2018-10-06 / Viewpoints

Correspondence

Please vote

Dear editor:

I am horrified by the tone of our nation’s political discourse right now. The daily barrage of outrageous and infuriating headlines reminds me that our policies often don’t reflect the true goodness that lies in our hearts.

Voter turnout has decreased in recent years, which has increased polarization among political leaders and in our communities.

This has resulted in more people losing faith in our electoral process and in our government. That and the growing barriers to voting threaten to decrease voter turnout even further.

We can’t let that happen — and it doesn’t have to. We can pull ourselves out of this spiral, but it’s going to take all of us voting, including in the upcoming mid-term elections on Nov. 6. You can go to the website vote.org to register to vote, double-check voter registration status, and look up voter registration deadlines.

The decisions that are being made in our nation’s and states’ capitals make a big difference in our lives.

Those who care about important issues such as health care, minimum wage, child care, criminal justice reform, reproductive rights, gun safety, the environment, and many others need to be sure that they are registered to vote.

Every candidate has different views on the issues. Everyone should make sure to vote on Nov. 6 for the candidate that best represents his or her views.

Cara Ross
East Liberty

Support the arts

Dear editor:

Elected representatives, I urge you to consider the importance of the arts in the lives of Americans. Please be a strong voice for the funding of the arts.

At the federal level, the National Endowment for the Arts provides valuable funds to provide life-changing art opportunities for students, veterans, physically and mentally-challenged persons, and each and every person in this great country.

I could expound on the intrinsic value of art, but I believe reminding you of the economic, cognitive, health, behavioral, and social benefits will be more effective.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, arts and cultural production contributed $730 billion to the nation’s economy in 2014. This represents 4.2 percent of the GDP -- a larger share of the economy than transportation, tourism, or construction.

Arts education helps to close the achievement gap, improves reading and language development, and maybe more importantly, advances students’ motivation to learn.

The arts can help to develop pro-social behavior in at-risk youths or serve veterans recovering from PTSD and so much more.

I hope that I’ve supplied you ammunition to continue the fight for the arts.

Jacqueline Engel
Williamsport

Thank them

Dear editor:

On Sept. 11 this year, I thought about the responders who turned out after the terrorists’ attack on that date in 2001. They did not hesitate to run towards danger to rescue and save those who were in harm’s way.

We often take for granted the police, firefighters and emergency medical personnel who rush in where you and I fear to go. It takes more courage than most of us have.

For this reason, I humbly ask all those who might be reading this message to express your appreciation to our responders. That is the least that we can do.

Ida M. Temple
Mansfield

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