I’ve given some thought lately to an America (to be more precise, United States of America) that I can be proud of. I came up with a few.

I can be proud of an America that:

• Gives complete access to health care to everyone, no matter their financial status. No one should suffer because of illness in the 21st century.

• Ensures that all workers receive just compensation for their labors. No job is so insignificant that less than a living wage is considered to be just compensation. If a well-paid job cannot be provided, that person without a job should receive compensation worthy of dignity until a suitable job can be provided — no time limit. If, for any reason, that person cannot perform reasonable tasks, they shall be compensated.

• Does not deny anyone access to entry into the country unless it can be proven that individual poses a real threat to U.S. citizens and environment.

• Forgives all that paid their debt to society for past transgressions. The practice of sweeping post-punitive sentences of those who did their time must be suspended.

• Provides decent housing for all, no matter their financial status. There appears to be enough wealth in this country to build massive skyscrapers, insurance company buildings and hospital waiting rooms. Put that wealth into dwellings.

• Provides public transportation at a reasonable cost. Better public transportation existed in this country more than 100 years ago. The bonus here would be a smaller carbon footprint.

• Creates an environment where I don’t have to fear being shot at random.

Were there enough space, this list could go on. Just the seven examples I’ve listed could make me very proud of America. If they ever happen.

Peter P. Sirois, Madison

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