In your editorial extolling the life of longtime Post-Gazette editorial writer Clarke Thomas, who died Feb. 21, you note that Clarke "saw journalism as a vital form of community service" ("Clarke's Gift," Feb. 24). That is precisely why the League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh and its Good Government Award Committee honored Clarke with the Good Government Award in 1998. He took complex issues and made them resonate with the public, promoting the public discourse that makes for good government.
As an import to the city, Clarke was fascinated by everything that made Pittsburgh work. He was well-versed in the complexities of local government, understood the unique qualities and energy of Pittsburgh neighborhoods, and valued those actions, activities, events and happenings so vital in promoting a sense of community. He had the institutional history for so much of Pittsburgh's recent past and highly regarded the contributions made by individuals, often behind the scenes, that helped Pittsburgh through difficult times and/or contributed toward significant developments in the city.
Clarke's editorials and stories fostered pride and insight into Pittsburgh. As an import to the area myself, I appreciated the perspective and vision that he offered. Pittsburgh is poorer without him, but so much richer for his having lived here and donated so much of himself to the fabric of Pittsburgh. He is already missed.
League of Women Voters of Greater Pittsburgh
Co-Chair, Good Government Award Committee