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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RECEIVED Mon., May 21, 2018

Dear Editor,
    I want to congratulate you on your endorsement of Chito Vela ["Chronicle Endorsements," May 11]. The congratulations are due, not because you agreed with my preference, but because you did so without mentioning race or ethnicity. As our society grows more ethnically diverse, we need to be able to judge individuals according to their ability to represent their constituencies.
Philip Russell

We're All Good Liberals Here

RECEIVED Mon., May 21, 2018

Dear Editor,
    Chronicle writer Michael King needs to correct his multiple false statements on the citizen petitioned CodeNEXT review ordinance and on the ordinance sponsors.
    [In his "Point Austin" column,] King has repeatedly written the petitioned ordinance and its sponsors would stop all changes to the land development code. (King, 3/23, petition “intended to stop all changes”; 5/11 “petition against any and all changes to the code”; 5/18 Community Not Commodity leaders opposed to “revising the code.”)
    Either King hasn’t bothered to read the four paragraphs of the petitioned ordinance or CNC’s press statements, or he is completely happy to just lie about it – over and over.
    The petitioned ordinance does not block any Council-approved changes to the development code, much less “all” such changes. The petitioned ordinance says if the Council adopts a comprehensive rewrite to the code, then that comprehensive rewrite has a delay period and must be ratified by the voters before taking effect. If the Council shelves the 1500-page mess of a draft CodeNEXT, it is entirely free to adopt targeted changes to the code without voter oversight. CNC has specifically called for this targeted approach in support of code revisions, and now so has the ZAP Commission and many others.
    King extended his false attacks to Council Member Alison Alter and a group of us citizens who have had the gall to point out that the mayor, a majority of City Council, and some members of the Planning Commission are violating the City Charter provision that limits developer and real estate representation on the commission. King cannot be bothered with the fact that this violation is undisputed and the Council majority is allowing it to continue. (Hey, we are all good liberals here, so why do we need to comply with the law?)
    The list is much longer. It seems King is incapable of responsible coverage of Austin development issues.
Bill Bunch
Save Our Springs Alliance

Personal Choice

RECEIVED Mon., May 21, 2018

My Dear Editor,
    Usually Mary Tuma uses the term “anti-choice” to sanctimoniously denigrate her opponents. But in her most recent usage, she’s also simply wrong.
    In May 18’s News Headlines, she refers to gubernatorial hopeful Andrew White’s “personal anti-choice stance.” That phrase could only mean that Andrew White personally opposes a woman’s right to choose, which is not his actual position, and there is no evidence to the contrary. White’s actual position is, “It’s a personal choice that my wife and I wouldn’t make, but it is a choice that we wouldn’t take away from somebody else, either.” (Texas Tribune, May 11). That White and his wife wouldn’t choose abortion does not make them “anti-choice”! White could properly be described as “personally anti-abortion,” since he personally doesn't agree with abortion, but not “personally anti-choice,” since he personally does not oppose choice.
    And yes, I know that the blurb didn’t have a writer’s name attached, but it’s painfully obvious that it was Tuma, since among Chronicle writers she alone never misses any chance to use the “anti-choice” phrase. This includes her predecessors like Jordan Smith and Lauri Apple. Tuma’s zeal for the use of inflammatory rhetoric has now moved beyond being a distracting show of moral superiority and into the realm of careless misreporting.
Michael Bluejay


RECEIVED Thu., May 17, 2018

Dear Editor,
    Michael King's column on the Planning Commission is ill-humored and ill-informed ["Point Austin: Purging the Commissioners," News, May 18]. Council Member Alter never said being an architect is a crime or that Planning commissioners are sexual predators. She said an architect is a professional connected directly or indirectly to land development – which is obvious and means that the current Planning Commission is not in compliance with the City Charter. In short, the commission is illegally constituted.
    Council Member Alter also noted, that under the city legal department's absurd interpretation that commission members couldn't be removed for any reason, that Council then would not be able to remove a member that was a lobbyist, sexual predator, or that had committed fraud. She didn't say anyone was a sexual predator; she was making the point that Council has the power to remove commissioners for cause. I would note Council Member Alter discussed at length the city's laws allowing commissioners' removal, but you didn't address those arguments. You owe her an apology.
    Your false ad hominem attacks on myself and the quo warranto complaint filers are par for your approach. We aren't the issue, Michael. The Planning Commission is the issue. It is integral to the city's land development decision-making and is required by law to make recommendations on all zoning matters and CodeNEXT. We have said for three years the commission is illegally constituted; Council has done nothing. The City Charter limits the commission to only four commissioners connected directly or indirectly to land development, and the commission has seven architects, development engineers, and a builder. I am not ashamed for standing up for a fair, conflict-free, and legal process. What I can't understand is why you are so nasty about all this?
Fred and Dawn Lewis
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