The Business of the City: Miscellaneous

Saturday, May 31, 2014

BOSS Jerry Green and BOSS Steve Sweeney--Just Say "NO!"

The unconscionable attempt by Jerry "I Run This MotherF@&ker" Green paint me as some kind of "Tea Party" individual reached new heights in a mailer in which he pulled the Senate President down to the gutter to denounce me. South Jersey "Boss" Steve Sweeney, the so-called Democrat who sold out the unions (including mine, the NJEA) to Chris Christie--attached his name and "reputation" to Jerry's smear-filled attack on me.

Sweeney wouldn't know me if he fell over me. Whatever "favors" Jerry Green called in to get Sweeney to involve himself in this local race must've been BIG! We will see after the election. Many of you have already called, emailed, and tweeted Sweeney to voice your displeasure at his know-nothing attack on me--a teacher and progressive Democrat who has been active in my community.  Here's a brief resume of my credentials:

  • Democratic Councilwoman of Plainfield (Wards 2 & 3, At-large)
  • Ward 2 Democratic Leader and Committeewoman, Plainfield Democratic City Committee 
  • Founding Member of the New Jersey Chapter of the Progressive Democrats of America
  • Founding Member and former Chair of the Bayard Rustin Progressive Democrats (2004-2007), a grassroots organization focused on LGBT inclusion in Democratic Party
  • Member and Former Officer of the League of Women Voters of Plainfield
I could go on, but I will stop here--I have work to do in getting out the vote to end the gridlock caused by Jerry Green's attempt to continue his stranglehold on our city. 

I hope that on Tuesday, June 3rd, you will support COLUMN E and 


Friday, May 30, 2014

Cease and Desist! (From Telling the Truth?)

So you may have heard by now that Assemblyman Jerry Green is threatening to sue me (his "lawyer" sent me a silly cease-and-desist letter) for exercising my First Amendment right to highlight the fact that, regarding our beloved city of Plainfield, Jerry Green said "I run this motherf@cker!" in an angry exchange during last year's election. Jerry swears he didn't say it and, of course, he foolishly said so because he didn't think I had seen the video. It's clear that the lawyer hadn't seen it. Usually, Green's intimidating tactics are the type witnessed in the video, but now he's trying to intimidate through empty threats of legal action. Pathetic. Below is the infamous exchange, and here is a link to the entire thing, posted on The Plainfield View Blog. I will discuss Sweeney-Gate (lol) later!

 Proof that it absolutely was Jerry Green in the famed video

Warning--the video contains Jerry Green's extremely colorful language!

I will be sending this to his "lawyer" tomorrow. LMAO.


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Plainfield Obstructionists and Their Sham Resolution

Yesterday, I posted a video from PCTV's "The Mayor's Corner," wherein Mayor Adrian Mapp lays out his agenda for Plainfield in an appeal to the citizens who elected him by over 70% to carry it out. It is thoughtful and clear. This is how President Barack Obama reaches the people--by going on the air to speak directly to the people and to let them know that the legislative body (the Congress) is obstructing his agenda. There are dozens of videos of the president doing this. 

So, now the forces of obstruction on the city council have taken their foolishness to another level. They are saying that the mayor bringing his agenda to the public is unethical. They are scheduling a sham "special meeting" for tomorrow night to pass a sham resolution wherein they will ask the state ethics board to look into the mayor's use of the public access channel to speak to the residents of Plainfield about his agenda. After speaking to someone from the state's ethics board yesterday, it is clear that there have been no ethics violations. The Corporation Counsel has also told them that there are no violations and that nothing the mayor did or said was illegal. 

Simply put, the Plainfield Obstructionists have no leg to stand on--they are simply playing politics--along with their benefactor, Jerry Green. I fully expect them to come out with a foul mailing piece wherein they attack me and the rest of our team. You can bet on it--many of you remember the foul pieces that are Jerry Green's stock-in-trade--be on the lookout for his trash.

When I arrived at the meeting, outgoing Councilman Reid was completing his usual time-wasting harangue. Appointed Councilwoman Taylor then went on at length spouting a bunch of nonsense (as she usually does) about her "support for the mayor" while obstructing the agenda that exposed her as ill-informed and unqualified to do anything to help the city. She kept repeating herself to the point that those in attendance began looking at their watches--time to stop blathering.

The absurdity of the entire evening was heightened by yet another pathetic and embarrassing appearance by the former mayor (she of the failed and corruption-filled administration, ethical violations, illegalities, hundreds of thousands of $$ spent on personal "bodyguards," tens of thousands of $$ wasted on food for herself and her cronies, budgetary disasters, etc.) who has nothing better to do with her time since being turned out of office by the voters of Plainfield.
Again, the countless times in which Obama has taken his case to the public-- think of the obstructionism by Republicans in Congress that led us to the fiscal cliff--means that he is unethical? According to the "logic" of the Plainfield Obstructionists, the answer could only be "yes."

