EDITOR'S NOTE: Each year, the Merced Sun-Star publishes more than 1,000 letters to the editor. Many of those letters are written by frequent contributors.; We thought that readers would like to know a little more about these people, since they contribute mightily to the area's public discourse.; This week's profile is on Ann Adams of Merced.
What is your occupation?
I've been retired since 1993. For the 15 years prior to that, I worked for a large insurance brokerage in San Francisco in their Marine Insurance Department (ships at sea). I began in claims and retired as a licensed Solicitor. I took early retirement planning to find work when we moved here. I found work but not what I expected. I'm raising three great-granddaughters, ages 10, 11, and 12.
How long have you lived in Merced?
How long have you been a Sun-Star reader?
Off and on since 1993. Now that I have the computer, I'm a daily reader.
Excerpt from most recent letter
"If I don't want to see a film (which is most of the recycled junk that comes out these days), I don't go. Others could do the same without restricting my right to see one of the best films of the year. If the theaters continue to refuse to show this extraordinary film, I have spent my last dime in their establishments. I have a feeling I'm not alone."
On Hurricane Katrina response: "The Gulf Coast leaders blame the federal government and the military. The federal government claims that the New Orleans mayor and Louisiana governor didn't ask properly. Properly? "We need help" should have done it. American citizens responded as we always do when others need help. All that was lacking was leadership and a coherent plan. When Congress discusses this fiasco, the Preamble to the U. S. Constitution might be a good starting place. We memorized it as kids; now would be a good time to review it."
Have you received any reaction to your letters?
Yes. The topics I discuss are often controversial and I'm a progressive in what is still a rather conservative city. In San Francisco, I would be considered a moderate. I was once referred to as the "sophisticated and politically correct" Ann Adams. The reaction of people who know me, however, has been positive although sometimes surprised. I was quite silent the first several years I lived here. I was amazed when the Sun-Star printed one of my letters and then another.
Any advice for other letter writers?
No matter how emotionally involved I am with an issue, I try to remain civil. Name calling solves nothing. I'm interested in many of the problems that beset our community and our country but, since I don't want to be disregarded as a crank, I limit the number of letters I write. I try to stay on topic, make my points clearly, and be brief. Remaining brief is the most difficult for me and I often go back and edit.
What is your educational background?
I'm a high school graduate with some college credits, some professional seminars and classes, and over 40 years of work experience in many fields. I'm an avid reader and love learning new things. I'm on my third generation of children which has given me a much practical experience with education and the schools over the years. One of my great-granddaughters has cerebral palsy and I've educated myself to make her life the best it can be. Another has learning disabilities which requires more study on my part.
If there was one thing you could change about Merced, what would it be?
I'm the mother of a adult gay son and the great-grandmother of three mixed-race girls. The city has come a long way in the time I've lived here. The Sun-Star reflects some of the changes. The university will bring many more. As a progressive, I look forward to the time when discrimination, for any reason, will be ancient history.
Merced is growing rapidly. I hope that growth is planned and orderly. I hope Merced will keep its individuality and not become merely a bedroom community for the larger cities.
I hope the citizens of Merced will realize that our children are our most valuable resource and that our schools reflect that realization.
I support our local police in their efforts to fight crime and keep our neighborhoods safe. I support Neighborhood Watches and after school programs, affordable medical and childcare, and an end to domestic abuse. I believe, in spite of the jokes, that it does take a village to raise children.
In short, I want to leave the world a better place for the three little girls I'm trying to equip for adulthood. We may not agree on many things but I hope we can all can agree on that.
Posted on 02/04/06 00:30:00