Letters are posted as we receive them during the week, and before they are printed in the paper, so check back frequently to see new letters. If you'd like to send a letter to the editor, use this postmarks submission form, or email your letter directly to Thanks for your patience.
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Finish the Sidewalks

RECEIVED Tue., May 31, 2016

Dear Editor,
    Thank you for printing Chad Greene's sad letter ["Where Is the Empathy?" Feedback, May 18] and Adrienne White's sad article ["Notes on Kamp: Justice for Pedestrians," News, May 13] about pedestrians recently killed by cars in Austin. Last year, 30 pedestrians were killed by cars here. In the past two weeks, at least two children on foot have been killed. Quite a few people find this horrifying, but feel powerless.
    I think that Austin's leaders feel, with Mr. Greene, that people here do not care about pedestrians and would not support spending city money to finish the sidewalk system. I don't think anyone in power is very interested in finishing the sidewalk system. The sidewalk system is perennially unfunded and unfinished.
    Does anyone care whether Austin is walkable? I hope that many people care. How can we get the sidewalk system funded?
    It seems really odd, and sad, that so many unarmed people on foot are being killed by cars and our city doesn't even attempt to fund the sidewalk system. How can we change this sad situation?
Amy Babich

Face Down

RECEIVED Fri., May 27, 2016

Dear Editor,
    Thank you for "Battle of the Bathroom Bigots" [News, May 27]. However it's the first Chronicle issue in some time I've had to leave face down so as not to see Dan Patrick's snarky face every time I walk by it.
Scott Stark

Somewhere in America

RECEIVED Fri., May 27, 2016

Dear Editor,
    [Re: "We Can't Make It Here Anymore," Music, May 27] When I moved to Austin in the mid-Seventies, there were plenty of apartments and houses you could rent for $100-200 a month. Austin had a thriving live music scene as there were hundreds of musicians living here. The cost of living was low enough that starving artists could make ends meet with a part-time job and the contents of a tip jar. Now, that barely pays the property tax, and politicians talk about initiatives and resolutions to save the Austin music scene. Somewhere in America, there is a town or city with affordable housing and funky bars where the next great live music acts are fermenting.
Michael Shimp

Pushed Policies

RECEIVED Fri., May 27, 2016

Dear Editor,
    Michael King's column, "Point Austin: Pushed Out" [News, May 27] asks why many of Austin's African-American residents are moving out of the city. As someone who lives with one of those African-American residents, the short answer is that the policies pushed by your paper are a big driver of that exodus.
    One example: The Austin Urban League and the Austin chapter of the NAACP wrote an open letter before the vote that caused Uber and Lyft to exit the city, saying that the fingerprint requirement would disproportionately harm poor and minority residents of Austin. Why? Because African-American residents are much more likely to be arrested for nonviolent charges where a white resident would avoid arrest or incarceration. Thus, Uber and Lyft were a refuge for poor and minority residents who posed no threat to their passengers, and who needed a nontraditional job where their résumé would not be automatically tossed in the trash bin – residents who could not pass the fingerprint exam because they had gotten busted for weed or some other nonviolent "crime."
    The Chronicle backed yanking the rug out from under those residents by running a series of articles taking the anti-Uber/Lyft side.
    Property taxes are also driving African-American residents out, as my girlfriend's dismay at her recent property tax assessment illustrated. Yet your paper endorses measure after measure that would drive up those taxes.
    This paper is mostly written by (pardon the pun) über-liberal people, and I understand that perspective since my girlfriend is one of them. Just don't complain about the unintended but easily foreseeable consequences of the policies you advocate, including the exodus of African-Americans fleeing to more hospitable political climes just outside Austin.
Jim Henshaw
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