Letters to the Editor

8/23 Letters: This diverse group of grad students gave me hope for the future

An uplifting sight

Earlier this month, as part of Durham’s Habitat for Humanity, I served as a volunteer “supervisor” for a group of Duke’s Fuqua School of Business MBA students.

The entire first-year MBA class spent some time with Habitat for Humanity as a way to connect with and make a contribution to Durham.

This group of young adults were from all over the United States, many countries, and many different ethnic, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds. To see them working together enthusiastically, cooperatively, and with good humor toward a common goal, was, frankly, uplifting.

Our fellow citizens who feel concerned about immigration, racial integration, and “replacement theory” appear to be sorely misguided and confused.

If these young MBA students are representative of the next generation, we are going to be just fine.

David Miller, Durham

Pass the wage bill

On July 18, I sat in the gallery of the U.S. House along with other members of NC Raise Up, Fight for $15 as Congress passed the Raise the Wage Act.

Some of us cried when the bill passed. We were finally being heard by lawmakers.

Now, I worry that this critically needed bill to raise the federal minimum wage might die in the Senate because leaders like Thom Tillis and Richard Burr aren’t taking action.

As a McDonald’s crew member making $8.05 an hour, I don’t make enough to keep up with the rising cost of living in Durham. I want to be independent and move out on my own, but I don’t earn enough. When I look for other job opportunities, I primarily see minimum wage jobs.

I’m not the only person who will benefit from this bill. Most Durham residents will agree when I say that it’s hard to afford an apartment in our city when you earn poverty wages.

It’s time for Burr and Tillis to listen to us and follow the House in raising the minimum wage to $15. They worked to give corporate CEOs a raise through tax breaks, why won’t they give American workers a raise?

Jamese Cook-Minor, Durham

Meadows’ taxes

Regarding “Rep. Mark Meadows to pay delinquent property tax bills,” (Aug. 15):

U.S Rep. Mark Meadows, R-NC, is just like everybody else in Washington, D.C.. — left or right, they all get a pass.

The folks in D.C. tell us to work hard and pay your taxes. If I didn’t pay my property tax in Moore County for six years, much less just one, it would be the crime of the century.

Can anybody say “the swamp”?

Bill Hicks, Southern Pines

Thanks, Mr. Trump

Education is the foundation of children’s futures and the most important tool to achieve the American dream.

President Trump is taking power away from the government and is empowering parents to choose the right school for their children through education reform and school choice.

Reformed 529 savings plans allow access to funds for K-12 education. Usually only available for higher education, the president has made it a priority to set a path allowing parents to increase investment into their children’s education much earlier.

Thank you, Mr. President, for putting families first!

Donna Williams, Raleigh

Former chair Wake County Republican Party (2013-15)

State Health Plan

Thanks to the tenacious efforts of our state’s hospitals, health systems and other partners, teachers and their families will be able to keep their in-network access to local health care providers and hospitals for the upcoming year.

For months, more than 700,000 teachers, state employees and retirees were caught in the middle of an ongoing debate over how to best stabilize the State Health Plan.

The North Carolina Healthcare Association and our member hospitals and health systems repeatedly offered to work with the state treasurer to come up with a common-sense solution. The offer still stands.

If this close-call catastrophe has taught us anything, it should be that government can’t fix complex health care problems on its own. Our state’s health care providers need to be involved upfrontand be able to offer solutions based on their unique perspectives.

A “my way or the highway” approach, which puts politics ahead of people, does not lead to better outcomes or a better plan, and it certainly does not lead to a healthier North Carolina.

The NCHA and our member health systems and hospitals is forging ahead with stakeholder discussions about how to create a better future for the State Health Plan — one that will keep the most pressing health care needs and interests of patients and communities first, at the head of the class, where they should be.

Stephen J. Lawler, Raleigh

North Carolina Healthcare Association president