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.
Browse by Week:

Breaking the Golden Rule

RECEIVED Tue., March 28, 2023

Dear Editor,
    I listened with amazement as a minister opened a recent session of the Texas Legislature. He prayed for divine protection so the legislators may serve God and those they represent.
    I was in the gallery facing Republican representatives who bowed their heads before proceeding to continue doing the opposite of what Jesus demanded in his Sermon on the Mount: “Whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them.”
    I sat there knowing that these very legislators have denied life-saving healthcare to more than a million Texans by refusing to accept Medicaid.
    Despite years of mass shootings, they have refused to tighten gun restrictions, even after school children were slaughtered in Uvalde.
    Disregarding the bedrock American principle of free and fair elections, they have, through gerrymandering and intimidation, made it harder to vote for those they estimate will not vote the right way.
    These outcomes cannot be what they wish for themselves.
    To borrow from Charles Darwin, “If the misery of [others] be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.”
Barbara Chiarello

Failing to Fund

RECEIVED Tue., March 28, 2023

Dear Editor,
    It’s no secret that the state severely underfunds public education. The legislature clearly knows this. In the text of their multiple voucher/ESA bills they freely admit that the "average amount of money it costs Texas public schools to educate each of their children … is about $10,000 a year.” Public schools are allotted only $6061 per student.
    Wonder why Texas has a surplus of $ 32.7 billion? Our high taxes bring in more than enough to completely fund our schools and give our teachers needed raises. Through recapture, the state pockets the rest of our tax dollars for a "rainy day fund" to be spent at their discretion. Folks, have you seen the weather?
    Contact your representative! Tell them to oppose HB 4339 and SB 2354. Public schools cannot succeed without being fully funded.
Eve Michelle

Fight for Your Rights

RECEIVED Sun., March 26, 2023

Dear Editor,
    This legislative session is a really scary time to be a Texan. The bills we are seeing right now at the state level are the next step in an ongoing war against queer people by the Texas GOP.
    What should worry Texans the most – regardless of how many gay and trans people in our lives will be affected personally – is that these bills are targeting not just queer people but also censoring people’s professions. Doctors, teachers, lawyers, librarians, psychiatrists, and psychologists will be targeted, fired, and stripped of their licenses to practice.
    The GOP are writing these laws that target queer people very vaguely so that they can CHOOSE who to prosecute. They want to weaponize these bills against anyone in social, political, or economic spaces that threaten their special interests or the entrenched Republican power in this state.
    The fact that these bills are purposefully not defining “queerness” “gayness” “transness” etc. should be very alarming to everyone who has been to Burning Man, SXSW, Cheer Up Charlies, or attend bachelor/bachelorette parties.
    All Texans are entitled to our constitutional rights to "life liberty and the pursuit of happiness" and our first amendment rights to freedom of speech, press, and assembly. If we let our state government purposefully and maliciously infringe on these rights, that sets a dangerous precedent for the validity of everyone's civil rights. Every Texan has a stake in this fight. We need to protect the rights of our neighbors, or face our own loss of the rights to express, assemble, and speak in the near future.
Sophia Mirto

Bergstrom Bungle

RECEIVED Sat., March 25, 2023

Dear Editor,
    As a former Austin resident (1968-87) who travels and has hearing aids (which at times don't function well in large public structures) I have become even more appalled by the level to which Austin has sunk.
    The Florida woman in her 70s who was injured during her illegal arrest should sue the pants off Bergstrom and demand at least the firing of those officers (APD?) who detained and injured her. [“Austin Jailer Breaks Elderly Deaf Woman's Arm After Misunderstanding at Airport,” News, March 24] Since I am several years older than the victim and more than a trifle "deef,” I'm not sure I would feel secure flying in or out of Bergstrom.
Ted Samsel

Project Not Connecting

RECEIVED Fri., March 24, 2023

Dear Editor,
    Voters approved the Project Connect plan because we were presented with a comprehensive system, with several new light and commuter rail lines, and several new rapid bus lines going all over the city. Most parts of town would benefit from that planned system, which is why it won approval at the ballot box.
    Now Project Connect is proposing very limited plans, which do not serve all the areas of North, South, East, and Southeast Austin which the original plans would have reached. This seems like a "bait and switch,” where voters were promised a comprehensive system, and now will receive something far short of that for our tax dollars.
    Republican state representatives may be enacting a law whereby Project Connect would have to come before the voters for another approval vote before moving forward with the system. If Project Connect is moving forward on one of the five very limited plans which are now being proposed, I think it's likely that the system would not pass that vote, because not enough Austin residents would see benefits to their neighborhood from the project.
    I think Project Connect should stick with the original plan, but spread out the implementation over a longer timeline than was originally proposed. My understanding is that we have a permanent increase of our property taxes to pay for the system. If that is the case, after enough time has passed there will eventually be enough funds accumulated for a comprehensive system.
Paul Kevin Smith
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle