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To the editor — About Bruce Smith's Oct. 21 letter and my dissent against his strong mayor campaign ("Soneya Lund a better choice for Yakima council"):

I have survived cancer and childhood domestic violence, so I'm not particularly afraid of his many critiques — 'tis water off a duck's proverbial back.

Conflict is natural. We must be able to listen to and understand its emotive and structural underpinnings. Smith dubs me divisive, but what I see and hear is that Yakima is already divided. That was not my doing. The only way to unite the city is to empower everyone in it and give them a voice. I am immersed in the Latino community and I find it to be the most appealing part about Yakima to young people and newcomers. The Latino culture is truly a gift to this city; societies die without new blood, and this city has an incredible opportunity to transform itself.

Many may disagree. And that's fine. It's actually acceptable to dissent in a democracy.

I leave you with two quotes:

"¡El pueblo unido jamás será vencido!"("The people united will never be defeated!")

— Frederic Rzewski

And: "Progress is a nice word. But change is its motivator. And change has its enemies."

— Robert F. Kennedy.

LIZ HALLOCK

Yakima

Editor's Note: Liz Hallock is a candidate for the Yakima City Council in District 5. Also, the letter has been updated to correct the translation of the Rzewski quote.