Another mess for SEPTA riders
The Tuesday evening rush-hour fiasco with SEPTA was a disgrace ("Mass frustration," Wednesday). Ticket takers decided they needed to punch transit passes and corral people in cattle chutes at 30th Street Station, in an apparent effort to get as many people as possible to miss their trains. I watched an elderly couple with luggage, just trying to get home, try to get by as everyone was told their train was on Track 2; no, Track 5; no, Track 2 again. For the commuters who stood by SEPTA during the three-month Silverliner nightmare, this was a real slap in the face. SEPTA's issue is with Transportation Workers Union Local 234, not its customers.
Whoever caused a "commute slowdown" should be ashamed of themselves - they look petty and small.
|Maureen Murphy, Yardley
Doctors need time to vote
On Tuesday, most of my fellow doctors-in-training at Penn Medicine will show up to work long before the polls open. For many of them, their work will finish after the 8 p.m. deadline for voters to cast ballots. Our workdays often start in the dark and end in the dark. We accept this as part of our commitment to learn how to take good care of our patients.
Our commitment to our patients includes being engaged citizens who participate in our democracy. Their health is often a direct result of the policies we shape with our votes. As physicians, we have an obligation to vote.
But as Pennsylvania residents, our right to vote is not safeguarded: employers are not required to ensure time off for voting. Unlike many states, we have no early voting option other than absentee voting. And the University of Pennsylvania does nothing to protect our ability to get to the polls on time. Penn's leadership should value employees who are civically responsible and provide time off to vote.
|Mara Gordon, M.D., resident physician, University of Pennsylvania Health System, Philadelphia
Women, make yourself heard
The value of voting cannot be overemphasized, because so many vital issues are at stake for women of all ages and racial, ethnic, and educational backgrounds. The American Association of University Women is at the forefront in encouraging all women to recognize the importance of their votes.
Politicians and policy makers at all levels of government routinely make decisions about issues that directly affect us and our families, but, more often than not, the conversation lacks women's voices. Unmarried women, people of color, and millennials - collectively known as the "rising American electorate" - make up the majority of voting-eligible citizens in the United States. This same group was under-registered and underrepresented in 2014.
Candidates can't win without the votes of women, so let's hold them accountable and ask them the tough questions about pay equity, work-life balance policies, campus sexual assault, higher education, and other issues affecting women. When candidates want our votes, they need to speak to our issues.
AAUW members have worked tirelessly to advocate on issues affecting women and girls. Members of AAUW in Pennsylvania plan to make our voices heard on Tuesday and beyond.
|Barbara Price, public policy cochair, AAUW-PA, Langhorne
Believe in system and vote
The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania, which never supports or opposes a candidate or party, has been working hard to reassure Pennsylvanians that they can trust our election process and should vote on Tuesday. We are working with other nonpartisan groups to educate voters about their rights at the polls and to make sure we have resources in place, including the 866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) hotline to help address questions and problems.
Unfounded, irresponsible claims of voter fraud and rigged elections undermine our democracy by throwing into doubt the process by which we select our leaders. Any attempt to keep eligible voters from the polls is undemocratic and unacceptable.
Commonsense reforms, such as voting by mail, preregistration for 16 and 17 year olds, early voting, and same-day registration are efficient ways to ensure that all eligible voters can cast a ballot. Most other states have enacted one or all of these reforms; it's past time for Pennsylvania to catch up.
|Suzanne Almeida, executive director, League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, email@example.com
U.S. not like Nazi Germany
A letter expressed fear about the parallels of the United States to Hitler's Germany ("Never in America? Not so sure," Oct. 27). The concern is understandable, but it's an inaccurate comparison. The United States is not like Germany in the 1920s and '30s. It is very different demographically - a microcosm of the world rather than a somewhat landlocked nation with one major ethnicity, recovering from a devastating world war. What's troubling about America today is that there is so much internal confusion because of polarization that the country will be unable to do anything but remain a confused, diminishing giant.
|Henry Coxe, Ambler