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The Prism

Letters   Affordable Housing
Latino Communities
Friend of the Prism
  To the editor,

An important staff editorial appeared in the Raleigh News & Observer November 20, 1996. It was about the widening affordable-housing gap, which is driving people apart.

Suggestions in the editorial: "Look at easing outdated restrictions on some kinds of manufactured housing. Reconsider other aspects of residential zoning-lot size, setbacks, height limits-that push up unit costs. Get serious about underwriting major conversion of vacant downtown space to moderate income homes."

By omission, it is clear that caps on rent are off limits for discussion in the N&O. The editorial listed other solutions that will help the poor far less than reasonable and honest rents. This is similar to some of the slick politicians pitching for repeal of the food tax in order to help low income people. But honest, reasonable market price limits on rents, drugs, medical care, profit rates, professional fees and service charges would help the poor more.

Politicians from the President, through the Governor and on down are foxy. They are aware that any business that has been robbing people blind, including small business, doesn't want to hear about reasonable price limits. Many politicians are taking influence money and influence favors from this kind of business. To protect the influence money, the politicians keep reasonable price limits off their agenda and preoccupy the voters with other things.

Generally, the minority of honest capitalists has no problem with reasonable limits on rents and prices. The capitalist thief does.

I would like to see nationwide ballot initiative powers at all levels of government. This way, despite the forces of the greedy rich and the crooked lawmakers, the people can mandate things like honesty and reasonability in rents, home buying, prices, fees, service charges, advertising, campaign funding, big government salaries and big government retirements.

Gabriel Apollo

To the editor,

We will continue to fight for our Latino communities.

The evidence is in and undeniable. President Clinton and the majority of Congress are creating more poverty and hunger for Latinos and other poor people. They call it a reform act, we condemn it and call it a criminal act.

The Republicans and Democrats have passed a bill that removes the safety net for the poor and unemployed. Bill Clinton and these politicians and the wealthy ruling interests they protect are severing the lifeline of the countless families who find themselves living on the edge of starvation. With rising unemployment rates, many find themselves facing poverty for the first time in their lives. Minimum wage, part-time or temporary jobs will not keep a family out of poverty. Furthermore there are no indications as to how people will survive and meet their basic needs.

The welfare "reform" law is a definite shift away from an America based to a large degree on morality. They have convinced some people that their "taxes and families" are more important than other peoples' lives. They have used the "family values" issue to imply that the poor and unemployed have no values and are therefore less than human. There is no justification for the attack on the poor in this country. It is cold, callused murder. It is the greed of corporations maintaining profit margins at the expense of the poor and the humanity of America.

The issue is not what we as individuals need to give, but rather it is how we should use the wealth of society to provide for the needs of its people. Our family and cultural experiences, like many others in the United States, have taught us to extend our hand to a brother or sister in need, and not abandon them.

We cannot stand and watch our children drown. There is no reasoning to be done. It is instinct, humanity.

A war has been declared on the poor and on us all. Let us all prepare to fight for humanity and for our Latino communities. ¡Hasta la victoria!

Wilfredo Rivera

To the editor-all,

I have been a Friend of The Prism since its early publication and over the years have enjoyed watching the publication mature and grow. Enclosed is my personal check for the next year's subscription. Compliments to all for the "super" March issue.

Pearl Berlin
High Point


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