OPINION

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: In support of Build Back Better agenda

Letter to the Editor

Much is being made about negotiations around the transformative Build Back Better agenda, even with the recent passage of the important infrastructure bill. The narrative invariably involves the two conservative Democratic senators stalling progress, along with the usual criticism of the House’s principled progressives. This conveniently elides the reality that every Republican senator and the vast majority of GOP representatives stand in lockstep opposition. How that is somehow less obstructionist, I cannot understand.

Regardless, how can local Republicans continue to back a party that is dead-set on blocking Universal Pre-K, paid family and medical leave, lower drug prices, more secure elections, and more?

Some may argue that despite approving of some of these very popular policies, you disagree with the way Democrats hope to achieve them, declaring that “government is not the answer.” How, then, can we expect any of these policies to ever become reality? Corporations, philanthropy, and non-governmental organizations can’t or won’t achieve it all. Like it or not, only the government has the ability to leverage the resources necessary to make an impact in these areas.

Regardless, it was interesting that in a blood-red election night of conservative victories, Yates County approved one progressive idea: proposal two, which would amend the state constitution to “... establish the right of each person to clean air and water and a healthful environment.”

I laud this environmentally-conscious result. But how do you ensure protection of this right if you insist on backing the party against the Paris Climate Agreement, the regulation of pollutants, and moving away from fossil fuels? Some Republicans murmur approvingly about some of these, but when action is needed, your party always blocks progress.

A day will come when you can no longer pretend to protect citizens and advance their interests. And a day will come, very soon, when your platitudes about loving the environment will fail to hold back the storms, floods, and fires that your party’s policies have wrought. Will it be enough, even then, to shake you from your willful paralysis and get you to help the rest of us secure our collective future?

Alex Andrasik

Penn Yan

EDITOR’S NOTE: Letter writers are responsible for making sure the information they submit is accurate and factual.