As a constituent in Ohio’s 16th U.S. House District, I’ve had the privilege to meet and speak with most candidates running for office. Although all of the candidates seem to be sincere people with clear platforms, Grant Goodrich stands out.

Goodrich is a graduate of the Naval Academy, and served 14 years as a Marine infantry officer. He is currently director of the Great Lakes Energy Institute in Cleveland, and formerly was interim CEO of Team Northeast Ohio, responsible for attracting and growing jobs in our region.

Despite all of his accomplishments, Goodrich is a down-to-earth and caring person, often listening more than he talks. And when he talks, he is a wealth of information. At one town hall I attended, Goodrich described available work programs and educational benefits to a mother worried about her unemployed son.

After years of lackluster congressional candidates, Goodrich gives me hope for our country’s future.

Michael E. Cryder

North Canton

Invest in Norton students

Norton’s 3.5-mill levy on the May 8 ballot would cost the owner of a $100,000 house approximately the same as one pizza per month. Think of what that “one pizza per month” can do to benefit the students. It could allow the expansion of educational opportunities available to students, such as adding advanced placement courses at the high school and additional Career Tech programs (giving both college-bound and non-college bound students a strong start to their future). Class sizes would not need to be increased, nor pay-to-play programs implemented.

A thriving community depends on citizens who are willing to invest in the community. Let’s give our students the best possible start to the rest of their lives.

Lianne Fowler

Norton

First priority: Repair the streets

Does Akron need more cops, newer police cars and rebuilt fire stations? Emphatically no. Akron needs to immediately start fixing its detestable city streets.

When I drive through neighboring communities such as Fairlawn, Cuyahoga Falls or Hudson, I don’t see comparable damage, and the winter weather was just as bad there.

Akron must give first priority to its damaged streets and budget accordingly.

Patrick Lofgren

Akron

Not health care or birth control

The April 24 commentary ‘‘Missed by both sides in the abortion debate’’ made wrong assumptions about the impact of poverty and racism on abortion as viewed by pro-life advocates. We’ve been fighting for a long time about these issues, yet almost every time we point out cause and effect, we’re accused of racism or being anti-women’s rights.

All women are led to believe that abortion is without risk, and that it can be used as birth control in an unwanted pregnancy. Instead of getting informed consent, especially about the risks of breast cancer, on infant mortality in future pregnancies or on post-abortion mental health, women are led to believe that this is the best way to prevent birth.

Most offensive was the implication that pro-life advocates don’t care about the outcomes of abortion-seeking women, and that for us, the sanctity of life ends at birth. Spend a day at any of the pregnancy resource centers that cater to women and their children through pregnancy and long beyond and you’ll quickly change your mind.

Abortion is not health care, and it shouldn’t be used as birth control.

Denise Leipold

Executive director

Right to Life of Northeast Ohio

Akron