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Barnhart gets it

I am disappointed that CITY did not see the upside with an endorsement of Rachel Barnhart in the 138th Assembly Democratic primary.

There is very little difference between Ms. Barnhart and Mr. Bronson on social issues. But there is a big difference on how they will do their job in Albany. Rachel understands that the chief export from Western New York over the last 20 years is our young people. She understands that taxes and regulations are too high here; that is why businesses are moving away every day. And it is why your children and grandchildren must often look out of state for job opportunities.

Sadly, Mr. Bronson does not seem to understand this. Rachel will fight as a Democrat to help reverse this.


Third-party wishes

There's a difference between owing Bernie Sanders "unbiased support" (Feedback, August 17), and working to undermine him, even to knife him in the back. We agree, however, that we "do indeed live in a two-party system." Unfortunately, it has become woefully inadequate and must change.

Many have hoped that social media could set up a third-party candidate and get him or her elected. But social media is made up of human beings, apparently unable to agree on another candidate.

Too bad. If only.


Bronson has earned support

An active primary battle is underway in the 138th Assembly District between incumbent Harry Bronson and challenger Rachel Barnhart. My late wife, Elaine, and I became Democratic committee members in this district in 2008.

When this Assembly seat was vacated in 2010, we backed another candidate, a good friend, Malik Evans, in a tough three-way primary. Harry Bronson won. Mr. Bronson also won our support in his three terms as our Assembly member.

Bronson is a successful small-business owner in the South Wedge neighborhood. He represented this area well as a county legislator. As an Assembly member, he has been a strong and successful advocate for schools, labor issues, and human rights.

Moreover, he is a regular presence in his district, reporting steadily to his constituents. He has also been active at OASIS on Monroe Avenue, a great adult education program for people over age 50. There, he has regularly taught courses in the legislative process, medical marijuana issues, and other subjects.

His opponent has blamed him for bills not gaining approval in the last legislative session. This is a dubious and illogical charge, considering Bronson is only one vote out of 150 in the Assembly.

Harry Bronson has earned my support and my vote with his effective advocacy and action. He walks the talk.


Bills fan wants answers

As a native Rochesterian and a Buffalo Bills fan, I have grown sick of the Bills for a myriad of reasons. Most of the past grievances have been superficial: poor coaching hires, failed draft picks, uniform modifications, and so forth.

However, the latest affront came about when the Buffalo Bills sold stadium naming rights to the New Era Cap Company in yet another foray into unrestrained and unethical globalism at the expense of the American people and our culture.

The general reasoning goes, money can be made and other teams have done it; it's capitalism. Why not? The stadium name doesn't belong to the people of Western New York. The stadium name can be used to raise revenue. The stadium name doesn't "materially affect" anything. These reasons crumble when you begin to consider the plight of human beings.

What do we know?

We know that thousands of jobs have been syphoned out of the Rust Belt as a result of the exploitation of cheaper labor abroad.

Globalists such as New Era Cap Company do not appear to care about the high quality of life that has been achieved in the USA. They only care about the profit that can be made per unit.

New Era Cap Company produces caps abroad at a maximum cost of less than $3 per unit. These same products are sold back to Americans at $25-$35 per unit.

The mean annual wage of the average Chinese manufacturing laborer equates to approximately $8,300 a year.

If a person were paid $7.25 for a full year, he or she would earn approximately $15,080.

Utilization of severely low wages abroad depresses wages and quality of life in the USA.

I have no issue with companies running their businesses, but ethics must be upheld. It is unconscionable that an American-born company uses labor anywhere in the world and pays less than the US federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. Even at the federal minimum, Americans cannot comfortably live their lives.

Before I support New Era Cap Company renaming the Buffalo Bills' stadium and having access to the US market, I demand full disclosure into its labor practices overseas. If New Era is proud of the company and has high standards, it should have no issue disclosing the wages and benefits provided to its overseas workers. New Era does not deserve the right to sell its products in the USA or to rename the stadium until it can prove that it takes the plight of New Yorkers and human beings seriously.

As New Yorkers, Americans, and citizens of the World, we should hold the plight of human beings over massive companies. If New Era Cap Company can demonstrate that employees are paid a fair wage, I will gladly support the renaming efforts.

Corporations do not deserve to participate in our culture if they do not share the same basic ethical standards of the American people.


El Camino project should be a model

This is an outstanding project of which Rochester can be rightfully proud ("El Camino neighborhood crafts a new vision," August 24). Most especially, this is about seizing on and building on any and all assets in the community, and finding creative ways to bring people together.

Also, this project is a case study of good leadership — and good followership. Sadly, one of the major hurdles to the long-term success of initiatives in Rochester is sustainability: both the staying power to keep things going over the long haul, and not crashing on the rocks of ego clashes, turf battles, and leadership failures. This effort has threaded that needle, and it's worth learning how.