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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Jobs Should be D.C.'s Top Priority

9/25/2013, 3 p.m.

I would like to thank Mayor Vincent Gray for vetoing the Large Retailer Accountability Act as noted in Barrington Salmon and James Wright’s article, “Gray Veto Pleases Businesses, Inflames Others.” What we need here in the District of Columbia are jobs, all kinds of jobs. There are plenty of high paying, highly skilled jobs available, but unfortunately, most of the residents looking for jobs aren’t qualified for those. We could spend all day and all night blaming everyone from the mayor to the City Council to the school system for why a lot of our citizens are not qualified for high skilled jobs. But the truth is, they are not. But that is not a reason for them not to have the opportunity to get a job. If the Council is really serious about having a living wage in the District of Columbia, they should do what Councilman Wells is proposing: raise the minimum wage for everyone.

Alton Bracey

Washington, D.C.

Your article in the Sept. 19, 2013 issue, “Questions Swirl after Mass Shooting at Navy Yard,” by Stacy Brown and Barrington Salmon is a wake-up call for all of us. Mental illness is something we need to take very seriously. No more jokes about someone being crazy, or being completely out of their minds, especially if they are part of our families; try to get them help. The events that happened at the Navy Yard should alert us to something more horrible lurking in our society and that is unstable people with guns. Unfortunately, they are living in our neighborhoods and working with us every day. America needs to take a serious look at its gun laws, but also to make sure that those that are on the books are enforced, especially with background checks. Owners of gun stores have the right to make a living, but they should have to follow the laws just like everyone else; no more free passes.

Kenneth Pearson

Ft. Washington, Md.

I love Debbi Morgan from “All My Children” and I have been a fan of hers since I was a teenager. It was wonderful to see the story on Ms. Morgan in the Sept. 19 edition of the newspaper, “Unveiling Debbi” detailing her triumphs over three generations of abuse. I was unable to attend Ms. Morgan’s one-woman play, The Monkey on My Back at the Publick Playhouse in Cheverly, Md. recently, but cannot wait to read the book now that I have read Shantella Sherman’s article. It is true that you never really know what a person is going through in their lives, and it is amazing that she came to stardom while traveling such a bumpy road. Great read!

Darlene Ewell

Lanham, Md.