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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An Abbott About-Face

RECEIVED Mon., March 23, 2020

Dear Editor,
    Gov. Abbott, while refusing to order a state-wide lockdown to contain the coronavirus, nevertheless said he would "applaud" Texas cities that did so. He added that "local authorities have the authority to implement more strict standards than what I as governor have ordered in the state of Texas."
    The cities that are ordering such a lockdown are doing so in the interest of public health. The "standards" need to be set high in order to keep more Texans from getting sick, and I'm glad Gov. Abbott has no objections to these local initiatives aimed at protecting the public.
    In contrast, when the city of Austin wanted to promote a healthier environment for the hospitality industry by requiring employers to provide paid sick-leave, the Guv and our (still under indictment!) attorney general had plenty of objections - even though ordering a lockdown or providing paid sick leave both serve the public interest.
    Why can't the governor recognize this and applaud both?
Joe Pastusek

The Perfect Voting Answer

RECEIVED Mon., March 23, 2020

Dear Austin Chronicle,
    Re: “Increased Pressure for 'Vote-by-Mail'” March 20, 2020
    Vote-by-Mail is the perfect answer for current conditions avoiding crowds due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even if the Governor of Texas postpones the primary run-off election from May 26 to July 14, there is no way to know when it is safe to gather in large crowds. This gives election officials plenty of time to make the needed changes to switch to a Vote-by-Mail voting system. Besides, it is unlikely that voters will want to stand in long lines and touch public screens anyway.
    Our Travis County election clerk rightly states that Vote-by Mail can be “very involved” but this is not a valid reason to ditch this simple solution. Election officials have experience now using Vote-by-Mail for the elderly and “absentee” voters. It is obvious that all voters are absentee nowadays.
    Other states currently use this voting system and Texas can learn from their best practices. With proper precautions, it can be secure.
    Voters can easily adapt to Vote-by-Mail and it should be used for all of 2020 elections nationwide, as the League of Women Voters recommends.
     It is critical that voters have a simple and safe way to exercise their right to vote.
Jenny Clark

A Light in Darkness

RECEIVED Fri., March 20, 2020

Dear Austin Sanders,
    Just wanted to say thank you for reporting on the situation of people experiencing homelessness Downtown ["Austin Homeless Service Organizations Need Your Help Now," News, Mar. 19, 2020]. Please continue to highlight their circumstances. Our church, on the corner of Eighth & Brazos, is a place people can drop off any extra sanitizer, Clorox wipes, Clorox spray, paper towels, etc and we'll make sure it gets to our neighbors on the street. We're also trying to serve those living out at Camp Abbott (the "temporary" camp off 183), who currently don't have running water. Thanks again for the important work you're doing. Keep being a light in the darkness.
Rev. Carolina Treviño
Central Presbyterian Church, Austin

Nothing But Easy

RECEIVED Fri., March 20, 2020

Dear Editor,
    As a Texan who has been living in Oregon for almost 10 years and who is moving back to Austin, I have to call bullshit on Travis County Clerk Dana DeBeauvoir and her statement that voting by mail is "not easy for the voter." How exactly is it not easy? Let me tell you, nothing beats opening up your ballot sent directly to you, reading up on the candidates in a booklet sent directly to you, filling in the bubbles, sealing it up, signing your name and dropping it in the mail ­ all in your own time. No fitting it into your day, no waiting in line, no running late for work … nothing. It is nothing BUT easy for the voter, and I will truly miss the convenience of voting from home.
Carol Vickers
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