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July 26, 2021

Letters to the Editor, April 23

Immigrants are essential

Immigrants have played a critical role throughout the pandemic in our community. Across the country, nearly 23 million immigrants have been putting their lives on the line in essential roles that keep our children and families healthy, and keep our child care, health care system, long term care, food supply chain and our economy running.

With mothers stepping out of the labor force at a higher rate than fathers, it’s clear that to support their return to the workforce we must invest in child care, elder care and the whole care infrastructure. Providing immigrant essential workers, Dreamers and TPS holders a pathway to citizenship in the upcoming economic recovery package is an important step toward rebuilding our nation’s economy and, especially, our care infrastructure. This improved care infrastructure will create good jobs, boost economic recovery and provide security for millions of American families and caregivers.

Immigrants are essential to our community, our families and our economy. Now is the time for us to unite across our differences and pass policies that help everyday people and our communities.

Mary Reynolds, Santa Cruz

Cabrillo did the right thing in issuing statement

This letter is in response to Judy Doering Nielsen, who writes about her disappointment with Cabrillo’s public statement against Dr. Engstrand’s talk. I recommend Ms. Nielsen listen to the second talk, “The Impacts of Colonization on Native Americans,” with Kanyon Sayers-Roods, Dr. Cutcha Risling Baldy and Dr. Martin Rizzo-Martínez, so she can see that Dr. Engstrand did not give a “historical presentation,” as Ms. Nielsen states. I ask, what “qualified history professor” refers to slavery as “employment” or says colonizers were “nice” to Native peoples? 

That is not history but rather twisted ideologies that look at history through a white supremacist perspective. In my opinion, Cabrillo College did the right thing because Dr. Engstrand’s presentation was not factual but fictional. If Ms. Nielsen listens to the second talk, she will learn that Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo was not a “man of his times.” As Dr. Risling Baldy states, there were plenty of other people “of the time” who did not agree with what the colonizers were doing. Most of these people were Natives, who always knew these actions were wrong. Lastly, Ms. Nielsen says a name change may cause the college to lose donors. However, I think the opposite is true. As for my family, friends and me, we will be inspired to give back to the college.

Yan Bañales-García, Cabrillo College student

Will Santa Cruz County get what we pay for? 

Santa Cruz County residents pay taxes into the State Rail Plan (SRP) but so far, none of that money has been spent locally. The approved SRP is building efficient passenger rail transit within and between many communities. It identifies $1.5 billion for three Central Coast projects.  One of those is the connection of Santa Cruz rail with Monterey rail into the statewide network. If we fail to implement light rail service on our corridor, the taxes we all pay to fund the SRP will go to pay for rail transit elsewhere.

The Regional Transportation Commission will vote May 6 whether or not to try to bring some of our tax dollars back into our county and continue progress toward this vital project, which will greatly benefit our future. Show your support. Email them at [email protected] More details at

Dianne Dryer, Santa Cruz


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