2/14 letters: Rep. Walter Jones was a leader for peace

Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C. poses for a portrait in his office on Capitol Hill, Oct. 25, 2017, in Washington.
Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C. poses for a portrait in his office on Capitol Hill, Oct. 25, 2017, in Washington. AP

Jones’ legacy

Representative Walter Jones, who died on February 10 at the age of 76, is remembered by Quakers and friends nationwide for his fierce leadership on behalf of peace. The Friends Committee on National Legislation joins North Carolina and the nation in celebrating the life of Congressman Jones, who was awarded our Edward F. Snyder Peace Award in 2011 for leadership in promoting a sensible strategy to end the war.

Having initially voted to support war in Afghanistan, Rep. Jones was greatly moved by its terrible and ongoing toll and worked tirelessly to bring it to an end. He worked to repeal the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) that continues to give the president power to start wars, a constitutional right reserved for Congress.

Sen. Thom Tillis knows the true costs of war. I support his resolve to protect soldiers who pay the ultimate price and ask him to continue Jones’ legacy of peace and shared security.

As a North Carolinian and a Quaker, I am grateful to work alongside elected officials on behalf of any and all peace building and diplomatic efforts to end wars the world over.

Christine Ashley


Poor choice

As one of the nearly 4 million North Carolinians living with a pre-existing health condition, I’m disappointed that En. Thom Tillis has voted to advance the nomination of Chad Readler, one of the most radical anti-health care nominees Trump has put forward, to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Readler filed a brief arguing in favor of striking down the Affordable Care Act entirely. I hope that Tillis will reconsider his committee vote and work to strengthen the Affordable Care Act rather than elevate those trying to eliminate it.

Montica Talmadge


Confederate rights

I would not dispute the Sons of the Confederacy and United Daughters of the Confederacy’s freedom to associate and their right peacefully to assemble (“Confederate groups have a right to gather in peace,” Feb. 9). However, I do note the irony when groups who represent the Confederacy claim their rights and freedom under the Constitution that their Confederacy sought to break free of.

Don Clement


ICE arrests

More than 230 people were arrested over five days in North Carolina by ICE. The cities where immigrants were targeted all had one thing in common: the county sheriffs had ended cooperation with ICE via the 287g program, which transfers undocumented detainees to ICE custody.

Policing which terrorizes our community is not truly in the name of safety or the public good. The failure of Congress to enact immigration reform leaves too many North Carolina families without access to visas, green cards or other documents: they are vulnerable to arrest for the “crime” of driving without a license or for using false documents to obtain a job. The result? A parent is deported, families are split up, children left alone, traumatized.

Katie Mgongolwa


Light rail’s hope

Being legally blind, I struggle every day to traverse a city built for driving. Our public transit system is an afterthought. Our disjointed bus systems and poor sidewalk infrastructure make commuting without a car difficult enough. Our paratransit system is a patch on a patch. For many people in our community with disabilities and other accessibility issues, our transit system effectively imprisons us in our homes, depriving us of the opportunities to live as full a life as our fellow citizens.

The light rail offers hope. To me, that hope is for a life where I am free to leave my home to work and live life more like my neighbors unburdened by my constraints.

I ask that all the people and organizations, and Duke in particular, remember their neighbors, employees, students, patients, and family members who do not have the privilege of getting behind the wheel. Please do your part to bring the light rail to our community.

Tim O’Brien


Lost comic

Sorry to see that the comic “Non Sequitur” will no longer be ran by The News & Observer.

Yet, the N&O still allows “Mallard Filmore” to spew it’s venomous, hate filled half truths everyday.

Why the double standard?

Richard Johnson