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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 mail@austinchronicle.com. Thanks for your patience.
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Geographical Interlopers

RECEIVED Tue., Feb. 20, 2018

Dear Editor,
    In “Chronicle Endorsements” [News, Feb. 16], the editorial board says that Congressional District (CD) 25, “anchored near Ft. Worth, ... reaches southward into Travis and Hays counties,” and then endorses Chris Perri in the Democratic primary and says that the board thought highly also of candidate Julie Oliver. Yes, well, where CD 25 doesn't reach is to 7903 Swindon Lane, where Perri lives, according to Googles leading to the Search.com, BlockShopper.com, and Nuwber.com webpages, nor to 115 Nellie Street, where Oliver lives according to the Travis County Appraisal District website. Both of those locations are CD 21, not CD 25. As long as we have gerrymandered districts and there isn't an incumbent Democrat in CD 21, is it too much to ask for Perri and Oliver to run instead in their own districts rather than commandeering CD 25 as geographical interlopers? Ditto, as regards 10120 Vaquero Trail (CD 10), where candidate Chetan Panda lives according to Zabasearch.com, Nuwber.com, and Neighbor.me?
    So I'll be voting for West Hansen, who actually lives in CD 25, and does not favor, as the other CD 25 resident according to her campaign website favors, thorium-powered electricity (think nuclear, via a simple Wikipedia check), much less distributed thorium-powered electricity (think nuclear waste being generated at many locations).
Chris Kuykendall

Lazy, at Best

RECEIVED Tue., Feb. 20, 2018

Dear Editor,
    After anxiously reading the editorial board’s recommendations for county, state, and national elections [“Chronicle Endorsements,” News, Feb. 16], I was disturbed to discover that before making an endorsement for Rick Kennedy for CD 17, not all candidates were bothered to even be interviewed to best judge the potential of all candidates. Additionally, I found your chosen reference to Dale Mantey as simply a “graduate student” insulting – at best. Does anyone on your staff understand the skills necessary to pursue a doctorate in epidemiology? Did your staff bother to even research Dale’s actual career experience, including working with the Texas Legislature and community coalitions to create change? How is a software engineer more qualified for this leadership position than someone with real experience reviewing hard data in order to choose policies that are based on sound scientific principles, and not ideology?
    The people of Central Texas are looking for real change, and that change will come from Dale Mantey, who has more actual “sufficient professional experience and potential resources to mount a practical November campaign.” I am disappointed that your newspaper did not even try to independently examine all candidates equitably. You should feel ashamed; I know I do.
Sincerely,
Thoroughly Disappointed Reader
Crystal Davis

Yes, And ...

RECEIVED Mon., Feb. 19, 2018

Dear Editor,
    I concur with your endorsement of Beto O’Rourke [“Chronicle Endorsements,” News, Feb. 16]. In addition to the positions you mentioned, in regards to the issue of the century – global climate change – O’Rourke’s website states, “It is crucial now more than ever that the U.S. and world leaders act urgently to address the issue of climate change.”
    In contrast, Sen. Cruz’s website notes that he introduced legislation “to encourage responsible energy exploration (including hydraulic fracturing), build the Keystone pipeline, modernize refineries, [and] increase offshore drilling… .”
Philip Russell

A Disservice to Crain

RECEIVED Mon., Feb. 19, 2018

Dear Editor,
    I have known Judge David Crain since he was born. In fact, I grew up with the entire Crain family. David is like the rest of his family in being exceptionally bright, thoughtful, compassionate, and more than willing to listen to those whose voices go so easily unheard and to work on behalf of those whose faces go so easily unrecognized.
    In my life as a parish priest, I have also accompanied people who have gone before his court. I have seen his sense of fairness and deliberateness up close with those caught up in a justice system that is not always just.
    In your description of him and his experience of being a judge in our county for 33 years ["Chronicle Endorsements," News, Feb. 16], you have somehow made him sound like the one thing I know he is not. He is not lazy. “Handing off” important work to his magistrate is evidence of his capacity for delegating, not lack of interest or attention.
    Certainly, you may endorse whichever candidate you deem more appropriate. But, since you have told us that you do not work in a judge’s chambers and cannot say with certainty how much time elements of that work might take, I would recommend that you take the time to learn more before offering an endorsement to someone who doesn’t know any more than you do about “how to be a judge.” Judge Crain certainly has earned his place within our community with dignity, grace, and even wisdom. I believe you have done him a disservice here.
Sincerely,
The Rev’d Jeffrey H. Walker

Mischaracterized Woody

RECEIVED Thu., Feb. 15, 2018

Dear Editor,
    I was disappointed to read that The Austin Chronicle endorsed Margaret Gómez for Precinct 4 Commissioner ["Chronicle Endorsements," News, Feb. 16]. As a former resident of Austin now residing outside the city limits in the Del Valle area, in my view, Susanna Woody is the superior choice in this race, and the paper mischaracterized her as an inexperienced candidate.
    I support Susanna Woody for Travis County Commissioner Precinct 4. A native to the area, Susanna has been an active resident of Del Valle for many years. She serves as a seven-year trustee of the Del Valle School Board. Under her period of time in leadership she has proven to be an effective leader. During her time in office the district has seen a number of improvements including an expansion of school facilities and programs, increased teacher pay, and improved health benefits for district employees, to name a few. Susanna has also been active from the vantage of a parent and community member, as a key figure in the development of the Community PTA for Del Valle and the Del Valle Community Coalition. These experiences give Susanna the insight and leadership skills to succeed as county commissioner of Precinct 4.
    In addition to her experience working with the Del Valle community, Susanna is actively involved in progressive political groups in Central Texas, whose power and influence continues to grow. As an active member of Our Revolution Central Texas, Austin DSA, and Left Up To Us to name a few, Susanna, and her husband Roy, are connected to a network of grassroots activists. Susanna has made it a stated aim during her campaign to directly engage communities as county commissioner, making use of her ties in the progressive community to enact much needed policy and improvements to communities in her precinct that have been historically underserved for decades.
    Finally, Susanna has made the most marginalized and neglected citizens of Precinct 4 a centerpiece of her campaign. Many of these communities are outside the city limits of Austin and have been neglected by their representatives for many years. Issues that affect these communities are less prominent within the city limits of Austin, and they include a lack of health care facilities, substandard housing, addiction, child poverty, lack of nutrition (i.e., food deserts), and more. Susanna Woody is the grassroots leader that we have been waiting for in Precinct 4, emerging from her own community with the mindset of an education and community advocate.
Andrew P. Costigan
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