Letters: Public art | Participatory Budgeting | Keep Gov. Newsom | Plant-based diet

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Public art perfect vehicle
for crucial messages

The “Zero Hunger” mural by artist Victor Ash (“Photos: A look at Oakland’s tallest mural,” May 1) caught my eye for both its impressive artistic appeal and powerful message against hunger. This extraordinary work in Oakland symbolizes the ongoing global fight against food insecurity, especially amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. It is an example of the critical role that art and artists play in spreading vital information to make a lasting impact.

In January, at the presidential inauguration, poet Amanda Gorman moved the world with her “The Hill We Climb” poem, another powerful artistic tool that united the nation through the hope and optimism she expressed.

The importance of art in our everyday lives — from raising awareness about social issues to enhancing a sense of community — cannot be belittled. It is imperative that we continue to promote art as a medium to deliver messages that will change and better the world.

Ashley Hung
Palo Alto

Participatory budgeting
benefits stakeholders

Re. “Schools got extra COVID-19 cash: How did they spend it?,” Page A1, April 30:

I’m thrilled that the CARES Act will provide our schools with a once-in-a-generation opportunity to make a variety of investments that will enable them to improve education.

I’m concerned that the leaders overseeing these vast sums of money will revert to traditional decision-making models that fail to engage the most important constituents in education reform: our children.

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Fortunately, there is an easy to implement, low-cost, high-impact solution: Each school in the Bay Area should allocate $10 per student for a school-wide participatory budgeting program.

Endorsed by the United Nations, and used by San José, participatory budgeting is a structured, democratic process in which students collaboratively determine how to invest money in their school. Research shows that students make great choices and that the process promotes financial literacy and civics. The data also helps leaders better understand student needs.

The cost would be negligible and the impact would be substantial.

Luke Hohmann
Sunnyvale

Newsom COVID strategy
has California on top

Begging to strongly differ: Julie Colwell cites Gov. Gavin Newsom’s pandemic restrictions as negatives (“At stake in recall: Saving California,” Page A6, April 30), yet California is now leading the nation in control of this dangerous pandemic. Sometimes medicine is unpleasant but necessary.

Except for the French Laundry luncheon, which was a mistake in judgment (I’ve made such mistakes myself), the other assertions she makes are mostly just that: assertions without evidence.

Our economy is roaring back. Let’s stick with our governor.

Majda Jones
Portola Valley

Plant-based diets
will help water crisis

If water agencies truly want to conserve our precious water, they should immediately encourage a shift to plant-based diets.

Measures to conserve water like xeriscaping and shorter showers pale in comparison to changing our food choices. UNESCO states that a meat-based diet consumes twice the amount of water of a plant-based diet. It takes 1,800 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef; 216 gallons for a pound of …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment

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