Letters to the Editor: Lowell Votes responds; Invest in cultured-meat – Lowell Sun

Posted: February 6, 2021 at 6:50 pm

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Lowell Votes responds to recent councilor statements regarding the Voting Rights Act lawsuit plaintiffs

To read the full letter: tinyurl.com/LV-Responds-12921

Lowell Votes would like to respond to insensitive and disrespectful comments made during the Jan. 26 City Council meeting. Lowells at-large voting system has contributed to a loss of trust and engagement in the local democratic process, and has systematically disenfranchised minority voters. Comments made by certain city councilors fail to recognize this. The new voting system taking effect this year is a result of the Voting Rights Act lawsuit settled in 2019. Though the final hybrid system was voted on by residents and finalized by City Council, conversations around how the mayor is elected have continued. However, only recently was the city solicitor instructed to approach the plaintiffs legal team to ask for their position. The plaintiffs response was inconclusive, frustrating certain councilors. The plaintiffs are not the enemy nor in opposition to the City Council, they are residents who have worked for nearly four years to ensure equitable representation at City Hall for all of Lowells residents. Yet the scorched earth language of the city councilors comments that plaintiffs were seeking to waste time, control the city, and play with our (the councilors) minds. seek to demonize the plaintiffs, and bring to mind toxic political rhetoric at the national level that is tearing our country and democracy apart. Their comments are also completely out of proportion to the plaintiffs very reasonable response. The plaintiffs stated they had no objection to exploring the possibility of changing how the mayor is elected, but wanted to ensure sufficient time for obtaining community input. That is how democracy is intended to work and is hardly deserving of such scorn and disrespect from our elected officials. This important decision must be made through a process of civic engagement and deliberation with community input at its core, particularly from historically under-engaged communities and non-English speaking residents. Our city leaders must innovate and adopt policies and practices that ensure transparent communication and accessible engagement, not rush decisions that will potentially disenfranchise communities further. First, help our communities transition to this new hybrid system. First, help Lowell build a more engaged electorate and a healthier democracy.

Mary Tauras Lowell Votes Coordinator

Invest in cultured meat

The United States government should follow the example of Spain and invest more money into cultured-meat development. For those who dont know, cultured meat is grown from cells, without slaughtering animals. Spain recently granted BioTech Foods $6.3 million to study the health benefits of this revolutionary protein.

There are numerous such benefits. Cultured meat is produced in a sterile environment, as opposed to the filthy abattoirs where slaughtered meat is processed. Similarly, cultured meat isnt pumped full of artificial growth hormones and unnecessary antibiotics. The latter helps create antibiotic resistance in bacterial disease.

Additionally, cultured meat removes the risk of spreading zoonotic viruses. Were currently living through a global crisis created by one such disease, COVID-19. But a number of others have made the jump to humans in recent years. You might know them as swine flu or bird flu.

For these reasons and more, namely the animal-welfare and environmental benefits, we need further governmental investment in cultured-meat research. While Singapore has already granted regulatory approval to the new protein,it is significantly more expensive than slaughtered meat. This can be remedied with additional study.

Jon Hochschartner Granby

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Letters to the Editor: Lowell Votes responds; Invest in cultured-meat - Lowell Sun

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February 6th, 2021 at 6:50 pm

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