In Robert Macdonald’s letter, printed June 17, he promoted a prejudiced view that must be corrected. He reasoned that Lewiston community members who have not yet become citizens (Macdonald calls them “aliens”) should be excluded from serving on a Lewiston task force.
Unfortunately, Macdonald’s “alien reasoning” is all alien and no reason.
There are a lot of different ways to qualify whether someone is a dedicated member of a community. You can own or rent a home, pay taxes, and get to know the people in your neighborhood. You can show respect for your neighbors and help them out when they are in need. You can become involved in volunteer groups and after-school activities.
These are all important features of a good community member that are not guaranteed under the simple label of “citizenship.” Are these not the exact qualifications we want for someone to serve on a Lewiston committee or task force?
Shouldn’t we encourage good community members to participate in city government, rather than exclude them on technicalities?
A few weeks ago, the National Civic League rightfully named Lewiston an “All American City.” The city earned that award by showing the judges how it is building on the strengths of all community members – citizens and non-citizens alike.
Great American cities are ones that embrace and celebrate the opportunities presented when new immigrants wish to become valuable community members. This greatness will never be achieved through discrimination and exclusion.
Craig Saddlemire, Lewiston