Easy move can make state more welcoming
It’s hard to believe that in 2015, Hoosiers are still unequally protected in certain areas of our state. I am a gay man, and I can be fired, denied housing or turned away from a business as a result of my sexual orientation. People who are transgender can also face the same type of discrimination.
I live each day knowing that I am not protected from discrimination under Indiana law. No one should have to live in fear of losing their job, their home or their dignity in a public place simply for who they are or whom they love. Luckily, I have been privileged enough to work for organizations that did not discriminate against me for who I am. I have, however, experienced discrimination at a business establishment due to my sexual orientation.
I have traveled to parts of the country where I am protected, and I enjoy the atmosphere there much more. As a recent college graduate from IPFW, I had to think to myself, "Is this the environment that promotes what Indiana has to offer? Do we want educated individuals leaving our state? How will Fort Wayne or Indiana continue to grow and prosper if we are a place that accepts discrimination?"
I am hopeful and optimistic that with the new legislative session, Indiana will choose to be welcoming by updating our existing civil rights laws to include gay and transgender people. Our state suffered tremendous damage following passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act earlier this year. We looked unkind and unwelcoming. That is not the Indiana I know and love.
I know our state has so much to offer, and we have some really great people who live here. But if our state continues to permit this kind of discrimination, I have to wonder whether I will remain here and what will happen to other educated professionals who can choose to live elsewhere. By simply adding "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to the law, we will send the message that gay and transgender people are welcome and safe here and that Indiana is the kind of place where everyone should want to live.
Invest in scholarship with an IPFW plate
I am on the Blue and White Committee at IPFW. We are trying to "Save the Plate" – the IPFW license plate for the state of Indiana.
If we don’t sell 500 plates by the end of December, the plate will be eliminated permanently. Please note that this plate also serves as about $10,000 in scholarship money for students at IPFW. The plate cost is $40; $25 goes toward scholarships.
I have spoken with a couple of students who were told by the license bureau that the plates were no longer available. I just want to set the record straight. We have until the end of the year to meet our quota. We currently are at 468. If we lose the plate, we also lose the scholarship money.
These plates are not only for the students and staff but also for the community. We have a large following at the sporting events at IPFW, so if you’re a Mastodon fan, please help support IPFW and the community and purchase a plate. Even if you have already renewed for the year, you can still transfer it over. Contact the alumni office at 481-6807 for further information for this transaction. Thank you, and go Dons!
GE campus could offer haven for homeless
I have been following news on uses for the GE campus. One suggestion I read is for "loft apartments" in one of the buildings. I must admit I am not familiar with how many buildings or acres are involved, but I offer the following suggestions for possible uses.
In The Journal Gazette on Nov. 17, Donovan Coley, CEO of the Rescue Mission, states that the mission will likely need between 70,000 and 100,000 square feet to meet its needs. Unless something is done, I am sure those needs will continue to grow. Rather than constructing loft apartments, why not use available space to house and feed the homeless?
Regarding the much-needed emergency shelter for women in crisis, I assume there would be another building available on campus to fulfill that need. Another building could be used for a new community resource center.
Some of the land could be used for growing vegetables, giving the homeless an opportunity to put their hands in the dirt and help provide food for the mission. Some could also learn to preserve foods through canning and freezing for use during the winter.
If one or two professional landscapers volunteer their time and talents, the homeless could learn about plants, design and layout of landscaping, practicing on the campus grounds, which could lead to employment in that field.
Using the entire GE campus for these (and any other related) services could consolidate many of the efforts put forth by local churches and/or service groups, thus resulting in a more efficient way to help those in need in our city.
This will cost money, probably lots more than I can imagine, but count me in if there is a capital campaign. I can do no less for my brothers and sisters who need help.
Too much GOP news for this ‘liberal’ paper
From time to time, The Journal Gazette publishes letters from irate readers who criticize the JG for being "liberal" or "biased." I think they’re way off the mark. Unlike them, I see the JG as super conservative.
Why? Because the JG publishes news, photos, scandals, editorials, political cartoons, guest commentary, and anything and everything else about Republicans. A truly "liberal" newspaper would not have word one about Republicans. In short, Republicans would merit a total news blackout.
If that isn’t enough proof the paper is conservative, consider that at no time has the JG suggested, advocated or demanded that Republican politicians undergo a battery of mental, physical, ethical and moral tests for psychological profiling, brain scan, mendacity rating, kicking the cat, beating the dog and every other measure of political unworthiness. There’s no point in doing the same to the Republican electorate – too many, too ornery.
Your Postal Service is the ultimate bargain
In reference to the letter by Deb Carper ("Post office falls short on satisfaction pledge," Nov. 12): I think she got a little uptight and in too much of a hurry to underestimate the Postal Service.
She states the bank told her it had received the check for her July AEP payment. If it did, the Postal Service did its job. If not, how did the bank get the check? All the extra money spent to cover the July payment wasn’t necessary after all. The check did arrive and the July payment would have been made.
I worked for the U.S. Postal Service for more than 40 years. You’d be surprised at what a great job the Postal Service does daily. Employees work all hours of the day, seven days a week. And all the service is free. No taxes are used to support the Postal Service. They do a job that just can’t be beat. Next time, take a minute to look outdoors and see that the postal employee making that delivery does it in all sorts of weather.
In her last statement Carper wrote: "I will not be taking that chance again and will not be using their service anymore."I’m thinking she will, unless she’s going to send everyone in her family an email this year for Christmas.
Think about what you can get from your Postal Service the next time you put a stamp on the envelope. You’d better take care of it. The U.S. Postal Service is yours.
STEVEN A. CUTTER
Pence shows sense so many others lack
Kudos, once more, to our wonderful governor. He has signed on with the other 30+ governors who have the outstanding good sense to say "no" to accepting a crowd that undoubtedly will include ISIS Muslim terrorists.
When President Barack Obama’s own security forces lament that they have no good way to vet these people, and 73 percent to 77 percent of them are not old ladies and children, rather 18- to 40-year-old fighting men, only the way-undereducated fool would advocate filling our wonderful country with these people.
Take care of our own Americans, if you’re so hell-bent to spend money, and leave the questionables right where they are – on the other side of the pond.