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FACTS: Learn how to research

| April 16, 2010 10:00 PM

In his letter of 9 April 2010, Steve Adams asserts that President Obama “has started yet another program to help those who traditionally vote for Democrat candidates.” After identifying teachers EMTs, firefighters and policemen, he continues with, “That’s right the people with some of the most secure jobs, working for the government can now get a home at half off, conveniently funded by taxes on those in the private sector . . .” 

In fact, the Good Neighbor Next Door program, administered by HUD was introduced by the George W. Bush administration in 2005. It is an elaboration on the Officer Next Door Program (OND) and the Teacher Next Door programs (TND) introduced in 1998 and 1999, respectively. The Federal Register of Sept. 8, 2005 announcing the Good Neighbor Next Door program cites the success of these predecessor programs as the basis for expanding the eligibility pool. Among the purposes of these programs is the desire to keep these professionals in the communities they serve thereby creating a greater sense of community. 

These stakeholders will presumably have a higher level of interest in schools that their own children attend, safe streets where they live, and even in shorter emergency response times. The properties eligible for these programs must be in identified “Revitalization Areas,” must be HUD-owned, and the program participant must occupy the property as his/her primary residence for no less than 36 months.

If Mr. Adams has an issue with these professionals being treated as “more equal” than others by virtue of the existence of this program, that is of course, a valid basis for discussion. If he disagrees with the President philosophically or otherwise, that too is his prerogative. But to simply ascribe actions and motives to someone with whom you disagree politically (especially the actions of another) is intellectually dishonest, fundamentally wrong, and a particularly egregious affront to the youth of our community to whom we owe a greater allegiance to factual debate, civility in political discourse, and better examples of how not to bully others. 

Of his own children, Mr. Adams says this: “I teach my children that in America, we are all in it together, but now I see that we aren’t going to be treated equally.” Well, Mr. Adams, perhaps with a good education (including basic research skill development), your children can overcome the disadvantage of living in the fact-free, blame the government zone that you apparently pride yourself on providing them. 

CAROLE STRINGER

Hayden

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