LETTER: Mask waivers

April Cromer/Leavenworth

To the editor:

Why can the NFL, NBA, other professional sports, schools, corporate owned gyms, etc., be approved for mask waivers but small businesses cannot? This seems to be something of concern for small business owners these days, especially for owners of small gyms, cross-fit gyms, self-defense classes and other businesses specializing in recreational sports. Small business owners are being denied mask waivers because they do not have a governing body.  

Imagine you are a small business owner. Every week you depend on your customers to come in for business in order to feed your family, pay your bills and pay your employees. Imagine the anxiety experienced if your small business specializes in recreational sports so you apply for a mask waiver, however, are denied by the city. Think about it. Who wants to exercise with a mask? Now imagine if you are a minority and own this type of small business.  

So who are denying these exemptions? The city of Leavenworth has assumed responsibility by determining “essential” businesses are only those under a “governing body” therefore are issued a mask waiver. The most disturbing issue is these decisions are being made by unelected officials. Once again, small businesses are being targeted while large corporations and franchises are allowed mask waivers. This is clearly a deprivation of rights.

The Civil Rights Act of 1871 (42 U.S. Code § 1983) allows citizens to sue the government at the state or local level when the government has deprived a person of rights created by the United States Constitution, which by the way is the supreme law of the land.  

From the onset of this pandemic, the governor has targeted churches and small businesses and now the local governments are doing the same thing. The issue is that most citizens do not know their rights as outlined in the Constitution. This overreach is an abuse of power. The city of Leavenworth has overreached and is abusing their power targeting small businesses including those owned by minorities within this community.  

Take a stand against this type of government abuse. Fight for your small business and sign the petition.