LETTERS: On feeding the poor and distracted driving

Feeding the poor

Food assistance for communities of color is necessary. The poverty rate in 2016 for African-Americans, Hispanics, and native populations was two to three times higher than for whites. That year, SNAP helped 13 million African-Americans and 10 million Hispanics put food on the table monthly.

But a proposed House bill would impose stricter guidelines on “categorical eligibility,” which means many states could use to decide who could access SNAP funds and that could penalize families for earning more. It also would impose harsh work requirements on SNAP benefits for those looking for work, families with children, and older Americans. This would hit communities of color the hardest and they are more likely to face long-term unemployment than white households. These policies reinforce racist stereotypes that have continually denied communities of color full participation in the American economy.

Martha Rogers, Austin

Don’t text and drive

It seems we cannot go a single day without our cellphones, or should I say a single second. Texting while driving has become an epidemic. Texting and driving is the leading cause of death in teens. At least nine people in the United States are killed every day because of distracted drivers. This could be prevented if drivers would focus all their attention on the road. Texas statewide laws prohibit texting while driving. Those who break it face fines and jail time.

When I took a driver’s education course, one of the requirements was to watch a two-hour video on texting and driving. As much as I dreaded and procrastinated doing it, I learned the importance of not texting and driving. A lot of people, however, do not understand the concept or simply do not care and they still text and drive. There is not a day when I am on the road and see someone looking down at their phone while going 60 mph. I believe that with the help of the community and the state we should enforce stronger laws for texting and driving. The greatest reward would be a life saved.

Klaribel Garcia, Mission

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