Letters to the Editor, March 10

Mar. 09, 2014 @ 03:53 PM

Transit development

On Tuesday, city and county leaders will set the direction for Durham's future. New transit development will transform Durham. The question is: "Will Durham residents of all incomes be able to live near new bus hubs and rail stations?"

The city and county will consider a resolution to begin work on policies to prevent displacement of lower income residents by transit development. The resolution also encourages new development for mixed incomes, including 15 percent of new homes affordable to teachers, police officers and others with moderate incomes.

Please encourage our City Council and County Commission to support this resolution. Join our coalition for transit development that improves job and housing opportunities for all.

Lorisa Seibel

Durham

More modern approach on marijuana

It was disappointing to hear a member of the Durham Human Relations Commission perpetuate ancient myths in “Panel begins drafting Durham police recommendations” published March 4.

Commission member Jake Kliatchko voted against recommending making marijuana possession our Lowest Law Enforcement Priority because it would “open the door to bigger problems.” I believe Mr. Kliatchko may underestimate the problems the prosecution of these charges currently create for our young people.

Simple possession charges, which this change would reduce, disproportionately affect our youth, and almost always result in suspension in addition to legal problems. Removing students from school and pipelining them into the criminal justice system is without a doubt “opening the door up to bigger problems.” I can only conclude Mr. Kliatchko would prefer to spend our tax dollars ripping young people from school than to let go of a failed policy the majority Americans oppose.

Thankfully this type of thinking is losing ground across the country and more elected officials are catching up to public opinion. Our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., recently decriminalized simple possession down to a $25 fine, and numerous states have done the same. Passing this recommendation wouldn’t be opening the door to bigger problems, it would be opening the door to more sensible and effective public policy.

I urge our City Council to take a more modern approach and pass the Lowest Law Enforcement priority when it comes before them.
Rachel Lima

Durham

More Martin, less Pitts

I would enjoy more of  D.G. Martin's columns and much less of trash-brained liberal Leonard Pitts. After reading Pitts’s columns I have a need to vomit.

Lee Stem

Durham