Reader reactions: State Democratic chairwoman assesses changes to primaries; public works jobs touted for youths; cat owners get advice

Published on: December 13, 2022 6:00 AM EST

Yvette Lewis, chair of the Maryland Democratic Party, speaks at a rally at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville on Aug. 25, 2022.
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State Democratic chairwoman says winning elections, making history feel good

Let’s not get in the way of our own success. President Biden just had one of the most successful, if not the most successful, midterms of any recent president. Our party gained a seat in the Senate. We did better in the House than any armchair expert or talking head predicted. We had a graceful, genuine transition of power within our own House leadership. We just won another election in Georgia, a state where a decade or two ago, any win at all seemed far out of reach.

Here in Maryland, we flipped the governor’s seat, gained even more ground in the General Assembly, won in traditionally red areas on the Eastern Shore, and swept the statewide races with the most diverse, talented ticket our party has ever elected. Now it’s time to embrace the next chapter. It’s not a time to second-guess or squabble over what order our states vote in.

As a member of the Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee, I saw firsthand the hard work of each state that wanted to be considered for the early window primary. Their presentations were excellent and quite frankly made our choice difficult. Our state made it to the second round but others were chosen.

Did we want to be in the early window? Of course, and we were disappointed. But I feel that the choices we made clearly reflect our values that the president so clearly articulated to all of us. Missing out this year doesn’t diminish our state in any way. We know our strengths and we embrace them. Every state made a strong case, and every state raised the bar.

We’re proud of our fellow state parties in Michigan, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina and New Hampshire for their hard work and for being chosen. As a party, we were overdue for a change. We decided that the states and the order they vote represent every aspect of our electorate.

Our president and DNC picked a strong squad and we fully support them. Our time will come here in Maryland. But for right now, we’re ready to do our part and continue to be a beacon for the rest of the nation’s Democrats. To the president, and to the states that were chosen: Maryland has your back.

Yvette Lewis, Annapolis

Yvette Lewis is chairwoman of the Maryland Democratic Party.

Baltimore needs a public works jobs program for teens, young adults

Baltimore needs to provide young people with meaningful employment that helps them and our community. Right now, too many young people are acting out in destructive ways. Young men, in particular, are responsible for many of the murders in the city and much of the street-level drug dealing. Young men and teenagers are at the center of problems that arise from the presence of squeegee workers.

The city needs to provide funding in a way that will help young people serve their communities. Many young people would be excited to help their communities if an opportunity existed to make some money while doing so.

The city as well as state and federal government could all play a role in creating a public works program that would employ these individuals to help their neighborhoods and communities. Employing young people in projects to maintain and clean up their own neighborhoods would allow them to earn money while preparing them for future training and employment opportunities.

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Taking kids from dealing drugs in their neighborhoods to doing good work that helps their neighbors and neighborhoods would be a wonderful opportunity to give these kids a chance and to point them in the direction of helping others.

Ross Dolloff, Baltimore

Cat owners, feeders of strays urged to spay, neuter to control population

Illustration of cat mom with kittens on left side, three adult cats who have been neutered on right side, with row homes in background

All cat owners can significantly reduce the feral cat problem by spaying or neutering their own cat and keeping it indoors. If not, and your cat gets outside, its nature can result in joining an unfixed feline, and generations of unaltered kittens begin.

If you feed stray cats, please get each one fixed. Trap/neuter return help is available. Be an advocate for kind and effective change.

Karen Brewer, Ellicott City