As a candidate for the U.S. Congress who has lived on the coast in Marin County for the last 13 years, I can relate to concerns about redistricting ("Drawing it Out," July 21). The powers-that-be are drawing new lines, and we'll have to deal with the consequences.
I went through many years of adult life near the poverty line before earning my way into the "middle class," and personal experiences have shaped me as a strong advocate for economic fairness and social equity. No matter where we live, principles should carry the day - and we have opportunities to build coalitions that push back against the power of Wall Street while protecting such vital programs as Social Security and Medicare.
If Marin and Humboldt counties are together in the same congressional district, let's make the most of it. We can do that as communities and leaders build new alliances for common interests.
For instance, a coastal district can focus on solutions that protect both coastal ecologies and communities whose futures rely on sustainable fisheries. Rather than the timeworn "environment vs. economy" battle, the coastal district could encourage us to meet such challenges directly - with a strong dual commitment to protecting nature and providing good jobs.
The entire North Coast - from fishing-based communities to fragile estuaries and beaches - needs rigorous protection from the over-fishing threats of corporate trawlers and the ongoing Republican-led push for expanded off-shore oil drilling (which I commend Rep. Mike Thompson for opposing). Small communities' economies and ecologies are under attack from the same corporate sources.
Whatever district the commission creates, our economic divides and ecological concerns must be tackled head-on. Let's see this as a chance to work together.
Norman Solomon, Inverness Park