The Business of the City: Miscellaneous

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day 2017

Tuesday, February 7th is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. This year's theme is "I Am My Brother's and Sister's Keep. Fight HIV/AIDS." Here in the United States, even as we have seen some decreases, the statistics remain alarming for African American people and for Latino people. For getting tested in the Plainfield area, contact: Iris House (630 E. Front Street, Ste. 100 at 908-561-5057) Hyacinth AIDS Foundation (107 Park Avenue, 3rd Floor at 908-755-0021), Planned Parenthood of Central and Greater Northern New Jersey Incorporated (123 Park Avenue at 908-756-3736
), and Neighborhood Health Services Corporation (1700 Myrtle Avenue at 908-753-6401, ext. 1301). Click on the link for more sites in the area and in other communities: HIV Testing Sites & Care Services Locator

In addition, folks should be aware of the CDC's campaign to combat HIV/AIDS among Latino gay/bisexual men through its Reasons/Razones HIV testing campaign. Click here.

Below are some highlights--click here to be taken to the National Black HIV/AIDS Day web site.

"GET EDUCATED: The focus of NBHAAD is to get Blacks educated about the basics of HIV and AIDS in their local communities."
"GET TESTED: Testing is at the core of this initiative and is critical for prevention of HIV in Black communities. It is hoped that Blacks will mark February 7 of every year as their annual or bi-annual day to get tested for HIV. This is vital for those who are sexually active and those at high risk of contracting HIV."
"GET INVOLVED: Getting Blacks involved to host and participate in NBHAAD events is another key focus area. Whether it is organizing a testing and awareness event at a local college, speaking about the importance of HIV prevention and treatment at your local faith-based organizations, or supporting a local AIDS service provider, it is key that you get involved."
"GET TREATED: For those who have HIV, the connections to treatment and care services are paramount. Seeing a doctor and receiving care, and taking prescribed HIV medicines helps individuals stay healthy and reduces the risk of transmitting the virus to others. Without treatment, HIV leads to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) and can lead to early death."

From the Centers for Disease Control website: "Led by the Strategic Leadership Council, this initiative [National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD)] is designed to increase HIV education, testing, community involvement, and treatment among black communities across the nation." Click here for the CDC website: 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Town Hall on Public Safety: Thursday, Jan. 5 at 7:00 pm at Washington School

Please come out to the Community Town Hall, this Thursday, 1/5, at Washington Community School at 7:00 pm. I urge you to bring your concerns and help our community as we discuss positive solutions. As you are aware, our beloved city of Plainfield has been marked by willful violence over the past year, and especially in this past month. Cowardly individuals would prefer to destroy the lives of others by committing gun violence rather than try to work out their differences in constructive ways. The police become hampered in their efforts because many refuse to cooperate with authorities, and the cycle continues. 
The community becomes alarmed, especially those law-abiding, hardworking residents in the areas where these deadly crimes are occurring. Our young people become alarmed, and they are the ones who should feel most safe. All residents and stakeholders need to come together and work with law enforcement to root out the folks committing the violence, and to help our young people coming up.  We have community schools in Plainfield, which are designed to be a significant part of our community life, and which provide after school and additional recreational activities for our young people--I will be urging stakeholders and community organizations (especially 501 (c) 3 groups) to utilize our public spaces even more to provide their programs for young people--especially those of high school age. I will say more about these community collaborations in a separate post.

On a social media (Facebook) post the other day, someone asked me whether I would "mentor gang members and at risk youth." My response was, "I already do. I grew up around gang violence, I have lost family members and friends due to violence, and it's part of my commitment to them and their memory to do what I can in whatever way I can. It's part of my life's work." And that is how I have always operated. Those who know me know the truth of my life, and the work that I do. 

As the incoming councilwoman at-large in the citywide seat, as a mentor of young people--including those in gangs, as a teacher, and as a community advocate, I will continue to work with all those who seek solutions to the violence that is destroying some parts of our community.

Come out to help our community as we discuss positive solutions. Those who want to point fingers selectively need to instead focus on solutions, because negativity will not help our young people to feel safer, it will not help us move forward as a city, and the jobs that young men and women need will not materialize if businesses are concerned about moving to Plainfield. That, too, can be a vicious cycle.

The administration, our public safety officers, the city council, the school district, and our larger community will all be in attendance. We need to leave the "politics" aside, and really focus. This is going to take everyone--all of us--working together to get it done. 

All best,



Monday, December 5, 2016

Plainfield Town Hall: Thursday, December 8 at Senior Citizens Center

From the City of Plainfield:

This Thursday, December 8, from 7:00 - 9:00 pm, at the Plainfield Senior Citizens Center (400 East Front Street), Mayor Adrian O. Mapp invites residents to "A Critical Conversation - Questions for a Changing America," a Plainfield Town Hall Meeting moderated by Tara Dowdell, political pundit and principal of The Tara Dowdell Group. The panelists are: Mayor Adrian O. Mapp, City of Plainfield; Ari Rosmarin, Public Policy Director, ACLU NJ; Reverend Damaris Ortega, Pastor, United Church of Christ Congregational; Adriana Abizadeh, Executive Director, Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund; Christian Estevez, President, Latino Action Network; Todd Cox, Director of Policy, NAACP Legal Defense Fund; Ashley Vazquez, Plainfield High School senior.  

