I was shocked to learn that Minnesota Republicans have joined the national assault on voting rights, including on our proud tradition of same-day registration ("GOP, Democratic elections bills are vastly different," April 8).
As an election judge for the past nine years and a head judge for the past three, I understand the value of same-day registration. From homeless voters who don't have a permanent address to enthusiastic students bringing their dorm-mates out to the polls, there is a huge number of people who benefit from the ease of registration.
As an election judge, I can also say with confidence that same-day registration isn't a source of fraud — every voter still needs to provide proof of identity and residency. Election judges take their responsibility for the integrity of the election incredibly seriously; we don't rush registrations or skip steps.
Every Minnesotan I've registered same-day has been happy and grateful this option is available to them, and it should not be revoked.
Our election system is the pride of our state and an example to the country. Election judges who previously worked in other states have commented to me on how well we run our elections. We don't need politically motivated restrictions on voting.
Stuart Wilson, Richfield
SPORTS AND POLITICS
They mix, and mix well
Of course sports and politics should mix ("Sports has a place in politics," editorial, April 8). Just like business and politics should mix.
Anyone and everyone should speak up about policy affecting our country. That's our democratic duty. Doesn't matter who you work for. And sports aren't really sports as in "games for the fun of it," anyway. Have you seen the long-term injuries these "workers" sustain? Sports is big business — look at the profits! And some of the biggest businesses are sports-related! So it's capitalism in action when workers speak up and their management decides to take a stand — usually because it's in the best interest of their business! Looks like the wheels are coming off of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's GOP bus with his recent comments on this matter. Maybe he wants an end to Citizens United! Now that would be strong work, Mitch!
If the "workers" (that's all of us) don't speak up, who is supposed to do the speaking up? Just the politicians? Lord help us if that's the case.
Cindy McDonnell, Wayzata
Floyd is not on trial here
The landmark trial occurring in Minneapolis is Derek Chauvin's trial, not George Floyd's trial. The focus needs to be on Chauvin's behavioral choices and actions. It is unacceptable for a victim of fatal force to be put on trial for their substance use disorder in order to absolve a police officer's guilt. If anything, this focus should emphasize a police officer's lack of situational awareness and concern for the citizen they are apprehending. Minneapolis Police have been trained in Narcan administration and have been carrying this lifesaving medication since 2018. A failure to administer this medication, when a civilian they are apprehending is in medical crisis, shows a blatant disregard for the sanctity of human life.
Since the year 2000, 42% of police-involved deaths have been members of Minnesota's Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) community. The BIPOC community comprises a mere fifth of the state's total population. These statistics illustrate that it is long overdue for Minnesota's white community members to begin demanding accountability and justice when the lives of Minnesota's BIPOC community members are prematurely ended through police use of fatal force. For this reason, as Minnesotans, we must remember this is Derek Chauvin's trial, not George Floyd's.
Tara Peterson, Apple Valley
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I've been watching Chauvin's trial periodically. After recent testimony, I have a few observations. The defense is trying to show that Floyd died of a drug overdose and not from having an officer kneeling on his back depriving him of oxygen. Their hypothesis is ludicrous. I ask you to lie face down, put your hands behind your back and then have one person kneel on your shoulder blades. You'll find out pretty quick how hard it is to fill your lungs.
The other piece that I haven't seen the prosecution address is that almost any drug interaction with the human body can be mitigated with proper medical care. The officers on scene had a duty to render aid to Mr. Floyd. They chose to ignore that very basic tenet of their jobs and they let Floyd die. I trust the jurors will see through the pathetic attempt by the defense and their drug overdose theory.
Eric T. Curran-Bakken, St. Louis Park
The writer is a retired firefighter.
When will my neighborhood stop looking like it got bombed?
For the life of me, as we're approaching the one-year anniversary since the riots damaged Lake Street, I don't understand why the Star Tribune has not reported much more on the status and future of East Lake Street. Much had been reported about the reopening of Seward Pharmacy, Target and Cub, but not much about when (or if) the Wells Fargo branch on 2218 E. Lake Street will ever reopen. Very little about the Subway, Walgreens, any plans for the Coliseum building, or the empty space where Minnehaha Liquors once stood. Our portion of Lake Street looks about as empty as it did after the riots, save for the demolition of the destroyed buildings.
I honestly think the paper has been negligent about keeping the Longfellow neighborhood informed as to when things around here will start to get back to normal. I should think an article every few months in either the Minnesota or Business sections would satisfy those of us who are missing some essential businesses and food choices.
Barry Margolis, Minneapolis
Intimidation runs both ways
Regarding the commentary published on April 7 by Jim Meyer, "Step back from the politics of intimidation," I agree with him that intimidation has become too much of a tool. I have been to too many political rallies and political events that have been uprooted by far-left activists and activists aligned with the Black Lives Matter movements in recent years. But with exception of the last sentence mentioning Donald Trump, Meyer did not provide enough examples of intimidation by far-right groups. These include those who protested at the governor's residence against Gov. Tim Walz a year ago, those who protested and harassed Joe Biden at a presidential rally at the Minnesota State Fair last year, and those who tried to intimidate Congress to overturn last year's presidential election by barnstorming the U.S. Capitol.
Free speech is free speech but these protests and demonstrations are nothing more than public grandstanding that could easily turn into something worse. Please use other forms of communication to get your voice across than publicly intimidating people in person that you might not like. I would recommend writing a letter, which is what I have just done.
William Cory Labovitch, South St. Paul
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