The wait has been too long

In 1971, Congress officially declared Aug. 26 as Women’s Equality Day to commemorate the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. The amendment was added to the U.S. Constitution on August 18, 1920. It should be noted that the amendment was first introduced in 1878. Yes, it took 42 years for the government to finally see that no one should be denied the right to vote based on their gender. The U.S. president is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation annually in commemoration of that day in 1920 in which a nationwide demonstration for women’s rights took place and women were first given the right to vote. Since our fight for gender equality may be far from over, we can’t possibly let the day pass without not just honoring its importance, but honoring the women who fought for us to have this right, those amazing suffragists who worked tirelessly for decades. It is now essential that the Equal Rights Amendment be passed. Unfortunately, we women are not in the U.S. Constitution. We have been waiting for 231 years for inclusion. The Constitution was signed September 17, 1787. So, if not now, when?

Beverly Fitch McCarthy, Chairwoman, San Joaquin County Commission on the Status of Women


No bail, no good

The new bail bond legislation that will be in effect next year was passed and not given much thought by the politicians in Sacramento. Why with the stroke of a pen do they have the right to abolish a whole industry? Anyone committing hideous and serious crimes supposedly do not have the option to obtain bail, so I am told. Dangerous criminals should not be back on the streets.

How many more bills will be put into law in Sacramento with just a stroke of a pen? This legislation that soon will become law should be a wake-up call for all California residents. We are currently living with so many “new laws” it’s hard to keep up with them. High taxes, Sanctuary State, eliminating straws, paying for paper bags when shopping, highest gas taxes, a billion-dollar-plus train not going anywhere, trying to dig up our beautiful Delta waterways, crazy and poorly thought out “marijuana laws,” plus turning our overcrowded roadways into a nightmare with 700,000 illegal drivers given licenses. Oh yes, forgot the transgender bathrooms. How about your overworked pen be smashed until common-sense laws are well thought out prior to shoving them down California’s businesses and residents throats? Message to Sacramento government leaders: “We the people” do not live in a dictatorship country, so stop trying to make California residents suffer with mountains of senseless and many times dangerous laws.

Betty K. Thomas, Stockton


The last straw

Legislation was introduced by Assemblyman Ian Calderon, D-Whittier, that would prohibit sit-down restaurants in California from providing straws to customers unless they are requested. The measure would exclude fast-food restaurants.

The California Senate recently approved legislation barring dine-in restaurants from offering plastic straws to customers unless they are requested by vote of 25 to 12. The bill went back to the Assembly and was passed on a 45-20 vote and now goes to Gov. Jerry Brown for his signature. Hopefully, he will use some common sense and not sign the bill.

Have our representatives lost all common sense when it comes to these types of bills? Why attack sit-down restaurants that have almost 100 percent control over the disposition of the used straws by placing them in their trash that goes to controlled dump sites? The majority of straws, and other debris, that end up in our environment come from the thousands of fast food and takeout establishments.

When one really thinks about all the brouhaha concerning plastic bottles, plastic bags, plastic straws, plastic utensils, plastic lids, etc., it is not the items that are the problem, it is the individual using the items and then tossing them out into the environment rather than disposing of them in trash receptacles.

Unfortunately we are a “throw away” nation with no regard for our environment. One needs only look at our streets, sidewalks, and parking lots to see the problem.

Harold Monroe, Stockton