Letters to the Editor

BY DI READERS | OCTOBER 16, 2012 6:30 AM

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Voting with optimism

This year, I’m voting with optimism for my progress as we continue to move forward.

As a senior at the University of Iowa, my top two concerns are jobs and student debt. And no one has worked harder to increase college access and preserve the American Dream than President Obama.

As president, Obama passed the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 which doubled funding for Pell Grants, kept student-loan interest rates low, and gave tax breaks to middle class families with children in college.

His critics like to forget that when he took office, we were losing 750,000 jobs a month. Obama saved our economy from near collapse, reined in Wall Street corruption, and put us on a sustainable path. Unemployment rates are the lowest they’ve been since the president took office — 7.8 percent unemployment rate in September 2012, and we’ve created 5.2 million jobs in the last 31 months. It is quite simple — with Obama, we can continue moving forward and with Romney, we are in danger of regressing as a nation.

Unlike Romney, Obama has championed a mathematically sound budget that will stimulate growth and boost innovation without penalizing the middle class. Romney, on the other hand, advocates for a budget he can’t afford unless he increases middle-class taxes or makes significant cuts to the very things that help our economy grow, like education.

It doesn’t matter how many times Romney claims his tax plan won’t hurt the middle class; the numbers don’t lie, and they don’t add up. Sorry, Romney, but not all of us can afford to borrow money from our parents to pay for college. Unlike Romney, Obama realizes that our future goes as the middle class does.

Obama has been steadfast in his efforts to preserve the American Dream and make college a reality for all Americans who work hard. Under his administration, my future looks brighter.

Samuel Odeyemi
UI student

Jail subtraction of urban fabric

It’s hard to make a jail pretty, and there is certainly no real effort to do this with the proposed Johnson County justice center. This $46.8 million jail will be a subtraction of the urban fabric of Iowa City. The city wants to direct future downtown development in this general area, but a big new 240-bed jail should not ever be considered a community-development asset unless you want to include the opening of bail-bond offices as community assets.

I’ve read that one county supervisor argues for this jail as some kind of sprawl fighter; in fact, this jail, if built, will thwart community-development efforts in this part of Iowa City as planned for in what is now being billed as the “Riverfront Crossings District.” If the bond referendum is passed and this jail is built, redeveloping the area around it will become a more difficult sell for planners and developers.

The county has given us dogs of buildings before and likely will again with this project. The new county office building is a nondescript structure that does nothing to encourage positive development and has no street presence. I hate sprawl, too, but if Johnson County can only give us public architecture that discourages urbanism, perhaps the future projects are done best outside the corporate limits of Iowa City.

Vote no on the $46.8 million justice-center bond.

Donald Baxter

More than two candidates

I am so very pleased to see The Daily Iowan point out that there are other presidential candidates besides the Big Two, both of whom are indebted to the corporatocracy.

Though I find President Obama and his entire family so likeable I could happily hug them all, I am personally voting for Jill Stein of the Green Party. My basic reason is that I am a progressive looking for a party, and I do not believe we will get more viable parties until we begin to vote our convictions rather than our fears.

If Romney should win, and I hope he doesn’t, I will console myself with the story of the two Frenchmen, one of who hands a coin to a beggar on the street. His companion responds by saying, “Don’t delay the revolution.”

Jo Conroy
Coralville resident

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