Austin American-Statesman letters to the editor, Sept. 10, 2023

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, shown speaking during the Texas Tribune Festival in Austin, September 28, 2019. [Lola Gomez / AMERICAN-STATESMAN / File]

Cruz doesn’t seem to have a problem

when the GOP restricts certain rights

Re: Sept. 6 article, Is Joe Biden trying to limit how much beer you can drink? No. Ted Cruz is wrong.

In response to Ted Cruz on ‘liberals that want to control every damn aspect of your life” —really? You did not seem to have a problem with trying to control women’s rights in America! You don’t seem to have a problem controlling voting rights in America. You don’t seem to have a problem with controlling equality rights of all Americans! You really seem to have a problem with protecting all human rights!

This is not a “liberals” issue. You want to control our lives —maybe clean up your own back yard! Look at the morals of Trump, Paxton. You are not much better. Can’t wait to vote you out. You are not doing a good job representing Texas.

Janis Howell, Cedar Park

Elected politicians must abide by

the law just like everyone else

Re: Aug. 31 commentary, “Ken Paxton and defense of the rule of law in Texas: Rick Perry

I have never been a big fan of Rick Perry’s politics, but his guest column was excellent. He did not say anything that I did not wholeheartedly agree with and would stand behind. Yes, every person accused deserves the right to defend themselves and state their case. However, just because a politician is duly elected does not mean they don’t have to abide by the same laws as everyone else. Calling this upcoming impeachment trial “election interference” is completely and utterly ridiculous.

Kim Norman, Austin

Realtors, housing density and working

people – these things are related

The Sunday newspaper has been the largest forum for opinions, editorials and letters to the editor for some time here. In the September 3 edition, there was one guest columnist who wrote an excellent article regarding Labor Day and another one written by the chief executive officer of the Austin Board of Realtors bemoaning the “hard truth of Austin’s housing market.” Ask yourself if these two articles are related in any way.

Those of us who understand the struggle of the working class in Austin will answer a resounding “yes!” The realtors want to ruin our neighborhoods by increasing density and the working person wants a living wage in order to buy a house. Folks, don’t be fooled! Follow the money.

Art Klempner, Austin

What this country needs is to find

unity. What it needs is a third party.

For the sake of our country and its democracy, it is time to add a third viable party to the election ballots.  (Apologies to Green and Libertarian voters; you have yet to be viable parties.) It could be called the Independent Party.

This party could immediately unify our country again if both a Republican and a Democrat were on the ticket. They could duke it out for positions (president and vice president). 

Let’s pray that someone comes up with a unifying idea like this one for voters before all the hate, bigotry, warmongering and fake news tear this country totally apart.

Denise Huerta, El Paso

Not funding air conditioning for prisons

wasn’t for a lack of money in state coffers

The Texas Legislature closed another session without passing a bill to provide air conditioning for the prisons during the hottest summer on record. CNN reported that in 2023 at least 147 inmates have died in U.S. prisons from excessive heat. Eighteen of those were in Texas prisons.

Julie Skarha wrote in her doctoral dissertation about the mortality rates in Texas prisons dealing with excessive heat. It attributed 271 deaths to heat and prisons without air conditioning between 2001 and 2019. (30 times national average)

The failure of the Legislature to provide funds was not due to a lack of money. There was a surplus of funds this session. It was due to the disregard for the well-being of the prisoners and staff in the prisons.

We cannot continue to allow this suffering and deaths in our prisons to continue.

Luanne Miller, Leander

Welcome teaching heroes back into

the classroom; say no to vouchers

The September 3 Statesman article grieved me as I read that secondary school teachers aren’t equipped to teach reading skills students missed during the pandemic. They shouldn’t need to! My daughter, a second-grade public school teacher, has been reassigned as a reading specialist and has had remarkable success bringing students up to grade level.

Public schools are working valiantly to help students recover from the pandemic. Teachers should be welcomed back to the classroom as heroes. Sadly, our legislators soon will convene in a special session to divert our tax dollars to private schools.

My daughter, granddaughter and two nieces, all passionate teachers, have over 87 years of combined teaching experience. They speak of long hours, low wages, staffing shortages, insufficient school funds and overcrowded classrooms that become even more crowded when no substitute teacher is available when a colleague is absent.Please vote no to vouchers!

Patie Alba, San Marcos

New bill would help marginalized

children access a quality education

Re: Sept. 3 article, “LASA ranks among best high schools in nation“.

The parents of LASA students must be happy LASA ranks 4th Texas. They are fortunate to live where quality education is publicly funded and available. Many around the world are less fortunate, especially as COVID-19 related school closures and disruptions interrupted learning for over a billion school-aged children. The longer vulnerable children are out of school, the less likely they are to return. With girls falling behind we’ve seen increases in child marriages and early pregnancies.A new bill gives Congress the opportunity to ensure the most marginalized children, especially girls and those with disabilities, can access a quality education. The bill calls on the U.S. to update its education strategy, includes robust monitoring, and requires our assistance to focus on reaching vulnerable populations. I urge Congressman Michael McCaul to support the READ Reauthorization Act of 2023(H.R.681).  Senators Cruz & Cornyn should co-sponsor the companion Senate legislation, S.41.

Mark Coats, Austin

How to submit a letter to the editor

Send letters of no more than 150 words by noon Thursday by using our online form at or send an email to

We welcome your letters on all topics. Include your name and city of residence; we do not publish anonymous letters.


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