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Letters to the Editor: California’s legislators failed spectacularly, and they looked cruel while doing it

Buffy Wicks
Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) holds her newborn daughter while waiting to vote before the legislative deadline in Sacramento on Aug. 31.
(Handout)

To the editor: I read your articles on the dysfunction in the California Legislature with dismay.

With so many problems facing our state, it is unconscionable that our representatives ran out the clock on many important bills before the midnight deadline on Monday. Adding insult to injury, Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) was forced to vote in person with her baby while she was on maternity leave.

What does it say about civic duty and responsibility when a lawmaker on maternity leave, who is willing to vote remotely, is made to risk her health and that of her newborn so she can vote in person, while other legislators avoid voting at all on bills that impact all our lives?

In my job I cannot walk away from work that I don’t want to do. Wicks is to be admired, but her colleagues are to be denigrated, and we’ll remember all their names when we vote on Nov. 3.

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Bonnie Voland, Los Angeles

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To the editor: There is still a $54-billion deficit in California’s state budget caused by the pandemic. Homelessness remains a significant problem. Income inequality persists. Infrastructure projects are misguided or ignored. Solutions for prison and police reform are badly needed.

Yet, the Legislature is out of session. Gov. Gavin Newsom is left to act unilaterally; perhaps, like President Trump, maybe he figures that he alone can fix our problems.

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Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) forced his colleague Wicks to travel to Sacramento with her newborn daughter so she could vote on a bill that ended up failing in the Senate, which ran out of time to vote on it. Rendon later apologized for being inconsiderate, but he didn’t consider maternity leave a good enough excuse for Wicks and her baby not to return to Sacramento in the middle of a pandemic.

Newsom should immediately call the Legislature back to Sacramento; otherwise we are left with ineffective leadership.

Craig Simmons, Northridge

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To the editor: Well the result is in, and it is a landslide: California is now a police state.

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The most important police reform bills failed to pass this legislative session. This outcome was not the result of public will; in fact, polls show that between 60% and 80% of Californians want police reform, depending on the particular proposal.

So, we can conclude that our elected representatives will not do the bidding of those who elected them, but rather that of police groups, which can can arrange to pass or block any law they wish.

Oh sure, there is always next year, but the circumstances will be the same. Money and the threat of withholding a police endorsement are all that matter. Civil rights activists might as well concede defeat and save their time and money.

Nothing is ever going to change until the electorate wises up and votes out every single legislator who does not serve the public’s interest.

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Joel Drum, Van Nuys


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