Having voted in every election since 1970, I remain amazed how people primarily "vote their pocketbook." Even more so now, I believe it is self-serving to contemplate which candidate will give you a better financial bottom line. Yes, the economy is on the agenda. But when other issues are on the table including the coronavirus pandemic, health care, equal justice and opportunity, science and medicine, political division, relations with our true foreign allies, immigration, reduced higher education cost and fair taxation laws, I believe voters should not pull a candidate’s lever believing the most important platform is the condition of their IRAs. To me, that is selfish. Fact is, if all those other issues are intelligently addressed, everyone will reap the benefits including monetary ones.
Help low-income utility bill program
Your cover story on Long Islanders’ struggles to pay utility bills, "Overdue electric bills soar" [News, Oct. 13], should be a wake-up call to our elected leaders that help is needed to keep the lights and heat on as we approach winter. With a second COVID-19 wave predicted and the unemployment rate still hovering at 10.5%, many Long Islanders are likely to find themselves even further behind in their electric bills than September’s already shockingly high $150 million. KEDLI (National Grid) operates a low-income utility bill discount program — the Energy Assistance Program — but fewer than one-third of income-eligible KEDLI customers are enrolled. I suggest the Nassau and Suffolk county departments of social services work with KEDLI to match customers eligible for other low-income programs and support such as SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program) with the EAP, as New York City and Westchester County do with Con Edison. And when power shut-offs because of lack of payment resume, the restart of collections and terminations must be done in a way that minimizes chaos.
Editor’s note: The writer is New York State director of AARP.
Get a cartoonist for the right
I am a fan of Matt Davies’ cartoons; always have been. However, I believe that those who report the news, whether for TV or newspapers, should, of course, show both sides of political differences and keep opinions out of what they are reporting. Political cartoonists, though, are a different breed. They will, and should, have their opinions reflected in their cartoons. Davies has obviously been injecting his personal beliefs into his. However, I believe if Newsday allows him to reflect the news in this manner, the editorial board should consider getting an additional cartoonist — one on the right side of the aisle — for the sake of fairness.
Refugees not part of debate agenda
Sadly, I’ve observed that the plight of refugees in our country and the world hasn’t even been mentioned in the debates. We have not seen any proposals for a resolution of the separating and warehousing of refugee adults and children. The candidates have not mentioned any proposals to resolve this travesty and blight on our country. No one has stated how they propose to vet and justly process refugees in a timely fashion and dismantle the holding prisons.
Joseph M. Varon,
Editor’s note: The writer is a member of the Long Island Chapter of Bend the Arc, a movement of progressive Jews working to build a more just society.
Trump’s caravan created no ruckus
It seems some readers were upset about the pro-Trump caravan rally on Oct. 17 ["Trump’s caravan stirs observers’ emotions," Letters, Oct. 21]. I can understand it. No one likes to be slowed in traffic, but political demonstrations seem to be happening almost every day in America. I didn’t know about the caravan, and I got caught in the middle of it as I traveled east. Yes, there were large American flags and Trump flags affixed to vehicles. I did see some license plates covered with tape, and I was told by several participants that it was done to prevent radicals from identifying the owners of the vehicles and going to their homes to harass them. I believe it does happen that people are harassed at home for their political views. I didn’t see or hear anyone shouting anti-gay comments or obscenities, as one reader stated. Here is the best part: While reading the next morning’s Newsday, I saw no reports of police officers being hospitalized or anyone being hit in the head with bricks. There was no mention of stores being looted, statues being torn down, or buildings being burned to the ground.
I can’t imagine even one person changing a vote because of a loud, at times offensive parade. But I am reminded of the saying, "Don’t raise your voice. Improve your argument."