians, and transgender people equally.

The League of Women Voters Grand Traverse Area supports the Nondiscrimination Ordinance. We urge everyone to vote YES in November to keep it.

Donna Hornberger, President, League of Women Voters • GT Area

Keep it equal

There’s an old saying, “All things being equal...” (to determine who’s the most qualified applicant).

Currently in Traverse City: “No person shall adopt, enforce or employ any policy or requirement which has the effect of creating unequal opportunities according to actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, height, weight, family status, sexual orientation, marital status, physical or mental disability, or gender identity, for a person to obtain housing, employment or public accommodation.” (Chapter 605 of the Codified Ordinances of Traverse City.

All things being “equal,” every person deserves the same opportunity to contribute the full extent of his or her capabilities to business, culture, and community. All careers and accommodations should be open to all people on the basis of their talent, education, and skills – independent of their actual or perceived characteristics.

Please don’t be mislead by those attempting to deny equal opportunity.

The preservation of equal opportunity under the law for our neighbors, friends, and family will be challenged at the ballot box in Traverse City on November 8. Kindly vote YES (Proposition 1) to keep the Traverse City Equal Opportunity Ordinance.

M’Lynn Hartwell • TC

Road to success

For a brief clip on taxation, and how a capitalistic society truly operates, please go to: plum-line/post/class-warfare-elizabethwarren-style/2011 Elizabeth Warren is an attorney and Harvard Law School professor and a U.S. Senate candidate. Here, she explains that no person ever became rich “on his own.”

The example she uses is of a factory or business that becomes productive and perhaps successful, but only by utilizing a long list of public, governmental services.

This factory reaches success by using employees that “all of us” have educated (based on public school graduate numbers), and by using our state and federal highways to ship/transport its manufactured goods. It is common to see many commercial vehicles on our public roads (usually with corporate branding or a logo). Warren adds that this factory and its goods are safe thanks to protection provided by the police force and fire department (another service we all collectively pay for). She suggests that this factory or business should give back to the same social contract that it used toward its success -- and help the “next kid who comes along.”

Rebecca Peterson, Elk Rapids

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