Constant dollars

Why I now support the elimination of the filibuster

I was in the camp that disagreed with the filibuster change because changing it sounds good when your party is in power, but not so much when it’s not. I didn’t want the instability of going one way and then another as a society every two to six years. Many new laws need time to determine if they are effective.

But I changed my mind. Political parties should be judged on the laws they propose and the laws they enact. If they propose bad laws, their members should not be elected. If they don’t enact the new laws they promised, their members should be removed from office.

The way it works now, however, is that parties are removed from office not for laws they proposed and attempted to enact, but for laws they were unable to enact due to filibuster and the other party’s filibuster.

If the Democrats change or eliminate the filibuster, they could also lose a majority in 2022 and 2024, but that could happen either way. And the Republicans will trample them under foot. But then the country will have a chance to reassess and decide if it really likes the policies adopted by the Republicans.

Do they really want a country with more rights for the rich, less for the poor, less for everyone who is not white, less for women?

This country is supposed to run under majority rule, not by the minority that currently runs it under the filibuster.

Jay Chafetz, Walnut Creek

Wrong PG&E Policy

PG&E’s argument that an increasing share of electrical infrastructure costs will fall unfairly on those who cannot afford or are unable to install rooftop solar panels makes no sense.

As battery storage costs come down, homeowners with rooftop racks and utilities will find it financially feasible to store excess power for use when sunlight is not available. This combination will reduce the total cost of the network, according to some studies.

A more consistent demand for electricity with fewer peaks will reduce the need for backup and excess infrastructure and reduce the cost of the network.

PG&E should focus on making affordable battery storage widely available rather than trying to pay rooftop solar panel owners less for the power they produce.

Illana Weisman, Walnut Creek

Skip Universal Health

On “health plan sets state more apart” (Front Page, January 13): You missed the big story, that AB1400 just passed the California Assembly health committee. AB1400 is CalCare, a single-payer health plan for California to provide universal health care.

In 2018, then-gubernatorial candidate Gavin Newsom drew support from California nurses by promising that as governor he would support single-payer health care legislation.

Now your article shows that Newsom supports an expansion of the use of private health insurance companies to cover more of the population. This is not what he promised, and his new plan would waste a large percentage of our health care dollars and increase inequality.

AB1400 must pass. It will cost less, save lives and provide equity in health care.

Judy Ballinger, El Cerrito

Keep the streets clean

Regarding “Activity Resumes for Waste Devotees” (Heather Knight, January 12): Loved the article! My husband and I took walks around our neighborhood, and to keep it interesting, we started using a pick-up to pick up trash. I can’t believe what we find: cigarette butts, masks, candy wrappers, plastic lids and straws, wads of paper, plastic water bottles, poo bags styrofoam peanuts, plastic dental floss, soda cans, fast food containers, broken pieces of plastic. !

When I was growing up, we were taught not to throw things away. What happened?

Katy Bejarano, San Mateo