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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Timid Legislators Refuse to Back Needed Taxes

September 22, 2004

"Snapshots of a Crisis" (editorial, Sept. 19) complains that Southern Californians ask for improved infrastructure, but are not willing to pay for or live near the improvements. That complaint does not fit all of us.

Timid legislators, more interested in votes than the public good, are also part of the problem. Several years ago, a state Assembly candidate walked my precinct introducing himself, and listening to the voters' issues. I asked how he would respond to letters from voters suggesting a 10% increase in state taxes to pay for critically needed improvements in public safety and infrastructure. He did not respond, but changed the subject instead.

I am willing to write such letters today, and to vote to reelect my legislators who act to raise taxes and then use the increase to make effective improvements in public safety and infrastructure.

Richard V. Morris

Pasadena

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