Banning TikTok bad for small business and marginalized entrepreneurs

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TikTok good for business

As a queer and Latinx entrepreneur, I am committed to uplifting small business owners, especially those from underrepresented demographics. Starting a business is difficult for anyone, but those of us from marginalized communities face more challenges than most. TikTok offers a platform to market our businesses and build our brands. Now, some lawmakers want to ban it.

Across the country, both state and federal lawmakers are pushing legislation to ban TikTok. These lawmakers don’t seem to understand the value of this platform to their constituents.

TikTok has been instrumental in supporting and growing my business ventures. The platform has completely revolutionized how small business owners reach and maintain customers. Personality and genuineness have become key ingredients to connect with consumers. Sharing cooking videos with other food enthusiasts helped grow my small business — Combi Taco  – all it took was my own creativity.

TikTok goes beyond exposure. The platform amplifies the voices of those who have traditionally been silenced. The inclusive nature of the app allows creators like me to celebrate our cultures and thrive in an inclusive business landscape.

I believe that Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper and our representatives in Congress care for the best interests of Coloradans. I urge them to hear those interests. Banning TikTok will hurt our state’s entrepreneurs and marginalized communities. Trust me; I know the risks.

Alejandro Flores-Muñoz, Denver

Phil Washington should focus on DIA’s failures

Why are we standing in line for over an hour to get through security at one of the busiest airports in the world? Why are parking lots full during the non-holiday season? Why are the signs we saw in the Customs/Immigration area in English only? Why aren’t there better signs directing travelers (in multiple languages since this is an International airport) to the various TSA screening areas?

I travel frequently, and it’s hard to imagine a worse experience than DIA offers travelers. I see people constantly turned away at the TSA-Pre checkpoint after they waited in the wrong line. I see people stand in the wrong lines entering customs (eventually missing connecting flights) since the signs are only in English.

DIA is only about 20 years old, and was built with basically unlimited space, and yet the parking experience is horrible and many lots are often full. Other airports post the cost of the various lots well before one enters a parking area. DIA has no signage until you’ve committed to parking short-term, remote, covered, etc. They have a team of 18+ attorneys and yet nobody is reviewing vendor contracts that seem questionable. Is it any wonder the airport’s CEO, Phil Washington, recently pulled his name from consideration to lead the FAA in the face of Republican opposition?

Randy Thompson, Denver

Lawmakers should be forced to earn their paychecks

It seems to me that our representatives are getting free checks from the American people. They apparently have no idea how to resolve issues that have impacted us for many years, yet they continue to receive paychecks despite accomplishing nothing. Border crisis, immigration reform, the budget, gun control, climate change, LGBT, and basic human decency.

They seem to enjoy the theatrics and special interests that are dragging us down and dividing the country. We deserve more from them and they should instead focus on making things better for the great people of this country-before it’s too late. We need leadership with solutions, not more divisive disruptions. Earn your pay and get things fixed!

Jerry Catron, Golden

Don’t demolish the 1stBANK Center

Re: “City Council votes to terminate contract with 1stBANK Center,” May 26 news story

Another building will possibly be demolished. More Earth materials are being taken from the Earth (raped) and then put back into the Earth (landfills) with no decomposition, put back into the oceans without decomposition. But “Oh” progress. Who decides these things? Is it always about money? Those decision-makers were obviously born with silver spoons and were never taught to think about the future.

Colleen Ostlund, Boulder

For this Democrat, it’s anyone but Trump

Re: “Leaning in on the guilty party,” May 28 letter to the editor

I’ll say it up-front: I am a Democrat who had Republican parents, and I agree with the saying “It’s not your parents’ Republican Party.” A few weeks ago a Republican talking head on CNN said something along the lines of, “All Democrats want Donald Trump to be the Republican nominee.” Of course, there are some Democrats who want Trump to be the nominee, but the vast majority of us love our country and want the Republican candidate to be a normal person like a Chris Sununu or a John Kasich or even a Chris Christi. We are terrified that Trump has a chance of taking over, and I do mean TAKING OVER.

Susan Clare, Westminster

Capitalism’s weaknesses can be exploited

Capitalism is not in itself a monolithic Holy Writ. There are forms and interpretations that range from a simple barter exchange to mega-corporate global trade, nor is it automatically a model of civic benevolence.

“Communist” China went fully capitalist in organizing its massive population into a manufacturing powerhouse. Beijing is no longer a city filled with bicycles, and China, having played international capitalism masterfully, is now a global power.

Ever the Achilles heel of capitalism is greed and an ensuing “free-market” concentration of wealth that constantly strives to maintain its place atop the socioeconomic order. In America, such an “Upstairs/Downstairs” ethos is enshrined in the Constitution, and the power of wealth is consistently protected in Supreme Court rulings.

Unlike here, Xi Jinping seems now moving to rein in China’s growing economic imbalance as being detrimental to the well-being of the nation. Whether one calls this communism, an assault on libertarian freedom, or prudent economic regulation is a matter of political persuasion.

