Letters submitted by BDN readers are verified by BDN Opinion Page staff. Send your letters to letters@bangordailynews.com.

Savage and defunding the police

Perhaps the most impactful moment of the first Maine Senate debate was when Lisa Savage was asked for her position on defunding the police. Her response: “As a public school teacher I have been defunded many times, and I still went ahead and did my job.”

I don’t believe that defunding the police will fix everything. Law enforcement serves a role in our society, but that role has grown in a way that serves neither the police nor our communities. Their responsibility has expanded from dealing with crime to dealing with people who are coping with mental health challenges, addiction, homelessness, and poverty. That needs to change.

“Defunding the police” is a catch-phrase. What I want is to divert funding from the police into social services, affordable housing, addiction treatment, mental health services and medicare for all. Programs like the decades old CAHOOTS project in Eugene, Oregon, provide alternatives to police response — their teams consist of a medic and a crisis worker. Of the 24,000 calls they responded to in 2019, only 150 required police intervention. According to CAHOOTS, “the program saves the city of Eugene an estimated $8.5 million in public safety spending annually.” Projects like this can save both money and lives.

It’s time to send a message to our elected officials — defund the police, fund medicare for all, mental healthcare, affordable housing, and addiction treatment services. Make your voice heard this November and rank Lisa Savage first.

Adelle Belanger

Cornville

Importance of childcare

Childcare has long been a foundational pillar in our economy. Now that the majority of our nation’s households require two incomes to stay afloat, childcare is essential to keeping food on the table, a roof over head, and small businesses running.

Our educational system has also evolved over a parallel time frame. The expectations of young children, coupled with the pressures of testing, competing with state and national averages, teachers with low pay and high expectations; has created an even more detrimental need for early interventions, instructions through play and healthy relationships. Foundational teaching has proven time and time again to have substantial pay off years later.

Childcare has also coincidentally taken on a role of public welfare support. We are the gateway to child development services, state and local financial assistance, first line of recognizing and reporting abuse or neglect, and experts in the field of child development and parental support.

These are just the top three of a list that goes on and on of why childcare is far more than just “babysitting.” It’s safe to say that one of the many things COVID-19 has brought to light is the importance and the validity of quality, reliable childcare.

Haleigh Rice

Hermon

Getting on the same page

I am a merchant mariner who recently returned home from an overseas-based ship on an international flight. As I write this, I am on day 10 of a self-imposed two-week quarantine. I am spending this at a family camp on a secluded lake in Eastern Maine.

On the advice of my doctor, I have taken a COVID test and am awaiting test results. I am currently asymptomatic but I am aware that this is sometimes false. I would be considered a high-risk person having just come from a coronavirus hot zone. I believe in taking precautions.

I have to say, I am still shocked at how many Americans do not take the coronavirus seriously. I still hear people say this is nothing worse than the flu. I say to them this; I have never met anyone who has died from the flu. I do, however, now know people who have died from COVID and also coworkers whose families have been significantly impacted.

It is real. It is potentially deadly. Taking all the precautions can make a difference. Wear your mask, socially distance, wash your hands and quarantine after traveling. We all can stop the spread of the virus if we are all on the same page.

Daniel Murley

Southwest Harbor

Excellent OpEd from Raye and Katz

The Sept. 12 OpEd by Kevin Raye and Roger Katz, “Why two lifelong Maine Republicans are voting for Joe Biden,” was, in a word, excellent! It is timely and deserves wide dissemination.

I recommend that it be republished by the BDN weekly through Nov. 3. For the people of Maine it should have wide circulation and intense consideration.

Charles T. McHugh

Baileyville

Vote for Magnan

I support Veronica Magnan as a candidate for Maine House District 131. Magnan has been supportive of legislative issues concerning adults with cognitive disabilities. She has supported initiatives from the National Alliance on Mental Illness and will continue to be concerned with issues supporting adults who need lifetime support and supervision.

Working adults with disabilities who work at meaningful jobs still need individual and community support for all their lives. She will be supportive of creative solutions to help each person live full and productive lives within their ability.

I have known Magnan for a number of years and know she will be there for me and my family in Augusta. These things matter to me because I am the mother of a special needs adult. I have volunteered for years with Special Olympics Maine and am aware of the issues these people face. They will have an ear in Augusta with Veronica Magnan. Please vote for her!

Betty Fraser

Stockton Springs

Great cartoon

George Danby’s cartoon of Sept. 10 (He: I want to continue working from home… She: I want a divorce) is Pulitzer worthy!

Tom Deegan

Orono

Tired of political ads

Just watching morning TV, it seems like it’s political ads show season with brief interruptions for normal programming. The most handy move for me is the mute button as I stare off into the distance planning my activities.

It must keep the networks and local stations happy financially, however. As of now, I would think these ads are falling irritatingly on tired ears.

Bob Dion

Holden