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Ballot questions let voters legislate

The Banner weighs in on the four questions on the 2014 Massachusetts ballot.

What do you think should be done to improve police relations with the community?

Everybody should be more responsible for their actions — police and community residents need to be more respectful and more responsible. — Yusuf Ali, Counselor, Dorchester

Unemployment stats paint a dangerously incomplete picture

While U.S. unemployment figures are trending downward, the government’s failure to take into account increases in those not looking for work masks a more troubling trend.

No stop-and-frisk without probable cause to arrest

Barring police from stopping and searching people unless they have probable cause to arrest would go a long way toward bettering relations between the department and the community.

To what extent do you think racial profiling is an issue in Boston?

On a scale of one to ten, I’d say about a six. Students talk to me all the time about getting stopped and searched. — Nate Smith, Teacher, Roslindale

Secret Service bungles underscore the never ending peril to President Obama

President Obama has received numerous threats that are showing flaws in the Secret Service.

Be somebody: Register to vote

Everybody has equal say on Election Day.

What do you think should be the U.S. response to the Islamic State’s military aggression?

We’ve already got involved. There has to be some type of transition to local militaries. — Darren Howell, Community Organizer, Mattapan

Eric Holder was our firewall against GOP bigotry

Columnist Earl Ofari Hutchinson argues that outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder took progressive stands on key issues where President Obama was not able to.

America’s race sickness afflicts public health

Many Americans hold negative views of Obama Care, unless they don’t know they’re receiving it.

Commentary: Shifting sexual mores present new challenges

In January, a White House report entitled “Rape and Sexual Assault: A Renewed Call to Action” found that one in five women have been sexually assaulted in college. President Obama launched a new effort in September called “It’s On Us” ...

A glaring omission in the NFL’s approach to abuse

The NFL has appointed an all-white committee to update its policies on domestic abuse, despite the fact that two-thirds of the league’s players are black.

Why do you think voter turnout is low among blacks?

Because they think the people they vote for can’t win. — Maxine Fleming, Clerk, Brockton

No excuses for failure to vote

With a criminal justice system that is skewed against blacks and a city council with just one black member, blacks in Ferguson would do well to exercise their political power and vote.

Governor’s race wide open

While Massachusetts has consistently voted for Democrats in congressional and presidential races, voters have shown little party loyalty in gubernatorial races. With Democrat Martha Coakley and Republican Charlie Baker running neck-and-neck, this year’s gubernatorial race could go either way.