Robert Porath, Boulder

Seniors’ tax exemptions should continue when downsizing homes

I purchased a new home, and we will be moving there soon. I lived at my current location in Denver for over 40 years and was getting the Senior Property Tax exemption for over 12 years (I am 76 years old). When I tried to apply for this exemption for my new home, I found out that I do not meet the requirement of 10 years of residency.

Talking with the assessor’s office, I found out there is no exception for seniors who move and lose this exemption. We need to contact our state legislators to seek an amendment, as many seniors are in this situation throughout the state. I feel this needs to change so as not to punish seniors who choose to downsize.

Girish Bhargava, Denver

Editor’s note: Proposition HH on the November ballot would add portability to the Senior Property Tax Exemption so downsizing seniors would not be penalized.

Work requirements put back on Congress

The GOP wants you to get a job to qualify for SNAP benefits and Medicaid. Many people I know have two jobs just to break even, and they do not qualify for these benefits. Congress members get good salaries and excellent health insurance paid by taxpayers. Do your one job, Congress! It’s not impossible to solve the GOP-induced “debt crisis. Don’t cut benefits. Raise revenue and repeal the Trump tax cuts to wealthy families and corporations.

Victoria Swearingen, Denver

Outdoor Retailer show provided space for grassroots’ organizations

Re: “Colorado to study feasibility of an alternative to the Outdoor Retailer show,” May 19 online news story

In a recent Denver Post article about the loss of the Outdoor Retailer Trade Show, the concept of another “non-trade show” replacement was speculated. I attended that coming together of the outdoor recreation tribe for over 30 years and believe that the time has come for a new and improved way of bringing together all of us who love the great outdoors and use the equipment that is on display for buyers and sellers of the latest gear.

You see, I went not to buy or sell the latest gear or clothing for the outdoors but to sell the importance of rallying on behalf of the land we loved to recreate on. I was there at the founding of Leave No Trace, the Conservation Alliance, the Outdoor Recreation Coalition of America (now the Outdoor Industry Association), the Camber Outdoors, and so many other grassroots efforts that focus on the issues that were near and dear to us.

The manufacturers and retailers were a necessary economic force that enabled us to come together for seminars and keynote speeches and political engagement, but the grassroots organizations’ volunteers and advocacy made all the difference in creating awareness and policies that were desperately needed.

Bruce Ward, Denver

The debt ceiling crisis — who will pay?

To those who insist on drastic spending cuts to raise the debt ceiling, I submit the first cut should be to repeal the Trump tax cuts for the rich.

William Green, Colorado Springs

Here we go again! The government is threatening to not pay out the Social Security benefits if the debt ceiling crisis is not averted. As a business owner, I submit Social Security/Medicare payroll taxes on a weekly basis. Why would the government not pay the beneficiaries of these taxes first? If they are going to not pay out, does this mean that I do not have to submit these taxes? Of course not. I would be penalized and still owe these taxes.

Most recipients of these benefits agonize over the thought of not receiving their checks on time. Quit preying on our older citizens!

Ron Griffith, Castle Rock

Re: “When will the U.S. run out of money? It’s complicated,” May 19 news story

With a $30-plus trillion deficit hanging over the heads of American taxpayers, the question is not complicated; rather, it’s simple.  We ran out of money the moment we borrowed what we couldn’t pay back in full.

Anyone who runs a family budget could tell you this.

Donna Jorgenson Farrell, Broomfield

Re: “COVID-19 era of spending gives way to deficit focus,” May 14 news story

Is anyone paying attention to the details of the proposed debt ceiling crisis? Congress wants to cut back food stamp (SNAP) programs, trim senior benefits, and reduce the Child Tax Credit. According to the Kids Count Data Center, over 144,000 Colorado children under 18 were living in poverty in 2021. 144,000 children with not enough food and nutrition to lead a healthy life. Do you know what it is like as a child to not have enough food to eat? Can you imagine what it is like to go hungry day after day?

We all know that a high debt load is a problem. What I can’t understand is why some in Congress think it is ok to take food out of kids’ mouths instead of dollars out of the pockets of those that have plenty to eat and drink. Please contact your .S. Representatives and tell them to change their minds. Ask them to support a Child Tax Credit which lifted over 45% of children out of poverty in one year! Tell them not to cut programs that devastate those people least able to afford it. Ask them to honor promised programs like Social Security. Tell them, if anything, to increase SNAP benefits.

Mark Clarke, Highlands Ranch

Supreme Court has lost our respect

I used to respect the Supreme Court. I don’t want a conservative Supreme Court. I don’t want a liberal Supreme Court. I want an objective Supreme Court that will decide what is Constitutional and what isn’t in accordance with just what the Constitution says, not how a political party interprets it. I think most Americans want this.

Among his failures, Donald Trump ruined the Court, saying ahead of time that he would only appoint justices that would overthrow Roe vs. Wade. Then he appointed three liars who said in their Senate hearings that Roe vs. Wade was established law. Then upon their appointment, the liars promptly overthrew it.

Now we have justices on the Supreme Court that can’t even be honest and tell the truth. It is not a good situation for America when citizens don’t respect the highest court in the land for what is right. Now we have justices who can’t even be honest.

James T. Watson, Highlands Ranch

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