Letters: Free Muni for middle class 

"Lee turns focus to housing," The City Thursday

Free Muni for middle class

Mayor Ed Lee says he wants to make sure we don't lose the middle class. Yet, I have lived in The City for 37 years and every local tax (or bond) imposed during that time was aimed at the middle class. Since the rich itemize state and local taxes as deductions, the people in Pacific Heights pay about half as much as the people in Bernal Heights for these bonds.

For a change, how about doing something that helps the middle class: Let's make Muni free for all. Since only 25 percent of Muni costs are paid by fares, those costs would be partially offset not selling tickets. By not having to show paid fares, Muni would run faster and cheaper. By getting people out of cars, The City would be more livable, less polluted, with less congestion and it would be easier to find parking.

And by eliminating the cost to take Muni the working middle class will benefit the most.

Rich Knittel

San Francisco

New housing for The City

Over and over, the same words are used to induce excitement about the proposed (in the mind, at least) new housing that will serve the middle class. The housing problem in this city is not with the middle class, but rather those who live in old hotels that are barely livable, let alone comfortable. Senior citizens of all ethnicity are in need of suitable rental properties.

We are beyond the days of caring for a yard, daily maintenance to the building and home insurance costs. Just a comfortable, cozy apartment at a reasonable rate -- maybe even an elevator -- would make many a happy senior citizen.

By the way, affordable to whom? Certainly not those living in the Tenderloin.

William J. Coburn

San Francisco

Same-sex marriage

Marriage equality in court

On Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will finally decide the issue of marriage equality regarding its legality for all 50 states.

Because people define themselves in a significant way through their intimate relationships with others suggests that in a nation as diverse as ours is, that there may be many right ways of conducting these relationships.

In a variety of situations, we have to recognize that giving people the freedom to choose how to conduct their lives, is acceptance of the fact that different individuals will make different choices. Freedom to differ is not limited to things that do not matter much. That would be but a mere shadow of freedom. The test of freedom is the right to differ about things that touch the heart of the existing order.

It is because the issues raised by the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8 touch the heart of what makes people who they are that we should be especially sensitive to the rights of those whose choices are different.

Bob Sodervick

San Francisco

Bikes on Caltrain

Commuting by bicycle

I am very happy about the news that Caltrain is planning to add a third bike car to the Bombardier trains.

I was an avid bike commuter who used Caltrain, but without being able to know if I would get a space in the bike car for my bike, I had to rely on my car more often than not. I believe a third bike car on the Bombardier trains will go a long way toward helping the many bicycle-train commuters get to work, run errands, and go about their everyday business.

Tracy Corral

San Jose

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