In response to the Jan. 10 article "Mpls. council's Cano fights 'status quo' at City Hall," I was flabbergasted that City Council Member Alondra Cano would use words such as "misogyny" and, at the same time, berate her fellow council members in an attempt to make changes to Minneapolis.
While I certainly appreciate that Cano is an advocate for diversity in a city that is, indeed, rich with diversity, she is using nothing more than buzz words, personal attacks and scare tactics to rally her troops and try to get her way.
Most appalling to me is that Cano published the names and contact information of constituents who wrote her to voice their opinion on her involvement with the Black Lives Matter protests at the Mall of America and Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport without a shred of apology or remorse.
Instead of having a healthy, civil and rational discussion, Cano has taken her activism and causes to a new level of shame and disgust. I would strongly encourage her to resign as a council member to avoid embarrassing herself — and our city — any further.
Thomas Alessandro, Minneapolis
WOMEN IN POLITICS
If you think racism stubbornly persists, how about sexism?
Through tragedy, violence, public demonstrations and civil disobedience, our awareness about how much racism remains in our society has been made clear. What has yet to become clear in our national conscience are the depth and breadth of misogyny and sexism that women of all colors face in our society.
In addition to being paid less for equal and equivalent work, being grossly underrepresented in elected office at every level, and single mothers and older women being overrepresented in those living in poverty, women pay a surcharge on products and services ("Gender pricing even reaches toy aisle," Dec. 23). As if that were not enough to illuminate deep sexism, the level of misogyny is made clear in Department of Justice statistics that tell us that in these United States a woman is raped every two minutes and that in these United States the most dangerous place for women is in their own homes, where a battering occurs every three seconds.
Now we are in a political season during which the media has yet to call out the sexism inherent in attacking presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for her husband's behavior. Even more egregious is lack of any commentary pointing out the pathology of Donald Trump saying he would date his daughter if she were not his daughter. But the most distressing for me is to realize that if current national polls are correct, our deep-seated sexism is translating into more support for a coarse, vulgar man with a dearth of substantive policy positions, who uses women of color as props, over a smart, fully prepared and tough woman. If this plays out according to the current script, it may well be time for this woman to be practicing "O Canada!
Rosemary Rocco, Maple Grove
Market share conclusions would benefit from fuller comparisons
The Jan. 14 article "Medica's MNsure share rises" contained a misleading statement by Peter Benner, MNsure board chairman. In comparing the rate increases between Medica and Blue Cross, the article, paraphrasing Benner, says "that the difference shows up in the Rochester area, in particular, where Blue Cross and Medica have dominated the MNsure market."
What this fails to acknowledge is that in MNsure areas one (Rochester) and three, which comprise a 17-county area in southern Minnesota, Medica and Blue Cross are the only carriers that write coverage in the MNsure market. MNsure would do better if it released the market share numbers in each of the nine MNsure areas to better understand market share of the five insurance companies that are available through MNsure.
Michael Pagelkopf, Rochester
Waivers are a welcome relief; but where are the caregivers?
I think it is absolutely wonderful that more people with disabilities are going to be receiving waivered services ("Disabled get relief from long waitlists," Jan. 11, and "A Matter of Dignity" five-part series, Nov. 8-12, 2014). State reforms cleared the way for hundreds of families to get assistance. Many lives will be enhanced by people learning to be independent through more opportunities and having competent caregivers helping them. But good luck finding the caregivers. The human-services field is already short-staffed due to the low wages and lack of regular cost-of-living adjustments. It is time that our legislators and Gov. Mark Dayton support a plan for stable, dedicated funding to all long-term, direct-care service providers. Disabled individuals deserve well-trained, competent caregivers and the employees supplying the services deserve to be compensated fairly.
Marlys Melton, Maple Lake, Minn.
How the 'Family Council' is described is important
I was moved by the Star Tribune story about parents of a gender-nonconforming child pressing Nova Classical Academy charter school in St. Paul to create gender-neutral bathrooms ("Gender meeting draws a divided crowd," Jan. 13). But I wonder why the Minnesota Family Council, a group that has lobbied against antibullying legislation, was identified simply as "a Christian organization." While accurate, that's so general a description as to be almost meaningless, like telling readers that the Family Council consists of humans living on the North American continent. It's also potentially misleading, implying that the Christian religion informs the group's reactionary politics, even as many other Christian individuals and churches accept and advocate for the rights and dignity of transgender persons. (The self-designation as a "Family Council" is also misleading, implying that the group's narrow perspective constitutes the only defense of "families" in Minnesota society, but that's not a question of journalism.) It would do readers a greater service to identify organizations like the Family Council as being "conservative" or "right-wing Christian" organizations.
Neil Elliott, Falcon Heights
Regarding Wisconsin policy: Expression is not just a game
Given news reports that "the Wisconsin high school athletics association blew its whistle on fans' unsportsmanlike taunts and negative chants — including 'air ball' and 'season's over,' " what we have here is, henceforth, an act in which we should have the game of basketball become a real gentleman's game, like golf, where there is silence until the shot is completed. Clearly, this absurdity is to have your cake and eat it, too, for once we reach this point, free speech, indeed, has become silenced for the sake of absolute security — the security of not having anything "unsportsmanlike." I believe Josef Stalin was one of the masterminds who tried to enforce such tactics as well.
Keith Krugerud, Brooklyn Park