News-Times reader letters this week focus on the Build Back Better legislation and the value of local faith groups.

Next step for Congress is passing Build Back Better

I'm pleased that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework passed in Congress, which provides much-needed funding for infrastructure. The bill also includes some funding for climate issues, but the Build Back Better Act (BBBA) is the policy that will address the threats posed by climate change in a substantial way.

The BBBA will provide investments in our communities, jobs in the clean energy sector, and will move us on a path toward mitigating the worst impacts of climate change.

In addition to cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030, the bill also provides for investments in natural climate solutions such as coastal and wetland restoration and sound forest management practices. It also includes such things as consumer rebates to help families save money on cleaner electricity and to weatherize their homes and make them more energy-efficient. The bill includes help for agricultural workers, farmers, and ranchers and provides for investments in childcare, healthcare and caregiving.

Going forward, we must have resiliency built into all aspects of our lives, and the BBBA does that. It supports the transformational changes we need to guide us toward a more sustainable future; it's a win-win for people and the planet.

I'm grateful for the courage and determination of Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and for their leadership on climate action.

Maureen Dannen, Forest Grove

Build Back Better legislation would be transformative

As we celebrate the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal, let's keep up the momentum and urge Congress to pass Biden's broader economic plan, the Build Back Better Act. This act will deliver historic investment in childcare, healthcare, climate and job creation in clean energy. The Build Back Better Act is transformational legislation that will revitalize our communities and protect the future of young people and generations to come.

Living in the Pacific Northwest, we've witnessed the suffering that climate change brings, including last summer's catastrophic heat waves and the horrific fires of fall 2020. The Build Back Better Act will cut the United States' carbon emissions in half by 2030, helping us to avert the worst consequences of climate change.

The Build Back Better Act offers a brighter future for people and the planet. The act will provide substantial consumer rebates so that families can save money while powering their lives with clean energy. It will generate thousands of good-paying, union jobs in clean energy for American workers. It is essential for Congress to pass this legislation so that people can see positive change in their lives as we create a cleaner and healthier world for our children and grandchildren.

I am thankful to Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley for their leadership on climate action. I am also grateful to Rep. Suzanne Bonamici for voting yes on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal and her commitment to support the Build Back Better Act.

Rachel Seltz, Hillsboro

Churches do good in community, as well as for the spirit

I have gained a renewed appreciation for the privilege of attending church the past few months after so many months of not being able to attend church meetings.

It has been noted that church attendance, including synagogues, mosques and other religions, was down (pre-pandemic) significantly nationwide.

Organized religion plays a very important part of our society. Churches have provided help for homeless, food for hungry, support groups for Alcoholics Anonymous, clean water in Third World countries, humanitarian aid to our U.S. citizens as well as many other countries. Recently, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gave two semi-truck loads of food to food pantries in the Tualatin and Lake Oswego areas. The Sherwood YMCA received a sizable amount of this food.

But for me, the most important reason for attending church is increasing my faith in God and Jesus Christ. Answers to the big questions about life, what happens after life, how to deal with inadequacies, the purpose of pain. I appreciate the opportunity to worship and learn with others. We find hope in church worship.

Some have felt disappointment in others at church. I learned a long time ago to attend church with the attitude of attending to uplift and serve others.

It is at church we can become our best selves, full of love and joy, serving others as well as finding our purpose in life, whether it be in a synagogue, mosque or other organization. I often notice a small item in our local news of churches doing good, I applaud all of those efforts. Thank you!

Peggy Stevens, Sherwood

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