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Poverty's cause

As usual, City Newspaper avoids the real problems of urban poverty. It just keeps pointing to racism and segregation and the like.

When your high school drop-out rate is over 50 percent and you have the worst child-poverty rate in the state, you would think that the written word would address the educational crisis. Nah, let's write an ideological article that compares Trump to Nixon.

How about looking in your backyard, which doesn't have any of those bad, bad Republicans, and look at what feeds this generational poverty. It ain't Trump, and it wasn't Nixon. It's all local in the making and the elected incompetents are keeping it that way.

The University of Rochester houses some of the best in academia, and in the shadows of this house of intellect is the Rochester school district, the very worst in New York State. No ingenuity, no creativity, zip. We just keep doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results. THAT is a crisis, but no, let's talk political ideology, damn those Republicans.

Do something about the RCSD and its inability to teach the way kids learn. It can be done, but why do it? There's money in that poverty, you know.


Choosing allies

When the recent story about former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's alleged assaults on four women broke, feminists spoke out. Rochester National Organization for Women president Jaclyn Richard said the "dichotomy is disappointing." New York City NOW president Sonia Ossorio called the claims "shocking and disappointing."

Twenty-five years ago, similar allegations were brought against Senator Bob Packwood, a Republican from Oregon. Feminist leaders at the time were more equivocal in their disapproval than those are today, but the Senate Ethics Committee voted to recommend his expulsion from the Senate.

At the time, I wrote to the Rochester Times-Union to praise their editorial, which had asked: "If Packwood had opposed abortion, would women have spoken out sooner? Would they be less tolerant of the way he treated them?"

Women admitted they could not "afford to alienate him." Mary Heffernan, founder of the National Abortion Rights Action League and one of his accusers, said, "For me, abortion rights was on the line."

The Packwood and Schneiderman cases shed light on the allies we accept, or tolerate, as long as they support us on one issue. As a prolife feminist who champions women and nonviolence in a consistent life way – opposing abortion, poverty, the death penalty, war, and all violence toward women – I spend my life trying to build bridges with those who have more common ground with me than discord.

We owe it to ourselves and the people we elect to examine their entire character. We owe it to all women to not only elect more women, but to seek male allies we can trust, and not to assume that when candidates come out of the gate brandishing one label or another that we can trust them to champion women in all of their needs, and to defend their safety.