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Newsday letters to the editor for Tuesday, March, 13, 2018

A Census Bureau publicity photo of a census

A Census Bureau publicity photo of a census taker in 2010. The population now exceeds 327 million. Credit: Census Bureau

Harvest wind, not oil, off LI’s coast

Attendance at Assemb. Steven Englebright’s hearing in Hauppauge demonstrates our island’s far-reaching, unified condemnation of offshore drilling along the New York coastline [“LIers voice offshore drilling fears,” News, Feb. 15].

I applaud the community leaders and lawmakers from across the political spectrum who voiced their concerns, including Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine, who spoke about our fragile coastlines.

Threating the resilience of our coastal ecosystem is the last thing Long Islanders need. As our communities continue to recover from 2012’s superstorm Sandy, we know that the impacts of climate change are real, and they call for real solutions.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo deserves praise for his efforts to fight offshore drilling in New York, as well as for his energetic support of generating electricity from offshore wind. Solutions lie in a green energy economy that offers reliable jobs and doesn’t jeopardize our health and safety.

Bridget Foley, Blue Point

Editor’s note: The writer is a volunteer with the Sierra Club, a nonprofit environmental advocacy organization.

Vote to ban, remove assault rifles

I believe that our only hope of banning and removing assault rifles from the public is to create a congressional majority in support of this cause [“Schumer vows Hill action on guns,” News, March 5].

It doesn’t matter which party our representative or senator belongs to, as long as he or she votes for legislation in this regard. At this time, all other issues should be secondary when voting.

There’s no reason we should allow these weapons to be available to anyone who is not in law enforcement or the military. I’m a registered Conservative, but will not vote for an incumbent or other candidate who doesn’t support this key issue.

Richard Chance, Bayport

Don’t add unneeded questions to census

The Justice Department’s argument that a citizenship question should be added to the 2020 census form is misleading [“Citizenship query disputed,” News, March 1].

The department has never needed this question to enforce the Voting Rights Act and there is no need to do so now.

Contrary to the Justice Department’s argument, the Census Bureau has not included a citizenship question on the modern census short form sent to every household since enactment of the Voting Rights Act in 1965.

Citizen voting-age population is derived from the ongoing American Community Survey and before that, through the so-called census long form. Those data have been, and continue to be, suitable for purposes of civil rights and Voting Rights Act enforcement.

The 2020 census is already woefully underfunded and understaffed. Instead of adding unnecessary questions to make the 2020 census even more challenging, Washington should properly fund the census and ensure that all Americans are properly counted.

Jeffrey M. Wice, Long Beach

Editor’s note: The writer is a fellow at the Albany-based SUNY Rockefeller Institute of Government and served as redistricting counsel to the State Legislature and Nassau County redistricting commissions.

Support bills to fight climate change

I commend Nassau County for granting $25,000 to the Town of Hempstead to replace trees lost on Barnum Island during superstorm Sandy [“$25G grant to replace trees,” News, Feb. 14].

As a resident of the South Shore and a lifelong nature lover, I care deeply about maintaining our delicate coastlines. However, New York State has the opportunity to go beyond one-time fixes and implement a long-term strategy to mitigate the damage done to coastal flora and human communities by climate change.

The Climate and Community Protection Act, a bill that has passed the State Assembly and has more than a dozen co-sponsors in the State Senate, would commit New York to eliminating the fossil-fuel emissions that cause sea-level rise and coastal erosion.

A companion bill, the Climate and Community Investment Act, would establish a corporate polluter penalty to fund the restoration of communities and environments harmed by climate change.

Towns would no longer have to beg for county and private grants to restore their coastal regions.

I urge Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to support these bills as part of his stated commitment to making New York State a national leader in climate legislation.

Alex Dillon, Cedarhurst

Editor’s note: The writer is a volunteer with the Long Island Progressive Coalition, an advocacy organization.