Monday letters: Promotoras, teachers, political science, COVID and the president |

Monday letters: Promotoras, teachers, political science, COVID and the president

Good intentions are not enough

(This letter was originally addressed: Dear Garfield County Commissioners)

I am watching closely as a concerned U.S. citizen, I feel discouraged by your decision to reject a great program like Promotoras. We should be offering and running many programs like that. We need bilingual/bicultural people leading the way and connecting with our Latino community. If local nonprofits or any other organizations want to propose something like this, they should of course do it, but when you have so much work for a program that is ready to launch that is paid by a grant, we need to take advantage of it.

The efforts up until now have not been enough. Right now 61% of the cases are young Latinos, 20 to 39 years old. We need to reach them and meet them were they are. I am a certified medical interpreter. I advocate for language justice where everyone’s voice is heard and respected.

Interpretation and translation services are important, they are one of the puzzle pieces to engagement of our Spanish speakers. Many times a professional linguist is not hired, causing misinformation and confusion. The last one I saw was on Mike Samson for 2020 Garfield County Commissioner’s Facebook page. He translated the word “humbled” as “humillado” which means “humiliated,” so the Spanish version read “I am humiliated for the opportunity and blessed to serve you as one of your Garfield County Commissioners.” Also, the Facebook page for the Western Slope County Chamber, which had an event about employers and workers rights, had great information. It was supposed to be a bilingual event. They used one of their bilingual staff members to interpret, she could not keep up with the technical vocabulary of the HR experts, and there weren’t any Spanish speakers on the call to complain.

Offering interpreting and translations services is the first part but it needs to be paired together with community outreach, as well as Latinos in leadership rolls. It is not enough to have good intentions. Google, as well as our county commissioners, are missing the mark.

Elizabeth Velasco
Glenwood Springs

A time to be grateful for our teachers, administrators and staff

It’s a hard time to find silver linings. However, the ones that are there are well worth finding.

At the Wednesday RE-1 School District board meeting it was evident that current conditions are not sustainable and they are looking for solutions.
Our district volunteer board members and administration are highly concerned and working hard on our behalf, as was evidenced at this three-and-a-half hour meeting. Thank you all for stepping up to the extra challenges you didn’t know you signed up for when you took your positions.

Just one of the many unanticipated projects is creating an innovative data site to inform us of COVID-19 case counts by school. This is not available across the state and no minor accomplishment to tackle. Thank you.

As well as for students, the teachers and staff wellness are of great concern. As our superintendent Rob Stein said — it’s like the analogy of putting on an oxygen mask before you do so for the child. If our education team goes down; our schools go down. We can’t afford to lose any teachers, custodians, staff etc. at this time. Don’t be surprised if we do. We haven’t had a sufficient substitute teaching pool in years and it’s only worse now. Thank you teachers and staff for your compassionate teaching, concern, cleaning and additional workload.

My husband and I recently asked each of our son’s teachers how we can support them. No one asked for anything. However, they were all concerned about their students and very appreciative to be asked. So consider a way to express gratitude. Not just because it’s almost Thanksgiving, but because they are there for our children and educating future generations. Parents and students reaching out via a card, text, email or perhaps a personal gift or gift certificate from a local business goes a long way. Anything from the heart is what matters.

Thank you Roaring Fork education team for all you do. We are in this for the long haul and we are in this together.

Carrie Podl

Political Science 101

Two of the few positions our new representative to the U.S. Congress Lauren Boebert made clear in her campaign is she loves freedom and hates socialism. Problem is, Boebert doesn’t know anything about either one of those principles. Listen up, Lauren, you’re about to get your first political science lesson.

You think you’re free? The major corporations control every facet of your life. They decide what you want, need, and how much you’re going to pay for it. Thanks to Citizens United, Big Money holds sway over our electoral process.

Outside influences are going to have an effect on your life. Who’s it going to be, those who attained their position through greed, deception and outright theft or the freely elected representatives of the people?

Freedom isn’t license. Taking to the streets to peacefully protest injustice is freedom. Taking to the streets without masks or social distancing is license. Taking to the streets with an open-carry firearm is license.

Socialism and communism are both ideologies espoused by Karl Marx, but they’re not the same. Communism is a political theory whereby the proletariat organizes themselves into self-governing soviets, communes, or collectives.

At first, a strong central state is necessary to protect the soviets from imperialism. As worldwide communism is achieved, the need for that government disappears and it’ll wither away.

That’s where the fraud of communism comes in and why it’s no longer present in Russia and Eastern Europe. A strong central state never gets anything but stronger until the proletariat rises up and knocks it off its perch.

Socialism, on the other hand, is an economic system prevalent throughout the world including right here in the U.S. of A. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, farm subsidies, fossil fuel subsidies, and the Cares Act are all very socialistic.

The social democracies of western and northern Europe have smooth sailing economies and benefits for the people our capitalistic system, which really isn’t an organized methodology at all, doesn’t provide.

Fred Malo Jr.

The president should be removed

COVID-19 is now killing about a 1,000 people a day. El Paso is bringing in refrigerator trucks for the dead. Many hospitals are maxed-out with virus cases. It is getting worse. The hospital staffs are at the breaking point. Imagine yourself working 12-hour shifts while wrapped in protective clothing. Several of your patients may die. You are afraid to go home to your family because you may have the virus. There is no end in sight. If you get sick and can’t work you won’t have enough money to get by on.

The most basic question in my mind is how will this virus be defeated? And in the meantime, how can we improve on the situation? This is totally a national crisis of a scale that has not been seen in over 100 years. One hospital, one county, or one state cannot win this fight. Only the nation can deal with a problem this severe. This nation fought the Revolutionary War to form itself, fought the War of 1812 to continue, and fought the Civil War to solidify the nation.

National problems require national responses. Only the central government has the resources and the authority to deal with so large and so deadly a challenge. Even in giant state or regional problems, it is normal for emergencies to be declared to enlist the power of the federal government. Only the federal government has the ability to manage this fight. The head of our government is President Donald Trump. Recently, he said that the virus would go away by Nov. 4. He said we were “turning the corner” for the better. Those things are not happening.

I believe the president must be removed from office right now. He is completely failing in his primary responsibility to protect the American people. Pence could take over. If Pence does not feel up to it, go down the line of succession. If that does not work, Biden should start early. With 66 days to go, this could mean another 66,000 to die.

Patrick Hunter

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