Letters: A letter to Trump about Nigerian refugees; Volunteers are still accountable
January 18, 2018
A letter to Trump about Nigerian refugees
We had the opportunity to meet two Nigerian refugees, friends of our son, in Germany over the Thanksgiving holiday. Two finer young people you will not meet – respectful, well dressed, and intelligent. She's a bright, strong Christian woman interested in African cuisine and fashion; he studied economics and is a competitive-level soccer player. Both came to Europe with hopes of a better life, a life where they can make a decent living (over 67 percent of the population in Nigeria live in poverty, with unemployment rising). Both walked across the Sahara and survived the Mediterranean crossing where over 22,000 have died or disappeared globally since 2014. They knew the dangers and still they took the risk for the freedom to make a better life just as our own ancestors did coming from Europe to America.
Their problem immigrating into the European Union? They are considered economic, not political, refugees, so they have no priority in our increasingly anti-immigrant world. But they are in fact political refugees – victims of our own heavy handed, pro-fossil-fuel, American geo-politics. Nigeria is, in fact, an oil-rich nation and one of our biggest trading partners where corruption is rampant and where the equivalent of one Exxon Valdez is spilled every year into the Niger River Delta, once one of the richest fisheries on Earth. Limited education for young people, few job opportunities, and a girl has a 50/50 chance of being raped before she is 15 years old.
So, Mr. President, if you really want to stem the tide of refugees, please consider helping them at home by turning America back toward sustainability, renewable energy, education, and justice for all God's children no matter their birthplace, color, or creed.
Geoff and Kate Elliott, Grand Lake
Volunteers are still accountable
There is no doubt in my mind that the town of Grand Lake is in need of a desperate change.
I attended the last town board meeting, and voiced my concerns along with some fellow concerned citizens. The Trustee's and staff's actions were questioned, and rightly so.
My further frustration came when I hear the same old defense by the mayor and trustees, "Well we are only volunteers."
No one made you run for that position, it was your choice to do so. No one is making you stay on the board. Unlike other towns in Grand County, Grand Lake trustees are not paid for your meeting attendance.
With an election coming up, the board can change that so at least the new trustees coming on could get paid for their time. (This has been brought up by previous trustees.) Maybe then there would be some accountability to your actions.
Julie Gasner, Grand Lake