Letters: Green space | Continue activism | COVID test funding | Use Constitution

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Go guerilla forOakland green space

Downtown Oakland is straining for public venues and community open space. Recent commercial development has intensified tremendously and it feels like the local government’s role in shaping Oakland as a public city is teetering on a precipice.

Residential and commercial high-rises tower over lifeless streetscapes and the parks possess a feeling of neglect and haste; they Band-Aid over the scars of Oakland’s exclusionary legacy rather than challenging them from the ground up. New parks can’t resemble Oakland’s recent green gentrification which largely (implicitly) excluded the majority Black residents from public green space. The construction and stewardship of open space have to be consensual, controlled, participatory and functional for the immediate community.

I’m advocating for a tactical intervention at the parking lot at 610 16th St, hypothetically working with community representatives, local environmental, food justice and youth development organizations to collectively convert the space into an insurgent green haven.

Beck TrebeschBerkeley

Activism to stopproject must continue

I cannot help but say that speaking before the Contra Costa County supervisors prior to their Seven Hills Ranch decision was a bit like the bedrock construction process that will take place on that site by Spieker Development. It took a lot of noisy pounding and became obvious that more heavy equipment would be required to do the job. We could not break through.

The supervisors were evidently completely hoodwinked that the process for Spieker’s 450-unit “Diablo Glen” proposal would be no more impactful than if the site were to be developed in accordance with the existing General Plan designation for 166 homes.

Really? One portion of the site will be excavated and leveled by Spieker to create a pad for a building whose footprint is larger than that of an aircraft carrier. No single-family development plan’s required earthwork could come close to that.

Ozgur KozaciWalnut Creek

State must reinstateCOVID test funding

COVID-19 funding has run out. We risk not being ready for another surge in the virus.

Lower-income communities are going to feel this the most. Georges C. Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, believes that this can raise the chance of more threatening variants becoming widespread.

Low-income communities will no longer have access to COVID testing. The individuals will have to pay and will not be able to.

If more funding is provided, lower-income communities will have access to COVID tests and there will be less risk of another major economic shutdown. There will be greater survivability among low-income communities if there is a surge. Lives will be saved all around.

We would like to ask the California Legislature to pass legislation to approve additional funding of $1 billion for COVID-19 testing.

Isaac SerranoLivermore

Don’t terminateConstitution; use it

Regarding Donald Trump’s desire to throw out the Constitution, the former president doesn’t seem to understand that the brilliance of our founders and the U.S. Constitution is that it contains a process for changing it and that changes have been made many times.

The process is called “amending,” and in the case of the consumption of alcohol, it was indeed amended and after years of this experiment it was determined that it wasn’t such a good idea so it was amended again to repeal it. Imagine trying to create another basis for government better than that.

If the former “leader of the free world” thinks there is a problem with our election process then the Constitution provides a mechanism for changing it. No need to throw it out. Just use it the way it was intended.

Shelly RosenblumWalnut Creek

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