Infrastructure bill will help Philly residents

Thank you for publishing the Nov. 15 opinion piece "Federal bill invests in Pa." that explained in plain English what Philadelphia residents want to know about the infrastructure bill: What's in it for us? State Rep. Joanna McClinton understands that the usual laundry list of billion-dollar expenditures can lead people to think that most of the money will end up in the pockets of CEOs and stock traders, not the people who desperately need it. So, she explains that the infrastructure bill will create good jobs, increase access to a modernized internet, ensure clean, safe water, improve our highways and mass transit systems, and prevent flood damage.

But to ensure that these promises are kept, we must contact our U.S. House representatives - by phone or email - to thank them and let them know we expect these changes to happen. Most importantly, vote! Our lives really do depend on it.

Louise Rozik, Philadelphia

Live free and die

In his op-ed, David Walsh's argument for not being vaccinated isn't about the vaccine. The premise of the article is that personal freedom trumps (yes, that was on purpose) anything the government can demand of you. The idea that you have rights and that my health, my wife's health, my children's health, my grandchildren's health doesn't count is preposterous. The only way to bring this pandemic in check is by vaccinations. Herd immunity is a pipe dream and we know that now. We will get out of this when everyone that doesn't get vaccinated dies of COVID-19. Unfortunately, your obstinance will cause the deaths of innocent people.

Where does personal freedom stop? No laws? How many dead people is too many for your personal rights? One hundred, one thousand, one million? One is too many. So in the end, this isn't about your right to die, but my right to live.

Ed Truncale, Mays Landing,

etruncale@comcast.net

Déjà vu

With the much-anticipated approval of the COVID-19 vaccine for children 5-11 years of age, the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel seems a little brighter. Vaccine clinics are popping up all over. From a superhero clad pharmacist in Skippack, who with support from the local community vaccinated many kids this past weekend, to school districts in Bucks and Chester Counties. Just like the inequities of vaccinations that we saw just a year ago with the adult vaccine, with impoverished zip codes and persons of color far behind in vaccination rates and far ahead in death and disability from COVID-19, I fear we have not learned from the immediate past and are now doomed to repeat it with our city's most vulnerable children in the most affected zip codes. We need to focus our efforts on these areas the most, before the flames of COVID-19, once again, incinerate the communities that need our attention the most.

Daniel R. Taylor,

associate professor, Drexel

University College of Medicine,

director of community pediatrics and child advocacy, St. Christopher's Hospital for Children,

drt23@drexel.edu

Trial challenges public education funding in Pa.

The long-awaited education funding trial that began last Friday in Harrisburg is a huge opportunity for Pennsylvania to right a historic wrong. Shamefully, Pennsylvania is near the bottom in the nation in funding public education. The plaintiffs seek to significantly increase the state contribution to public education and, even more important, to distribute that funding equitably.

Pennsylvania residents will see just how seriously our legislative leaders take their responsibility for providing a quality education - regardless of race or zip code. For starters, their statements will reveal those who have critical thinking skills and are guided by a moral compass. My read on comments from House Speaker Bryan Cutler's lawyer - noting not all our school buildings are the Taj Mahal, but "children have chairs to sit in, desks or tables to write at, walls and roofs, working plumbing" - suggests neither! Maybe the court will make them reconsider.

Rochelle Nichols-Solomon,

Philadelphia public school grandparent and POWER Interfaith member