Editor’s Note: Welcome to our letters to the editor page. Here you’ll find reader comments on Advocate articles and other news. We collect readers’ opinions from emails, letters, Facebook comments, and comments to valleyadvocate.com. Want to get in on this? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and put “letter to the editor” in the subject.
Pelosi for President. Can She Be Drafted?
I have swooned over Nancy Pelosi since long before her awesome “Impeachment Inquiry” speech. Her leadership during the current debacle is far more presidential than, well, someone else. Although she is not currently among the 2020 hopefuls, in view of her experience as House Speaker from 2007-2011 and 2019, where else can she advance except to the top? Her deft management of a diverse congress at this critical juncture shows she is a leader we can trust, and who hasn’t embarrassed us yet.
The chance of her becoming President through succession (both Trump and Pence eliminated) is a titillating possibility. Since the 2020 election frenzy is nigh, she is one of the few people in the room with skill combined with moderate politics to salvage any dignity the Office of the President could hold. As our first woman president she will make a legacy to be proud of. She has ethics and humane values. She doesn’t flip-flop. When asked if she was equal with Trump, “the Constitution says I am,” she shot back without rancor. Highly experienced with over 30 years in Washington, she knows how legislation works across the aisle and will accomplish much repair in a short time.
Further, she leads by example. She uses prayer as her foundation for this cause, including prayers for Trump. She has reported that the Catholic faith informs her progressive values. A charming photo of her in 1961 shows a pretty girl in a party dress standing right beside President Kennedy (thus far our only Catholic president) at his inaugural ball. Is this then her calling to complete the circle? Only one previous Speaker of the House has ever run for President, James Polk in 1845. Now it is Speaker Pelosi’s turn. Is anyone better qualified to clean up this White House mess? Even serving one term would have a huge benefit.
Remember, she was sworn in as House Speaker surrounded by children, which shows a woman who can fearlessly embrace her femaleness with powerful images. She raised five kids herself (four daughters) to college age before she first ran for office at 47. Her unwavering support of racial, gender, LGBT, and immigrant rights, religious freedoms, and climate justice shows many shared values with progressives, but she is a little more moderate making her more electable than some others. For those who wonder if she is “too old,” others in the same decade of life are famously running, including the current president.
Should she agree to run and win in 2020, President Pelosi’s White House will be dignified and gracious with a cat-lover in residence, and her husband Paul Pelosi as First Gentleman. She will restore international respect by again promoting Americas true values of inclusion, diversity and become a beacon for women and children’s rights. She will have the heart and vision to develop foreign policy that is practical yet fair, directing us toward world peace. It is long past time for a strong, inspiring, brilliant woman leader of this country.
Please run, Madam Speaker…, please run.
— Jamilah Maryam (aka Jamilah Ali Alexander), Holyoke
Rep. Richie Neal is punishing government workers
Rep. Richard Neal has introduced a new bill HR 4540 that provides a sliding scale of social security for retirees with a private retirement plans such as fire, police, teachers with 10 years or more in service. This is known as Windfall Elimination Program (WEP). This was passed by President Reagan 40 years ago. Reagan also limited the social security benefits for government workers with the Government Pension Offset (GPO). This limits government retirees in Civil Service retirement to receive less than 30% of their earned Social Security. Now the reason I am writing is there is a bill HR 141 introduced on January 13, 2019, that has 203 co sponsors and needs only 15 more to move to the Senate. This bill eliminates both WEP and GPO.
Rep. Neal introduced HR 4540 on September 27, 2019, with zero co-sponsors as of October 1 and only provides a sliding scale for the public service retirees, completely ignoring the government retirees who have worked many years paying into Social Security either prior, during, or after service and cannot receive their fair share of Social Security and that includes disabilities and survivor benefits.
Why does Rep. Richard Neal hate government workers so much that he ignores the HR 141, is not even a co sponsor, and introduces a new bill that failed last year the same way? Call him and ask him why. 202-225-5601 or locally 413-785-0325.
— Michael Gossman, Springfield