There will also be perspectives from other elected State, County and Local officials. Panelists will prepare with the following guiding questions in mind: Is there a reason for concern? If so, why? What are the powers or limitations of the Mayor or Municipality? What can be done locally to protect the rights of potentially impacted residents (i.e. the undocumented, LGBTQ, Seniors, etc.)? What is the difference between a Welcoming City and a Sanctuary City? How deep will the changes be to healthcare and social service programs, and are there options that communities can take to limit the impact? 

Each panelist will provide focus on the work of their organization, and how possible changes on the national level will have a local impact. They will share any strategies their organizations might be contemplating in light of the change in administration, and how local governments, houses of worship, community groups and residents can help shape their work around human, economic and civil rights.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Holiday Lights Celebration Tomorrow (Thursday, Dec.1, at 6:00 PM)!

The Annual Plainfield Holiday Lights Celebration tomorrow evening, Thursday, Dec.1, at 6:00 PM at Plainfield City Hall, 515 Watchung Avenue. There will be music, holiday fun, and a visit from Santa Claus! In addition, there will be one complimentary family photo, sponsored by the Plainfield Education Association. Let's celebrate the winter holiday season together!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Thanks, Plainfield!

We couldn't have done it without you!
Third Ward Councilman-Elect Charles McRae and At-large Councilwoman-Elect Rebecca Williams for the City of Plainfield!

Monday, November 7, 2016

The Case for Rebecca and Charles - Vote Column A in Plainfield

On Tuesday, November 8, Plainfield voters will take part in a historic election, one that will make Hillary Clinton the first woman to serve as President of the United States. In addition to Secretary Clinton, Plainfielders will vote on the future of our city. Charles McRae and I are on the ballot in Column A with Hillary Clinton, our Congresswoman, the Honorable Bonnie Watson Coleman, and Linda Carter and the Union County Freeholders. This has been quite an election season--with much demagoguery and divisiveness at the national level. Here in Plainfield, however, the choice is clear. After winning the Democratic primary, I am poised to become your next Councilwoman At-Large for the City of Plainfield. I will be as visible across the city as I always have been, and I pledge to provide the same quality of representation for all of Plainfield that I have given to the Second and Third Wards. 

Charles will bring a new voice to the Third Ward--he will be accessible, visible, and he will always put Plainfield first. Charles made a very important statement at last week's candidate forum. In effect, he noted that Plainfielders have a choice--to move Plainfield forward, or to go back to the past. Charles's opponent represents the past--a record of failure and ineptitude that marked her eight year tenure running this city. The lack of leadership in the Third Ward since 2014--the divisiveness, the rudeness, the obtuseness, the lack of even bothering to come to council meetings--will be the legacy of the past representative.  

Charles represents the future--forward progress by working with Mayor Mapp and the current administration to bring you the high quality of service that you deserve. Charles and I have been endorsed by Councilmen Barry Goode and Cory Storch, the Plainfield Democratic City Committee--led by Chairman Adrian Mapp, the Union County Democratic Committee, Congresswoman Coleman, and the freeholder board. The choice is clear: Charles McRae and Rebecca Williams. Vote Column A.





Friday, October 28, 2016

Some People Never Learn...The Very Partisan "Non-Partisan" Plainfield Chapter NAACP

Once again, we see former Plainfield mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs using the Facebook Page of the supposedly "non-partisan" Plainfield Chapter NAACP to promote her candidacy for the 3rd Ward City Council seat. I received a heads-up on the image below, which is on the Plainfield Chapter NAACP's Facebook page as of this writing. This is not the first time that she and her husband, who is the "President" have misused the NAACP name to promote political candidates. The last time was when I was running for re-election in 2014. Peter Briggs stated at the time that it was a mistake--and he was quite offended that anyone would dare to assume that he would do anything untoward. He wrote a response in the comments section of the PlainTalker II blog at the time (Saturday, 5/17/14): Mr. Goldstein, Thank you for the notification that the information was posted there. I was not aware that the information was posted but will take full responsibility for the issue. My apologies go out to all for the lack of oversight. Peter Briggs President Plainfield NAACP 

Here is the post I wrote back then: The Shameful Sham of the Plainfield Area NAACP
Below is part of what was posted on Facebook in 2014, and then deleted. But here, again, two years later, we see them doing the SAME THING. The State NAACP must be quite perturbed at the Briggs/Robinson-Briggs duo for misusing the NAACP organization's name and endangering the non-profit status of this venerable national organization with their partisan election foolishness. Here is what the NAACP says about partisan politics: 

"NAACP units cannot endorse or oppose candidates running for public office, make financial or in-kind contributions to candidates, political parties, or PACs, or engage in other activity that is designed or targeted to influence the outcome of any candidate election." 

And yet, the image above is STILL on their page as of this writing. No wonder their "leadership" of the local chapter has ZERO CREDIBILITY and is still a "shameful sham."