October 25, 2021

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Letters to the Editor – National Hispanic Heritage Month, electric cars, Social Security, Ted Lasso

A better, cleaner future for Hispanic families

As a young girl, I remember traveling to remote villages in Belize and Mexico, where my family lived. I will never forget the excitement I felt to be visiting family. I also remember the water often was not safe to drink and electricity was only available for a limited time during the day. These experiences led me to pursue a degree in environmental engineering, which allowed me to help uplift communities of color.

My work as a health and safety associate at EDP Renewables North America has been fulfilling and provides an opportunity to support my Texas and Hispanic communities. Our renewable energy projects work to provide clean energy to Texans at low costs. I am fueled by my passions: conserving our natural resources and fiercely advocating for the Hispanic community. I have been fortunate to achieve both by working in renewable energy.

Through my career, I am proud to help promote diversity and inclusion in Texas’ communities. National Hispanic Heritage Month is about more than the countless pioneers who came before us — it is about the values we continue to hold strong. It has allowed me to create a better future for underrepresented Texas communities.

Maura Kennedy, Dallas

Charging stations shouldn’t be our cost

While I agree with the eventual move to electric cars, I do question why $8 to 10 billion of the tax-payer funded infrastructure proposal is allocated to the creation of charging stations. I would imagine power companies will make money from their use and certainly auto companies reap profits from electric car/truck sales.

So why should we pay for charging station installation? Power companies and auto manufacturers should pay up-front for the nationwide network that will be needed. Those costs should be built into the pricing-model charged at point of sale, just like the gas station owners currently do.

Thomas Kelly, Lantana

A fair SSI fix for all

The beauty of Social Security when it was created was that provided retirement income for millions of people who had no chance to provide their own retirement safety net. The fly in the ointment was that we convinced ourselves that our expanding prosperity (and increasing population) would make it solvent forever.

An alternative approach, considered and discarded at the time, was to link the Social Security “tax” to the individuals paying it, sort of like a saving account. Along with that was a proposal to “grandfather” in support for those nearing retirement age at the time, even though they had not contributed to it. Expensive, but really, just a one-time cost.

Perhaps that’s what we should reconsider now, when we can see that those still paying into the system are greatly outnumbered by those receiving benefits. That way, any fear of a shortfall would eventually be resolved, forever.

It would also help if we all had to pay into the system, and as a result, all received a stipend when we retired.

Ray Johnston, Heath

Inconsistent beliefs abound

The Roman Catholic Church has named October as “Respect Life Month.” Here is a news flash for those Texas legislators who supported SB 8. Capital punishment is not pro-life. Perhaps these legislators should pass a companion bill allowing lawsuits against those who enable and abet capital punishment in Texas, also awarding a $10,000 payout to successful lawsuits. Then, at least, they will be consistent in their beliefs.

James R. Bridges, Fate

Mavs’ mandate safe for everyone

The Dallas Mavericks are to be applauded for their new requirement that all fans must show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test if they want to attend home games. This is a vital step if Dallas is to become a safer place for all citizens. Examination of vaccination maps and COVID infectivity across the United States shows that mitigation efforts, which of course start with vaccinations, work.

I was sorry to hear that one member (at least) of the Mavs is not yet vaccinated, citing a lack of information. The data is headline-blaring available from our best scientific sources. Of course, he has the right to remain unvaccinated. He doesn’t have the right, however, to play for the Mavericks, possibly spewing virus into the air. Let’s make it as safe as possible for everyone.

Jerold Lancourt, Dallas

Creating and sustaining culture

Re: “‘Lasso’ lessons in employee appreciation,” by Michelle Singletary, Sept. 26 Business column.

Singletary’s column about a former boss’ harsh management style made me cringe. It took me back to when I was a leadership development trainer in corporate America, preaching the importance of what leaders need to do to show they appreciate and value their employees. Studies show a direct correlation between employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction, which ultimately affects company profits.

Singletary wrote that one of the top reasons for resignations is employees leave managers, not jobs or companies. It’s because they don’t feel appreciated or valued. Information I didn’t have to share in my classes was “U.S. businesses lose over $1 trillion to voluntary turnover, according to a 2019 Gallup report, and most of this damage is self-inflicted.”

It’s important for managers to have ongoing conversations with employees about job satisfaction. Listening and finding out what they would like him/her to stop, start and continue doing, and then acting on it, demonstrates their commitment to valuing their employees and their level of satisfaction. Creating and sustaining this culture starts at the top. She suggests “be like Ted Lasso!”

Sue Mintz, Dallas

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