Ex-cons gave up rights by becoming criminals 

The City’s Reentry Council and the Human Rights Commission want the Board of Supervisors to pass a law making it illegal to discriminate against rental applicants who are former prisoners.

They argue that felons who served their time are entitled to the same “human rights” as the rest of us. It’s not true morally or legally. Virtually all states withhold some rights from released felons. These laws are part of the punishment and protect the public. In California, released felons permanently lose the right to own firearms or serve on a jury.

So let’s consider our own safety in San Francisco. Suppose I’m the landlord of one of the mothers on the Human Rights Commission and I rent the apartment next to hers to a twice-convicted pedophile. Will she thank me for making her and her three young children safer?

Keith Bernstein, San Francisco

Hard city to live in

Some San Francisco supervisors are trying to dismantle Care Not Cash so The City would once again be a mecca for the nation’s homeless.

Meanwhile, city employers are persecuted by the highest tax rates west of the Potomac River and plagued by a ridiculous number of licensing and registration fees.

San Francisco manufacturers are crippled by California’s tough environmental standards, which don’t apply to Chinese barges leaving their carbon footprint in our Bay, filled to the rim with competing products containing lead, radon and other carcinogens that end up in our landfills, not China’s.

There is not enough space for our children to enroll in classes at local recreation centers due to “lack of money.”

And our lawmakers wonder why families and businesses are fleeing San Francisco by the scores? With this leadership, we’d have to be insane to stay.

Joanne Gómez, San Francisco

The Indiana example

Indiana is proving that a well-managed Rust Belt state can create jobs and run a fiscal surplus even in these tough economic times. Californians should take note that Indiana had a $1.2 billion surplus on June 30 and will be paying out state workers bonuses of $500 to $1,000 in August.

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels aggressively sought out new private-sector employers and brought frugality back into state government. In announcing the bonuses, Daniels pointed to spending efficiencies that enabled his state to stay in the black even as revenue plummeted.

If Indiana can do it, why not California?

Jim Hartman, Berkeley

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