The election is six days away and the Plainfield Obstructionists want to attack the forward progress of our city by deflecting from their own ethical lapses--putting the residents of Liberty Village in jeopardy of losing their homes to fulfill their mentor Jerry Green's agenda--to make up some bizarre last-minute attack on a mayor who has been in office for merely 19 weeks. It is unconscionable. I hope folks see how these councilors are impeding our city's future with their petty foolishness.


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Case for Progress

The Case for Progress
Mayor Adrian Mapp has articulated the need for progress on behalf of the city on many occasions in the past 19 weeks (since he has been mayor). Below is a video from "The Mayor's Corner," in which Mayor Mapp lays out his reasoning for creating a team that will move Plainfield forward. As I have been out canvassing and speaking to residents, it is clear that most are on board with the new administration's ideas to re-brand and market the city in a way that has not been done previously. Unfortunately, the actions of some of my council colleagues show that they have no clue as to what it means to re-brand a city and to move it forward. They are more interested in getting seasonal jobs for their friends and relatives than working to improve economic development to provide REAL, SUSTAINABLE, LIVING-WAGE jobs to Plainfield residents. This is what I find most distressing--those with no vision beyond hooking up their friends and relatives and protecting their own patronage have decided to impede the progress of our city and harm our residents. Unconscionable.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Councilor Rebecca Williams - Endorsed by Ethical Leadership

Councilman Cory Storch and Mayor Adrian Mapp

I have spent a bit over 3 years on the city council, focusing on bringing strong values, principled decision-making, and ethical leadership to the council table. I have done my best to serve you, my constituents in the 2nd and 3rd Wards of our city, as well as the residents in the First and Fourth Wards who reach out to me. I have tried to lead through example, and I have worked to bring accountability and responsibility to the governing body. When I first ran for office, I was endorsed by Councilman Cory Storch and (then) Councilman Adrian Mapp--now Mayor, I am so proud to say. This time around, I am once again humbled to have received their endorsements. If I am re-elected, I pledge once again to always put the residents of Plainfield first, and to continue to ensure that your safety  and your quality of life come first.

On behalf of our team as well (Charles McRae for Third Ward and Emmett Swan for First Ward), I want to thank everyone who came out to the New Democrats breakfast yesterday morning. Your support is deeply appreciated, and we look forward to your help with our final push this week as we move inexorably and with alacrity toward Tuesday, June 3rd. 



Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Shameful Sham of the Plainfield Area NAACP


As I wrote a couple of days ago, Jerry Green has resuscitated his greatest failure, Sharon Robinson-Briggs, to enlist her help in getting the vote out for his unqualified candidates. Sharon and her "husband," Peter, President of the Plainfield Area NAACP, have
jeopardized the non-profit status of the NAACP with their partisan campaign foolishness--click here to see the story about their partisan campaigning for Jerry's candidates on their Facebook page--the images were posted by THEM. 
Peter and Sharon's deliberate use of the Plainfield NAACP to promote their (and Jerry's) candidates shows the lengths to which they will go. At the same time, Peter writes, in a comment on The Plaintalker II blog (click here and go to Comments) "... By all means, comment on me personally, critique my organization of the forum, comment on MY personal agenda but do not confuse Peter with the NAACP." How disingenuous. How dishonest. How unethical.   
That Jerry Green (who himself lacks credibility--he is a statewide joke) could attempt to give these folks credibility where there is none demonstrates that he will say and do anything to destroy this city. It shows that Briggs and Robinson-Briggs will destroy the name of a good organization in service of Jerry's agenda. The state NAACP has already been made aware of what they have done--I look forward to the outcome of the investigation. Remember that Sharon was trying to run for president of the State NAACP--she lost by a landslide. Perhaps the statewide area groups knew what they would be in for. It shows that they do not know the meaning of ethical behavior. 

  Jerry the Destroyer

Jerry Green's attempt to destroy the mandate of the Plainfield community shows that he cares nothing about the folks who live here. The councilors who jeopardized the Liberty Village residents with their stalling and foolishness on behalf of Jerry Green and his cronies have also shown the community that they put Jerry Green's interests above their own constituents. This is disgraceful. The willful ignorance and contempt that they have shown for the city is appalling. I guess when Jerry Green gives unqualified people county patronage jobs, the payback is loyalty, and the public be damned. Jerry's candidates will lobby on behalf of "Legal Shield" for their friends for weeks and stall on his behalf as opposed to the best interests of the Liberty Village residents while he "talks to HUD" as "head of housing for the state" (laughable). As we have seen, his unqualified candidates have nothing to offer this community.  


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Community Meetings...Further Notes on the "Rescuscitation"

A resident at one of the weekend's community meetings repeated a mantra from the beginning of the year as she pledged her support for me, for the new Mapp administration, and for Plainfield's future: She said: "If you succeed, we all succeed." Amen.

