Friday, June 1, 2012
Critical Primary Election This Tuesday
This Tuesday's election is a critical one for Plainfield. You have the choice of voting for Veronica "Roni" Taylor, a progressive and pragmatic voice for the people of Plainfield, or you can vote for her opponent, a PMUA Commissioner who has remained silent on the issues that matter most to you. We have been working hard to get Roni elected, walking through the neighborhoods, talking to voters and other residents, and really trying our best to get Roni's message out. Our campaign team is made up of volunteers--concerned neighbors just like you. We cannot afford to sit this election out--if you don't vote, you are making a choice.
I have been getting feedback from voters on the flyer that PMUA Commissioner Rev. Brown mailed over the weekend, which had an image of her in a pulpit with other ministers along with images of President Obama and Senator Menendez. It looked like all were praying, yet the text of the flyer was political--not religious. Many of you have said you found this mix of a religious setting and politics distasteful--I do as well.
I can't imagine that our president and our senator would be endorsing the use of their images in such a flyer--moments of prayer are just that--moments of prayer, and they should not be cheaply exploited for political gain--it demeans the intent of the prayer and misleads the public. We are all on the "Obama Team," come November, but to suggest that one has received special religious dispensation from the president due to one's role as a pastor is misleading.
The other issue about this flyer is the glaring omission of PMUA Commissioner Rev. Brown's work as part of the policy-making body of the authority, and the lack of information she has provided to the voters about what she, as commissioner, is doing to provide relief to the ratepayers. Commissioner Rev. Brown showed a stunning lack of insight into the struggles of PMUA ratepayers. At the forum last week, she stated something to the effect that the PMUA wasn't causing people to lose their homes, which Roni Taylor suggested could be the case.
The list of liens produced of those who owe the PMUA runs to several pages. The overwhelming majority of liens is for the PMUA. As I was driving through Commissioner Brown's neighborhood--she lives on Jean Terrace in the Second Ward--I was struck by the number of lawn signs her neighbors on Jean Terrace put up in support of her. There are 19 households on Jean Terrace that are listed as "Democrat" on the county voting list. The PMUA lien list has 12 households from Jean Terrace alone listed.
Twelve of the commissioner's closest neighbors--on her own block--are in danger of losing their homes if they don't find a way to make these payments. It is unlikely that they are aware that she is part of the policy-making body of the PMUA, which sets the rates they find so difficult to pay. It is important for them to know--it is possible that they wouldn't be ornamenting their lawns with her campaign signs if they knew that the votes by their commissioner-neighbor raised their rates by double-digits.
I would ask that you share your feelings about both the misleading flyer and about Rev. Brown's omission of her work as a longtime PMUA Commissioner in the voting booth by casting your vote for Veronica Taylor on Line 7B. In addition, if you live in the Third Ward, whose homeowners are also struggling greatly under the burden of the PMUA, I suggest you cast your vote for Adrian Mapp on Line 8A.