The Times publishes reader letters on redistricting, environmental regulations and street racing.

Republicans don't play fair, either

I agree with the "Our Opinion" editorial, "It's past time for independent redistricting," that, ideally, a nonpartisan "jury" of sorts is needed for the re-drawing of districts.

However, the editors create a false equivalency between the two political parties, regarding their accountability during this redistricting issue.

By pointing out that the secretary of state "explicitly ran … on a platform of championing her party's progressive wing, and appealing to labor interests", the editors indirectly imply that Secretary Shemia Fagan's "platform" might get in the way of her impartiality, should the redistricting responsibility come to her desk. (At this writing, Gov. Kate Brown has signed off on a plan; two Democrats did vote against it.)

Read our editorial on redistricting reform, first published online Sept. 22, 2021.

These editors have forgotten that, after the 2020 election, Oregon's Republican lawmakers, including the Republican candidate for secretary of state, had signed a letter to Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, wanting her to join a Donald Trump-initiated lawsuit with other states' Republican attorneys general to basically overturn those results. They did this after throwing several legislative temper tantrums during recent sessions, taking their political marbles and going home, because they lacked the votes to get their way on certain issues, thus holding up the citizens' business.

Also, Speaker Tina Kotek withdrew the redistricting arrangement because the Republicans were essentially demanding much more than that to which they were entitled.

Frankly, considering that the Democratic lawmakers, and Secretary Fagan, generally seem to have more of the public's interests in mind, I am inclined to trust this newly passed plan, because the Republicans showed their unwillingness to respect how people voted.

If Republicans want "fairness", then they should "play fair" themselves. When they do not, how things play out is more than just a Democratic-leaning result; it is a foregone conclusion.

Brian McGahren, Tigard

Advocate for stronger environmental regulations

It's been a summer of extreme climate impacts, from wildfires and smoke, to drought and extreme heat. It's easy to feel powerless about this, but there's something we can do to act on climate change right now.

The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has released regulatory language for its Climate Protection Program (CPP). These rules will decide whether Oregon follows through on its climate commitments, or simply creates something that looks good on paper.

Oregon deserves a climate program that will hold all of the largest polluters accountable and promote equity as the state transitions to a clean energy future.

One of the most impactful improvements DEQ can make to their current proposal is to increase the program's ambition, consistent with a 50% pollution reduction by 2030.

Our window of time to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change is rapidly closing. Without strong, measurable targets and a declining cap on climate pollution, Oregon's program will not live up to its name. DEQ must strengthen Oregon's program to truly protect our climate and the Oregon way of life.

Margaret Smith, Forest Grove

Police must stop street racing

Letting cars race in the streets is like letting 2-year-olds run into the traffic. Let's find a responsible way to stop them before they get hurt, and/ or hurt others.

Surely the police have video cameras with motion detectors that can clock their speed by how fast they pass a building, and can be put on pause to get their license plate number. Then take their car away, until they pay the stiff fine for reckless driving.

The police can stop speeders, without chasing them down, or putting them in jail. They could even hire someone else to impound the offending vehicle after it's parked. But please do something when problems occur.

Sharon Joy, Northwest Portland

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