Letters: Soda tax critical to combat poverty

Protesters , including many bottling plant workers, oppose a proposed sugary-drink tax at a City Hall rally Wednesday.


Kenney's plan critical to combat poverty

City Council President Darrell L. Clarke says a proposed 3-cents-an-ounce sugary-beverage tax is too high ("Clarke: Drink tax may be high," Friday). The headline ought to have read: Illiteracy is too high; obesity rate is too high; high school dropout rate is too high; number of crumbling recreation centers is too high; number of decrepit libraries is too high; number of pre-K children without a classroom is too high.

Mayor Kenney's Rebuilding Community Infrastructure initiative would begin the process of transforming Philadelphia from the poorest large city in America into the most successful large city in America. City Council must find the money to fund the plan or the city will remain mired in poverty with all its ills.

|Joseph F. Baker, Philadelphia

Revitalize libraries and parks for the kids

Philadelphia's libraries, parks, and recreation centers are the anchors of our neighborhood life and feed the soul of our residents, especially our children. Mayor Kenney has proposed an ambitious and inspiring plan for a massive reconstruction of these long-suffering, underfunded community hubs, to be paid for by municipal and private money. A tax on sugary drinks is a small price to pay for a transformation of our public spaces.

We need to overcome the organized resistance of Big Soda, which is peddling the misrepresentation that it would be a tax on "groceries."

Soda is not food. Our kids need libraries, parks, and rec centers to grow up healthy. Let's feed our kids hope and enrichment rather than high-fructose corn syrup. Let's move our city forward by passing the soda tax.

|Irv Ackelsberg, president, Friends of the Free Library, Philadelphia

Give a little, get a little

My husband and I learned early on a word that has held us in good stead for 46 years of marriage: compromise. Why can't officials compromise on the proposed 3-cents-an-ounce soda tax? Why not 2 cents or even 11/2 cents?

|Emma M. Lee, Philadelphia, joeandemma@yahoo.com