Phil Church of West Richland questions the ability of community Hispanic leaders in Pasco to represent and contribute inasmuch as they are not elected or appointed (Letters, June 17). Only by holding an elected office or position does one wield political power, he wrote. It is what democracy demands.
It's unfortunate in this day and age that the value of community leaders -- ordinary citizens who step forward to present ideas and solutions -- is not appreciated nor seen as democracy at its best.
These community voices, often drawing from great experience and vision, frequently see what elected and appointed officials do not. Our history shows countless examples where community leaders have made an enormous contribution to our way of life. This is because they tend to be optimistic, proactive and find reasons why things can happen rather than why they cannot.
As such, community leaders, be they Hispanic, seniors, veterans or West Richlanders, will always be an important component of our democratic process.
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FELIX VARGAS, Pasco