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People’s column

We can change on local level

Editor, OBSERVER:

The same political machine has had complete control over Chautauqua County for more than a decade. Nothing has been done on a state or local level to address the issues that lead to the tragic murders like George Floyd’s. As a nation, and as the state of New York, more needs to be done to tackle systemic racism and oppression. As the Democratic candidate for State Assembly, I would like to share my future plans for a significant change, right here, in our own community.

1. I will propose new legislation which includes an all-inclusive standard involving body cameras. This legislation will include step-by-step operational policy and a requirement for real-time filming of each scenario. This will protect everyone — both law enforcement and the general public. There is no room for inconsistent stories or “he said, she said” in matters regarding public engagement with law enforcement.

2. I will propose new legislation which will require higher standards to become a police officer. Standards will include new criteria for mental health screening. This is not at all to deter anyone from joining law enforcement. This is to preserve the professionalism required to carry out such a serious and noble career.

3. I will propose new legislation to enhance training at the academy level, and increase opportunities for continuing education for existing officers. Our current training process is too infrequent to be effective. New standards will include de-escalation training and sensitivity coaching.

I am not at all unreasonable. When someone has big plans, my first question is, “Who is going to pay for that?” I can assure you, my background in money management comes into play. I can prioritize spending, I can push for allocation of funds through legislation.

I can also sit down with our colleagues in the Western New York congressional delegation and orchestrate a legislative plan that includes federal funding.

We need to address the problem at a systemic level. We need to fix the problem at a systemic level.

I will not fall in line. I will not be an elected official who turns a blind eye to a broken system.

CHRISTINA CARDINALE,

Democratic candidate,

District 150

Goodell missed chance at rally

Editor, OBSERVER:

Thank you for the good coverage of the peace demonstrations this past weekend. You helped the public become informed that racial justice is an important value in Chautauqua County.

The news is more than economic development. It is also about what is in the heart and mind of the common citizen of our country.

The march and rally in Dunkirk was indeed peaceful and inspiring. The only omission I observed was the decline of Assemblyman Andy Goodell to speak when he was invited from the podium by the organizers. I would think that a paid public representative would feel it a duty to give the public some opinions or facts on this occasion.

He might even have helped to let people know this issue should not be about political party affiliation.

He could have enriched the program by letting the common citizens know that racial justice is a plea above politics. He wore a painted smile on his mask and stood in the crowd aloof from what the people were trying to say. Perhaps he was afraid his real boss, President Trump, might be listening.

DIANE CLARK,

Fredonia

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