It is a simple question: Have we lost sight of the fact that our time and resources are precious and limited? This year, Chattanooga has had 19 homicides, 50 shootings and a rise in gang violence. Yet on Thursday, the Hamilton County district attorney is expected to use its time and taxpayer funds to prosecute Cole Montalvo, a dean's list UTC student and cancer survivor, on a misdemeanor charge of resisting a false arrest. In November 2013 Montalvo, accused of crossing a poorly marked boundary to speak to an on-campus preacher, was arrested, pepper-sprayed and forced to the ground. Four felony charges were then brought against him. Since then all charges have been dropped except resisting arrest, which has been reduced to a misdemeanor. The lack of any aggressiveness by Montalvo is evident in the many YouTube clips that show the entire incident. I ask for you to join me in calling for the immediate dismissal of all charges, as well as a district attorney who will be focused on prosecuting true criminal offenses that will make Chattanooga a safer place for us all.
MEG METZGER, Cleveland, Tenn.
Where was the ACLU when I had to take a drug test to go to work so that I could provide money to those who did not go to work -- for whatever reason? I think as well as others who had to do the same that this is a "fair" law. Why is it that there is "plenty of money" for them to get tats, buy beer and other activities that do not fall under the "help the family" plan that is for the "Temporary Assistance to Needy Families"?
DAVID P. BELL, Cleveland, Tenn.
People should be judged by their performance on the job, not by their sexual orientation. The kinds of protections LGBT workers in Chattanooga are seeking are parallel to those won earlier by women and racial and ethnic minorities. City workers who work hard and play by the rules should not be fired because of whom they love. Many large corporations already recognize that discrimination of any kind is bad for business: Volkswagen, Blue Cross, Walmart and most high-tech companies already have nondiscrimination policies in place. Chattanooga must be a city that stands for fairness and equal opportunity for all its people. Whether you vote early or on Aug. 7, vote yes on the domestic partnership ordinance.