Gov. Greg Abbott doesn’t have power to tell businesses they can’t mandate vaccines

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Don’t rush drawing of political maps

Texans deserve a freedom to vote that is protected and fair districts that ensure our vote counts for something. Our state lawmakers are fast-tracking political maps through the Legislature that split vulnerable communities across the state and weaken the voting power of many of our fellow Texans.

Lawmakers are doing this without giving the public enough time to review and understand these maps. We deserve an open and fair district-drawing process. Our lawmakers need to know that Texans are watching and that we demand fair districts that put people first.

- Terrie C. Williams, Vidor

Abbott can’t control business

Gov. Greg Abbott is drunk on his own delusions of power as he issues executive orders that will prolong the COVID-19 pandemic. Texas has a right-to-work law that allows employers to fire employees for any reason — including refusal to get a vaccine. The governor has no authority to repeal standing law with an executive order. If employers want to enforce vaccine mandates, they can. There is nothing Abbott can do to stop them.

Texas cannot afford this kind of incompetence and overreach from its governor. We deserve better.

- Chris Bellomy, Fort Worth

Health workers knew the risks

I moved to Texas about 4½ years ago, and every day I thank God I did. I live in a state that has not lost its sanity over vaccines and masks, except for the health industry.

Did those who joined that industry not know that their lives were at risk everyday from any number of diseases, let alone COVID-19? I have been turned out of doctor’s offices because I can’t wear a mask. These people need to find another vocation.

- Richard Rimestad, Fort Worth

Keep reporting on climate change

I want to thank the Star-Telegram for reporting climate-related news stories. The relative silence from many other news outlets on this issue is disappointing. Many are still trying to play both sides to appease people who aren’t up to date on the latest science.

The National Academy of Science and equivalent organizations in 79 other countries agree that the current warming we’re seeing is caused by humans. Yet according to Yale’s Climate Opinion Maps, only 56% of people in the Dallas-Fort Worth area believe that climate change is caused by human activities and only 24% hear about climate change at least weekly in the media.

According to climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe, one of the most important things we can do about climate change is talk about it.

Thank you, Star-Telegram, you’re making a real difference.

- Garrett Pennell, Dallas

Gruden shows racism lingers

The words we choose to use are a manifestation of our thoughts. The words revealed in Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden’s emails (Oct. 13, 1B, “Gruden resigns from Raiders over offensive emails”) remind us that racism, homophobia and misogyny are constant. Even if they linger or simmer deep inside, they eventually bubble up and overflow.

Gruden apologized and stepped down as head coach, but he was so busy defending himself with the insistence that he doesn’t have a “racist bone” in his body that the apology fell flat. His e-mails were a problem, but how he responded to their release was even worse.

- Tara Jaye Frank, Lantana