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YEA, PARTICIPATORY BUDGETING

I think that participatory budgeting would be a good idea for Greensboro [“Participatory budgeting proposed for Greensboro,” by Eric Ginsburg, June 22, 2011]. I believe that the citizens of Greensboro should be allowed to determine the salaries and pensions, if any, of all the elected and appointed officials in the city.

Chuck Mann, Greensboro

GOVERNOR’S VETO OF VOTER ID BILL SHOWS BAD FAITH

The governor has once again vetoed a bill. This voter ID bill was supposed to keep voters away from the polls. More people do not vote in any given election than do vote so how is this veto supposed to help keep certain voters from getting to the polls? It cannot help because most voters do not bother going to the polls anyway. This is just another Democratic ploy to entice voters. This vetoed bill has nothing to do with the voters. It has everything to do with the Democrats losing power and cannot ram all of the nonsense they are so accustomed to doing down the voters’ throats. This bill would only require voters to prove that they are eligible to vote. It has a lot to do with illegal immigration, which the Democrats hope to capitalize on in the next election. If this bill became law, all it would require was a voter’s eligibility to vote. This bill would keep illegal immigrants from voting. The illegal immigrants who work in North Carolina would have had to prove their eligibility to vote. Illegal immigrants need to prove their eligibility to vote, or send them back to their own countries. It is not fair to those citizens who come here legally.

Sincerely, Steven M. Shelton, Greensboro

PROPORTIONATE REPRESENATION UNNECESSARY

The folly and insidiousness of identity politics is vividly illustrated by the redistricting process, as Democrats and their allies in the racial grievance industry insist upon “proportionate representation.” If blacks, for instance, comprise 30 percent of Guilford County’s population, then blacks must hold 30 percent of elected positions in the county. This is neither practical nor wise.

Allison Riggs, an attorney with the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, is not satisfied with the number of blacks on the board of commissioners. Riggs told the News & Record that “three out of 11 members is only 27.27 percent of the board that is African American.” This despite the fact that the “voting age African American population in Guilford County is 30.94 percent, so that’s already less representation than population.”

The premise of proportionate representation — that only blacks are competent to represent blacks, and only whites are competent to represent whites — is not only patently false, but also offensive. Black elected officials are perfectly capable of representing white constituents, and vice versa.

Another problem with the theory of proportionate representation is the fact that it is selectively applied. For example, no one demands proportionate representation for Americans of Asian descent, and no one speaks for Americans of Norwegian ancestry. How about the community of left-handed, near-sighted octogenarians?

The list of “underrepresented” groups is endless.

Designing districts to ensure proportionate representation is an act of government-sanctioned bigotry and condescension that suggests blacks are incapable of competing on their own.

Charles Davenport Jr., Greensboro

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