Opinion: CA Sen. Ted Gaines fails as a leader, blames others instead | SierraSun.com

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Opinion: CA Sen. Ted Gaines fails as a leader, blames others instead

In reading the March 6 opinion article titled, "Sanctuary state bad idea for California" in the Sierra Sun by Ted Gaines, several things came to mind.

First of all, what country is he living in?

I personally have lived in several large cities and I have never seen this dangerous world of "illegal immigrants" he talks about. Have you? His attempt to drum up fear of the "other" in this case, immigrants, is a tired trope that is poorly presented and does not adhere to the facts as we know them to be.

Immigrants provide essential services to California, they work hard and pay taxes, (unlike our president). Most violent crime in this country is not committed by "illegal immigrants," on the contrary they are more likely to be victims than perpetrators.

If he is interested in discussing what to do about immigration, that is one thing, but to drum up fear is reckless and irresponsible to say the least.

Gaines asks, "Why is the state government working on mandating background checks for ammunition purchases …" If you are so terrified, Mr. Gaines, wouldn't you want background checks to make sure "bad" people don't get guns and ammo? It's pretty clear that more guns equal more violence.

Lastly, Mr. Gaines throws in an attack on our public schools. I have taught for over 17 years in both public and private schools. I have been in over 32 schools across the country. How about you, Mr. Gaines? How many schools have you worked in?

For the most part, I've found teachers to be dedicated, hard working and inspiring. But, if you want to improve California schools, raise salaries, attract awesome people and let them do their damn jobs. Treat teachers like the professionals they are, and listen to what they need.

Raise the minimum wage so families don't struggle in poverty. Chronic stress from poverty significantly reduces a child's ability to learn. Support early learning programs and universal preschool.

And stop blaming immigrants for your failed leadership, Mr. Gaines. No one is falling for it.

Daphne Osell

Twin Bridges