Military vets like me need early and mail-in voting. Don’t limit our access to it.

·4 min read

Voting rights

Many of my fellow veterans rely on early and mail-in voting because of service-related disabilities that make it difficult or impossible to travel to polling locations, wait in long lines, or be in noisy or chaotic crowds.

When state legislators like those in the N.C. General Assembly seek to limit early and mail-in voting, we need strong federal legislation to protect the rights of those who have sacrificed for our country.

With the recent Supreme Court decision that upheld partisan, anti-democratic attacks on voting rights, it is more critical than ever that Congress act to protect disabled veterans and other vulnerable voters.

I’m calling on North Carolina’s senators to do what it takes to pass national voter access legislation, even if it means going against their GOP colleagues. Sens. Thom Tillis and Richard Burr, must have the courage to defend the rights of those who fought to defend theirs.

Heather Murphy, Cary

UNC decision

The members of the UNC Board of Trustees should be ashamed of themselves. The rush to grant Nikole Hannah-Jones tenure was an affront to the once proud and dignified traditions of UNC, not to mention many thousands of loyal alumni who have urged restraint in this matter. It is a dark day for me, but a much darker day for my alma mater.

Charles Houseworth, Wake Forest

Institutional racism

Speaker Tim Moore and any who doubt or deny that our country was founded on racism should consult the Constitution.

Article I Section 9 allowed for the import of slaves. Article IV, Section 2 provided that escaped slaves would be returned.

Article I Section 2 deemed slaves as three-fifths of a person.

The U.S. Congress passed two Fugitive Slave Acts. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the institution of slavery.

If the Constitution represents the founding of our country, America was founded on institutional racism and it continues to this day.

Anthony P. Moore, Raleigh

Combating crime

We are seeing an increase in serious crimes. Invariably, more policing or stricter gun laws are recommended to correct it. The real problem is that people who commit the crimes don’t have the values and skills needed to function in society.

Our education system exists with this primary goal: Getting young people ready to function successfully in the adult working world. But schools focus essentially on academic skills. These are important, but we should add a mix of social skills to teach all students how to “get along with others,” as well as emotional control and values such as treating others with respect and as an equal.

There are isolated schools taking this approach, but it needs to be a widespread.

Ken Stephenson, Raleigh

NC GOP hypocrisy

Regarding “GOP senators’ districts would get $700M in proposal,” (June 29):

The hypocrisy of Republicans in the N.C. legislature continues unabated. They speak often about saving taxpayer money and not spending it foolishly, then when it comes to spending on projects that benefit them or their counties they have no problem finding money.

They recently chose not to spend to hire much-needed public defenders, who benefit the poor. The leader of the N.C. Senate also had the gall to justify not giving a cost of living adjustment to retired public employees, saying “there is no ongoing promise...” Yet, Republican legislators had no problem finding money for raises of 10-31% for some staff members. I hope they can sleep well at night.

John Reseigne, Apex

Retiree COLAs

North Carolina will have a massive $6.5 billion budget surplus over the next two years, as well as federal American Rescue Plan monies.

As a retiree with 40 years of local and state government service to North Carolina’s older adults and adults with disabilities, I was totally disappointed that yet again there was no cost of living adjustment for public sector retirees in the Senate’s budget.

With this amount of surplus available what better time is there to fund a COLA for retirees!

The value of retired public servants pensions has declined by almost 20% since the financial crisis of 2008. Pension values were never restored even after the economy recovered and the few adjustments and bonuses enacted by the legislature haven’t kept up with inflation.

Our retirees did the important work to make this state one of the fastest growing and best places to live in the U.S. They deserve better than this from the Senate.

Suzanne Merrill, Raleigh

NCSU coach

To all those bad mouthing N.C. State baseball coach Elliott Avent, the last time I checked he’s not a MD. Nor did he pretend to be one. His job is to coach baseball and instill life skills into these young men. Our tax dollars are paying large salaries to those who are supposed be advising and guiding Avent and his staff through this so they can do the jobs they were hired to do — which they did exceptionally well this year until the NCAA intervened. Avent has taken the high road and represented NCSU well. Some of the alumni, not so much

Marty Ingram, Raleigh