Why New Yorkers are fleeing south
In 1960, New York had 41 congressional seats. Currently, the state has only 27 seats and will lose an additional seat because of the new Census results ["State will lose one seat in Congress," News, April 27].
Sadly, New York is no longer the Empire State. Crime, taxes and crumbling infrastructure in New York have led to other states increasing their population.
The $200,000-plus government salaries and $300,000 to $500,000 retirement payouts, besides lucrative pensions, eventually get people to flock to sunnier locations.
Our politicians are to blame for hitting residents with ever-growing exorbitant taxes. Politicians say "we’re all in this together" and "I work for the people." Unfortunately, only government pensions are exempt from state and local taxes.
It’s time that all private pensions also be exempt from state and local taxes. When will politicians work for all the people and not just special interests?
Joseph Campbell, Port Washington
Democracy needs compromise to work
No doubt, we need political leaders who understand and practice compromise, as demanded by a recent reader ["We need leaders who can compromise," Letters, April 27]. Yet I haven’t seen a clear, succinct definition of that word in the media other than the vague term "common ground."
It’s very simple: Compromise is the result of a negotiation between two parties in which an agreement is reached that both sides can live with. In other words, compromise means each side doesn’t get everything it wants but can live with what it gets — witness labor-management contracts, trade agreements, etc.
Someone once said that the art of politics is compromise. It’s also been said that art is a reflection of society. I believe a democratic society will stagnate if this political "art" fails to flourish in the public interest.
Paul Jacobs, Huntington
LIPA should take over system itself
Of the options currently available to the Long Island Power Authority, given the history of its poor service, renegotiating PSEG Long Island’s contract is by far the worst ["LIPA task force to eye new grid manager," News, April 27].
However, would another outside for-profit grid manager do any better? Especially since the search for a potentially better one could last many months, during which time we would still have PSEG running the system.
The time has come for LIPA to run the system itself. LIPA can both invest more in renewable power and pass some savings onto ratepayers.
Not-for-profit municipal power prioritizes consumer pocketbooks over corporate ones and I believe provides the most reliable service.
Our elected officials, especially Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, must realize that firing PSEG and making LIPA a public power provider would be best for all of Long Island’s residents.
If our elected officials do not facilitate this transition, any future massive grid failures will be laid at their doorstep.
Abby Pariser, Huntington
Pandemic initiatives should be restored
Former State Sen. Michael Balboni, to me, is completely off the mark in his op-ed "Preparing for the next pandemic" [Opinion, April 25]. Former President Barack Obama established protocols to help with a worldwide pandemic response, such as setting up remote offices in countries that had the potential for outbreaks. He also put members of his pandemic task force on the National Security Council, where they could attend briefings. Of course, his successor undid all of those measures, and refused to coordinate a federal response to COVID-19.
It would behoove President Joe Biden to reinstate the previous Democratic president’s initiatives.
Jeffrey Cohen, Flushing
Community college kids show resilience
While the decline in community college enrollment caused by the coronavirus pandemic is discouraging, and the impact on low-income students is tragic, it is important to remember that millions of community college students across the country are still logging into their classes every day, succeeding against often overwhelming obstacles ["LI community colleges see huge drop in enrollement," News, April 18].
Here in Queens, at LaGuardia Community College, we have suffered a steep drop in new student enrollment, but our 12,000 continuing students came back for the spring semester, hungry to earn their associate degrees or industry certifications. Almost all are low-income students of color who live in neighborhoods devastated by COVID-19.
Their resilience, grit and determination to get a college education inspire us and give us hope for the recovery ahead.
Kenneth Adams, Long Island City
Editor’s note: The writer is president of LaGuardia Community College.