Dominican Republic vacation military service

Incentives for Nike rescinded

Gov. Doug Ducey:

I am disappointed in your decision to rescind incentives for Nike in response to the controversy surrounding their decision to pull their line of “Betsy Ross” sneakers.

First and foremost, I do not believe it is the role of the government to get involved in the product and branding decisions of private companies. As a private company, they should be allowed to make decisions they feel are best for their customers and shareholders, without repercussions from the government. As a public official, you should not be politicizing the business decisions of a private corporation. Whether or not Nike’s decision affects their bottom line should be left to the American consumer, not the government.

Additionally, I think the public comments you’ve made regarding your decision are either consciously misleading or woefully simplistic. You stated, “American businesses should be proud of our country’s history, not abandoning it.” Slavery and discrimination are part of this country’s history and not something to be proud of. To claim we should be proud of our history, full stop, without recognizing the injustices our country codified into law is completely disingenuous. Nike’s decision does not “consciously denigrate our nation’s history;” it acknowledges the injustices of our past and considers the negative impact certain historical symbols have on a systematically disenfranchised subset of our citizenry. There is an important distinction between denigrating our history and taking a hard, honest look at our history. By contrast, your comments oversimplify and fully disregard the larger conversation our country needs to have regarding race relations. As an elected official, I expect you to have the courage to take the time to reflect on the deeper issues involved in Nike’s decision, rather than making reactionary policy changes on the superficial issues in less than 24 hours.

As an Arizonan and a voter, I think you would be better serving our state to take a more nuanced view into how Nike has come to their decision rather than making a knee-jerk decision that is against the conservative ideals of free enterprise and only serves to placate the far-right base. You are concerned that Nike is “abandoning” our country’s history; I implore you to not abandon our marginalized citizens and our country’s future. 

 Zack Griendling

Phoenix

4th of July patriotism

Editor:

First of all, I used to live in Avondale. The Democrats were complaining about the Fourth of July activities in Washington because there are tanks on static display and military flyovers. How many of them served in the military? It is unpatriotic, and the money should be spent somewhere else.

I currently live in San Diego, where there is a huge military presence. I would invite them to come to our subdivision, where the majority of the homes fly the American flag, plus our streets are lined with American flags.

They complain about the Blue Angels flyover. The Air Force Thunderbirds fly over all major sporting events. If the Democrats had their way, as long as President Trump is in office, we should cancel all activities involving the flag, flyovers and fireworks since they are red, white and blue.

People complained about the new Nike shoe having the Betsy Ross flag on the back. The flag contained 13 stars in a circle. How many stripes does the American flag have? Thirteen. Good for Arizona pulling the funds on your new Nike plant in Goodyear. Be proud of the American flag and what it stands for. I am a Vietnam veteran, wore the flag proudly, and display the American and Air Force flags from my home.

Harvey L. New

San Diego

Thank you, public safety leaders

Editor:

An April 2018 report titled “Cost and Benefits Of Body-Worn Camera Deployments” by the Police Executive Research Forum details that Phoenix PD participated in a pilot program on the positive effects of body-worn cameras (BWC) as far back as 2011. But the city did not take action on expanding the program beyond 10% of its sworn force until February 6. Unfortunately, now the taxpayers may have to pay the bill to settle multimillion dollar claims that, potentially, could have been avoided, dismissed or mitigated with the use of a BWC.

According to the 2018 report, 85% of agencies are happy with their BWCs, and nine out of 10 of these agencies using BWCs do so to promote accountability, transparency and legitimacy to demonstrate their actions as well as a strong desire to build trust and foster relationships with their communities to ensure that their practices are consistent with the expectations and values of the community.

Because our collective and genuine appreciation for public safety professions — including fire, paramedic, military and health care personnel — in the West Valley is so palpable, it is no coincidence our respect is felt and, in turn, paid forward in the daily deeds of these first responders to our neighbors in need. Our gratitude is also owed to our local elected officials and city leaders who know that the budget to implement and sustain programs such as BWCs far outweigh the cost of human lives, taxpayer funded lawsuit settlements and the sense of peace that empowers a community thrive economically and culturally.

We are so fortunate to have this high level of accountability, integrity and transparency in our West Valley police departments. The eager adoption of BWCs is a sign of forward-thinking police chiefs who embrace proactive technological innovation in community policing, and the mere presence of BWCs fosters de-escalation while documenting the high standards of professional conduct police officers deliver on a daily basis. Thank you, public safety leaders.

Amy Bolton

Buckeye