To the Editor:

Thank you to the residents of Bay Village, Fairview Park, North Olmsted, Rocky River and Westlake for the honor to serve you as your state representative.

In the past four years, I have been humbled to represent you in Columbus. Each day, the 120,000 residents of the 16th Ohio House District have always been in the forefront of my mind. My priority and commitment has always been to represent you with the highest levels of dedication, commitment and integrity.

Four years ago, shortly after I won my first election as your state representative, then-Sen.-elect Matt Dolan commented to me that the most important characteristic one can have is to be true to your word. Over time, I have come to fully appreciate just how impactful his statement was. I can say that I took this advice seriously and never wavered from my convictions, and I did not say one thing and do another.

My commitment to the residents of the Westshore has not changed. I plan on staying engaged and committed to making our communities strong and vibrant.

I want to thank my family, my wife and children – who have selflessly provided me the opportunity to serve you. Often, we talk about the sacrifices that elected officials make in order to meet the requirements of public service, but we seldom think of the families that share in that sacrifice. Over the past 10 years, I have missed birthdays, gatherings, anniversaries, sporting events and school plays, just to name a few. To my family – thank you again for allowing me this opportunity.

Finally, I want you, the citizens of the 16th House District, to know that I am still committed to you and to us.

I believe that it is important that the residents of the 16th House District support Rep.-elect Monique Smith. Rep.-elect Smith’s success is our success.

As we close this chapter in the 16th House District and turn the page to a new chapter, please know that serving as your state representative has been one of the greatest honors in my life. I will forever be in your service, and if there is anything I can do to help you, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.

State Representative Dave Greenspan

16th House District

To the Editor:

2020 is an unprecedented year. Never before have we experienced a pandemic that has sparked such a response the world over. If that was not enough, we find ourselves existing in an increasingly polarized culture. If you voted for X, you have become the enemy of the supporters of candidate Y. If you disagree with my politics, you have become my enemy. That is the world we live in. And it is not OK.

There are some things we cannot do to make our communities a better place right now. We cannot make a pandemic go away. We cannot necessarily change the hearts and minds of political pundits and politicians. There are some things we can do, however, and they all must come from a place of love.

We can wear a mask. We can seek to understand those with whom we disagree. We can come alongside those who are hurting. We can love.

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, Christ Church Westshore, where I serve as an assistant pastor, took such steps. The church coordinated with the Avon Lake community to seek out people who were underemployed or unemployed and provide them with complete Thanksgiving feasts at no cost to them. It was our way of reaching into the community to make a positive difference. I say this not to gloat or seek praise, but to – hopefully – inspire the members of this community to join in such an important work.

As a Christian, and a pastor, I take seriously the notion that we should seek to make things “on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10). This means being aware of our disenfranchised, marginalized and oppressed neighbors, and actively getting involved for their betterment. This means seeing the person with whom I disagree politically not as an enemy, but as a fellow citizen who wants what is best for their families and friends. It means coming alongside people we do not even know – turning strangers into friends.

This holiday season, whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or another holiday altogether, I want to invite you to be a part of something more. Join hands with the people in your community and help us make the world a better place, one neighborhood at a time. I leave you with these words of wisdom from Chadwick Boseman’s “Black Panther”: “We all know the truth: More connects us than separates us. But in times of crisis the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another as if we were one single tribe.”

Zachary W. Jones, assistant rector
Director of Family and Youth
Christ Church Westshore

To the Editor:

The debate has started again as to whether the U.S. Constitution should be amended in order to change the presidential election process. Some promote eliminating the Electoral College in favor of a direct popular vote for president while others believe the Electoral College should remain unchanged. Just as compromise solved the initial problems of the framers, so it is that compromise can solve this problem. The solution is to change the electoral votes to electoral points and reward each candidate a percentage of points based on the percentage of popular votes received in each state.

This would eliminate the “winner-take-all” system, thus allowing for all the votes to count. A voter is more apt to believe their vote counted when a percentage of popular votes are taken into account rather than the “all-or-nothing” system currently in existence. Further, this new system would integrate the desire for a popular vote for president with the need for the individual states to determine who actually gets elected.

For 2020, multiplying the percentage of votes each candidate received {in each state} times the number of electoral votes {in each state} results in the following: Biden 267.23 and Trump 252.33. Multiplying the percentage of popular votes each candidate received {nationwide} times the total number of electoral votes {538} results in the following: Biden 274.92 and Trump 253.40.

Joe Bialek
Cleveland

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