Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor for July 26

How to submit a Letter to the Editor

The Olympian editor Dusti Demarest explains the guidelines for submitting a Letter to the Editor to the newspaper.
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The Olympian editor Dusti Demarest explains the guidelines for submitting a Letter to the Editor to the newspaper.

Detention of migrant children is child abuse

Detention of migrant children and separation of families constitute state-sanctioned child abuse.

I am a pediatrician who cares for hospitalized children in Olympia. My professional obligation is to all children.

Detention is not appropriate for children and families. The conditions noted in recent reports of detention facilities are appalling. At least seven children have died. Pneumonia, influenza, sepsis; these children are dying of communicable diseases that could be treated if recognized early. I know from professional experience that a parent is nearly always the first to recognize illness in a child. The presence of a loving caregiver, and prompt access to a pediatrician, could save lives.

Our government continues to separate migrant children from trusted caregivers. These are children who have already been traumatized by violence and poverty in their countries of origin, and migration itself. We know, from a growing body of evidence, that adversity in childhood leads to disease throughout one’s life. Traumatic experiences cause permanent structural changes to a child’s brain, and impair their ability to learn and grow. One protective factor against the physical and mental effects of adversity is the presence of a loving adult.

Our government’s policy of removing children cuts them off from any protection they may have had, and puts them at risk for illness. It harms their brains and bodies, and many may never recover. Please, call our representatives. Ask them to visit migrant children, and end separation and detention of migrant families. These are all our children.

Dr. Emily Antoon-Walsh, Olympia

Vote for Phyllis Booth for Olympia City Council

Phyllis Booth has been a tireless community organizer over the last 30 years. She has door-belled thousands to support local schools, to support politicians who value citizens’ input and make policy to reflect it, and to support city policies that address real needs (Quixote Village), or change city policies that aren’t in Olympia’s best interest (Missing Middle, conference center, Mistake by the Lake). She naturally follows city dealings and has testified at dozens of Council and Planning Commission meetings. Phyllis walks the walk.

Phyllis has always been a compassionate force to help those in need in our community. As vice president of the Olympia United Methodist Church Women, she is instrumental in raising $20,000 each year for needy local and distant people. Volunteering at overnight shelters, supporting Quixote Village and helping it be successful, volunteering as a nurse at the Free Clinic, being a hospice volunteer, Phyllis is not one to sit still when someone is in need.

Phyllis has shown an unwavering devotion to making government do its job. She doesn’t support city money going to subsidizing high-end condos and apartments. She’s tired of participation theater, where hearings are held but citizen input is ignored. She’s tired of city narratives that present the Planning Department vision of Olympia as if it were what the public needed.

Phyllis values the opinions of Olympia’s enormously-talented citizens, and looks forward to working with them to find solutions that take all viewpoints into account.

Vote for Phyllis Booth: Your advocate on City Council

Jay Elder, Olympia