Letters – Voting, Eric Johnson, MJ Hegar, John Cornyn, Federal Pay Raises, Jury Duty

If you're old enough, voteAs a 17-year-old, I unfortunately will not be able to participate in the May 4 local elections. These elections may seem insignificant, especially when compared to things like presidential elections. However, these elections are just as necessary for our cities and communities to function well. I am writing this letter to urge citizens to vote in the local elections. As somebody who cannot vote, it is frustrating to see those who can vote simply sit back and remain uninvolved. Local government is absolutely critical to our daily lives and we as Americans must not neglect to show up to the polls for these candidates.Reagan Hawkins, North Richland HillsEric Johnson will make a great mayorRe: "We Recommend - Three mayoral candidates stand out to help Dallas build a better future," April 21 Editorials.You had it exactly right when you wrote that Eric Johnson "represents the sort of story Dallas can be proud of." I've been proud of Johnson for many years, and I believe he will make a great mayor.As a state representative, Johnson has been a strong supporter of education, workforce readiness and bringing greater opportunity to Dallas. But even more importantly, he has conducted himself with absolute integrity. He holds himself to the highest ethical standards and he takes the public's trust seriously. He also works tirelessly to listen and respond to our community's concerns.Who better to provide inspired leadership for our city than a person who has overcome and achieved so much? One of the many reasons Johnson wants to be mayor is so he can help more kids in Dallas realize their dreams, just like he has realized his. He is fully devoted to public service and he is fully devoted to the citizens of Dallas.Rev. Donald R. Parish Sr., Dallas, pastor, True Lee Missionary Baptist ChurchHow can veteran run as Democrat?Re: "Cornyn has first challenge - Veteran Hegar, who lost bid for House, makes Texas a certain battleground state," Wednesday news story.MJ Hegar, an Air Force veteran, will try to unseat John Cornyn from the U.S. Senate next year. To Hegar I say this: Thank you for your service and your courage. But, please don't use your military record as a selling point for an elected office. Literally millions of brave Americans have done the same without fanfare. Personally, I don't understand how a combat veteran can run as a Democrat. Democrats in office are well-known for cutting our military to shreds. Military budgets are cut, which means GI pay doesn't keep up with the civilian population and their families suffer. Because of manpower shortages these brave men and women get deployed four or five times. When they get home from a combat tour, they don't get the care they earned, for both physical and mental needs.Our current president is trying hard to play catch up by rebuilding our military, but all the Democrats seem to want to do is see the Mueller report or his tax returns. So, I won't be voting for Hegar. But I do admire her for her brave service protecting our country.Jimmie George, FarmersvilleLife in our plutocracyIt's interesting to see that the GOP cannot change its stripes. Following a real challenge to their stranglehold on Texas government by Beto O'Rourke, a change in policy to better serve the people would seem to provide a reasonable path to victory for Sen. John Cornyn, a loyal partisan Republican. Rather than adjust its policy, the GOP in Texas does what it always does, work hard to collect more political debt from the donor class. Doing the same thing again and again and expecting the same results in this case is not insanity, it is standard operating procedure in a plutocracy.Kenneth Mathias, Grand PrairieThe trouble with federal pay raiseRecently, Congress voted on a pay raise for all federal employees, regardless of their performance, with the Federal Civilian Workforce Pay Raise Fairness Act (H.R. 790). One could imagine that many hardworking people in our federal agencies deserve this pay raise, but it's hard to believe that every single employee deserves it. For this reason, I was very disturbed by Rep. Colin Allred's vote against a common-sense amendment prohibiting this pay increase for federal workers who have been disciplined for sexual misconduct. Giving a pay raise across the board to all federal employees treats the victims of misconduct the same as the harassers. Is there no real consequence for sexual misconduct within the federal agencies? Allred may have promised to represent the values of Texas' 32nd Congressional District, but I would not consider rewarding sexual misconduct in line with our values.Beth Biesel, University ParkTap seniors for jury serviceRe: "When jury duty calls, too few are answering - Sitting in judgment of others isn't easy, but necessary for fairness," Wednesday Metro & Business story.I agree that jury participation is a disgrace. However, blocking seniors from serving is part of the problem. I have only been on four juries in my 50-plus years of adulthood. Now that I have time and interest, I am no longer called. We have no problem electing politicians in their 70s and 80s. How about creating a volunteer pool on standby in case (as in this article) there are not enough qualified people to create a jury? I do believe seniors are a resource being ignored. And don't get me started on grand juries, where it seems you have to know someone who knows a judge to participate.James Gilbert Blanton, McKinneyNothing is freeIn my youth, I frequently voted a split ticket, for best candidate vs. party. Now, the Democratic Party espouses free everything - from housing to tuition. They must change their message to "taxpayer supported." There is no free. People do not value free, just demand more.Jim Vaughn, Terrell  Continue reading...

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