We know best what’s good for us

In November 2018, 62% of Missourians voted to enact campaign finance and legislative ethics measures, along with a nonpartisan system for redrawing legislative districts.

Clean Missouri requires that a state demographer use a mathematical formula to try to engineer “partisan fairness” and “competitiveness” in legislative elections.

But most members of the state Senate apparently think we didn’t know what we were doing when we passed the Clean Missouri amendment.

Among those senators is our own Bill White. I emailed Mr. White to ask him about this and received a reply from Mike Kelley, his chief of staff, who claimed that Mr. White just wants to give voters a chance to make “improvements” to the Clean Missouri amendment.

What the Republican senators mean by "improvements" is to keep politics as usual in the district redrawing process — undo what we voted for. They want to scrap the nonpartisan state demographer and instead have commissions draw the redistricting maps, commissions nominated by the political parties and appointed by the governor. In other words, partisan commissions.

Unless by "improvements," the Republicans mean reducing the current limit on gifts they may receive from $5 to $0 or reducing political contributions from the current $2,500 to $2,400. Both these “improvements” seem trivial to me.

If Republicans believe we’re so stupid as to not know what’s good for us, maybe we should continue in our ignorant ways by voting them, Bill White included, out of office.

Gerard Attoun

Joplin

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Awareness month can help bring about change

I would like to invite residents of Jasper County and the surrounding communities to participate in National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month throughout the month of March. This national observance offers a chance to learn more about the value of the disability experience and the vital contributions people with disabilities are making in our communities.

The diversity that enriches our nation and the freedoms that all Americans cherish are embodied in the lives of people with disabilities. Unfortunately, there are myths, stereotypes and low expectations that can lead to the creation of systemic barriers to equitable experiences and the full inclusion of those with disabilities. This year, our nation continues to address serious budget issues, seeking to provide and ensure that each one of us has the opportunity to pursue our dreams and to contribute our own unique talents to the fabric of our communities. Consequently, this awareness month is critical to bringing about real change.

By engaging in Development Disability Awareness Month, it is intended to urge the community to embrace the richness of America’s diversity by considering the talents of all people, including people with developmental disabilities.

Alecia Archer

Executive director, Developmental Disabilities Resource Board of Jasper County

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Perhaps a sign of things to come on 32nd Street

Early stages of improvements at 32nd Street and Connecticut Avenue had the usual muck and mud, along with asphalt chunks and possible rocks.

I was figuring to do an off-peak (trafficwise) mission with my flat-bladed shovel and push broom, probably grumbling a little.

But my next time by it was a street cleaned up, and it has remained in good shape so far.

Hopefully it is sign of things to come.

Bill Hawkins

Joplin

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