Letters from our readers: Voting is a privilege reserved for citizens 

Supervisor David Chiu’s proposal to let noncitizens vote in school board elections just shows he doesn’t understand that voting is a special privilege granted to citizens.

Once you open voting to noncitizens, you not only open up a host of legal problems that would compromise the integrity of the voting process, you also diminish the value of citizenship. What does it say to a person who just became an American citizen that you are now going to allow a noncitizen who has not made a similar effort to also cast a ballot?

I hope that San Francisco voters reject this proposal in November and send a simple message: Want to vote? Then become a citizen.

E.F. Sullivan, San Francisco

Japantown is reeling

The City has announced plans to eliminate all funding for youth services in San Francisco’s Japantown due to the next fiscal year’s $483 million deficit.

For years, Japantown has struggled to preserve the community’s future as a neighborhood. Despite efforts to revitalize the neighborhood, in recent years Japantown has witnessed the loss of the community’s bowling alley, its newspaper and many local merchants.

Over the past 12 years, the Japantown Youth Leaders program has brought hundreds of youths to Japantown to engage in community service, leadership training and personal development.

This latest blow to the youth of Japantown risks another vital element of the community that could be lost forever.

Erika Tamura, Japanese Community Youth Council, San Francisco

Newsom misses chance

Mayor Gavin Newsom did not go far enough in his speech berating Arizona on the passage of its enforcement bill on undocumented aliens, especially in view of the great economic benefit such aliens represent to our city.

Newsom should have announced that he was sending buses to pick up illegals and bring them to our sanctuary city for their safety and our benefit.

James Keefer, San Francisco

Legality of medical pot

San Francisco residents opposed to a proposed “medical marijuana” site in their neighborhood may want to contact the U.N.’s International Narcotics Control Board for its opinion on the legality of “medical marijuana” as proposed and practiced in San Francisco by the Medical Cannabis Task Force.

The Narcotics Board has criticized “medicine by referendum,” which is “without scientific basis.” It said “every country” that signed international treaties on narcotics had a right to choose a “scientific basis” to designate marijuana as a “useful medicine.” But countries also had to set up an agency to regulate and control medical marijuana.

So far, San Francisco is not its own country and has not set up any “scientific basis” for cannabis sites. And The City’s Medical Cannabis Task Force is almost entirely composed of pot growers and sellers, not impartial scientists or physicians.

Fiona McGregor, San Francisco


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