Yesterday, I attended another one of the many community meetings and campaign events that we had scheduled for this weekend. When I was canvassing in this neighborhood earlier in the week, some of the residents showed me a photocopied flier of the attack Jerry Green made on Mayor Mapp--they were disgusted by Green's "hypocrisy" and "two-facedness"--their words. They had voted for Mapp in overwhelming numbers--he received over 70% of the vote. In contrast, Jerry Green received LESS THAN 30% of the vote in the 22nd Legislative District!   

To have Jerry Green, who only received 30% of the vote, attack a new mayor who had been in office for only 16 weeks, was deeply offensive to these neighbors. They were also angry about the notorious "push poll" that many of them had responded to. Once again, the response to the question about the greatest problem facing Plainfield was: "Jerry Green!" Click here for my earlier blog post: The Embarrassing Spectacle of Jerry Green

Mayor Mapp had also been invited by the community, as they wanted to hear him speak about their neighborhood and about his vision for Plainfield. The mayor spoke about his desire for "One Plainfield," about his challenges thus far, and about his need to have a council he could work with.When I spoke, I talked about my record of achievement in my first 3 years on the council--what I had accomplished, as well as the work still to be done.

My opponent, PMUA Commissioner Eke, was in attendance as well. We all know that Jerry Green went to other people to ask them to run against me on his line, and all declined. I don't know whether Eke was Green's 3rd, 4th, or 5th choice, but he eventually appointed Eke to run (with apparent reluctance, I am told), once again disenfranchising the duly-elected Democratic Committee members, whose major purpose it is to choose the candidates to run on the line. When it was my opponent's turn to speak, instead of putting forth any constructive proposals of his own, he focused on disparaging me--not my record, but me. Only a couple of residents in the community knew who Mr. Eke was, and although they tried to ask him about his vision, he offered them nothing. He made no case for his own candidacy. As the meeting ended, it was clear that voters were unimpressed with Eke--he had nothing substantive to say. Their snickers and head-shaking as he spoke clearly demonstrated that they weren't buying what he was attempting to sell. 

At this meeting, it became clear to me how my opponent, PMUA Commissioner Eke, was going to attack me--he was going to attack my support for the new vision of Plainfield--basically attacking my support for the new mayor. He also tested a bizarre and ridiculous strategy that went down like a lead balloon. I was making a statement on property taxes and declining ratables in the city when Eke interrupted--"Ask her where she lives!" he shouted, "She has two addresses!" The audience of residents looked confused as to why Eke was imploring them to ask me that question. They know me, and they know where I live--my 2nd Ward address is published on the city website. They are also aware that I co-own another property--a property on which the taxes and outrageous PMUA rates are paid on time. As he continued talking, I realized that he was trying to insinuate that I couldn't relate to the homeowners that we were speaking to. I wondered as well if he wasn't taking the opportunity to disparage renters in the city.I pay my bills and I pay my taxes--his conduct was shameful. 

Further notes on the "Resuscitation"...

Best friends: "Stagnation" and "Failure"...back together again.
Meanwhile, the resuscitation continues. I hope voters realize that what Jerry Green wants is to ensure that the city stagnates. His LITERAL embracing of the greatest symbol of Plainfield's legacy of failure (at right in a photo taken a couple of weeks ago) should be enough for you to vote AGAINST his hand-picked candidates, who are closely aligned with these two relics. Truly, they represent the politics of the past.    

Monday, May 12, 2014

Jerry Green and His Fake Poll...and Notes on the "Resuscitation"

As I was out canvassing this weekend and attending meet-and-greets across the wards, my constituents kept wanting to talk about the fake poll that Jerry Green commissioned to attack me, the New Democrats, the new administration, and mostly, Adrian Mapp, who has been in office for about 17 weeks. In the push poll, the questions began gently, ranging from "Are you planning to vote in the primary?" and "Do you support Bonnie Watson Coleman?" The questions then moved quickly to the negative, as the loaded questions began-- "What do you think of the mayor adding new salaries in X amount of dollars...?" and "Do you know Rebecca Williams is a New Democrat?" to lies and garbage about Adrian. Some of the "pollsters"--lol--received responses that my constituents said made them laugh out loud. The answer many of them gave to the question "What is the main problem facing Plainfield?" was...

Jerry Green referring to Plainfield: "I RUN THIS M*#&@CKER!"


Jerry Green will, of course, be using the information he receives from this fake poll to shape an attack on me in his upcoming mailers for his hand-picked candidates. Many of the respondents I spoke to across the wards said that his injection of himself into this local city council race showed clearly his destructive hatred for our city. 

First, we received the embarrassing 4-page mailer wherein Jerry Green attacks an administration that had been in place for only 16 weeks! How ridiculous is that? He makes many specious claims about what he has "brought" to Plainfield--we know that Jerry Green is now attempting to "bring" 3 unqualified individuals to the council table--individuals HE picked without any input from the duly-elected Democrats of this city.

Second, Jerry Green failed the residents of Liberty Village with his outrageous and idiotic statements about how he was "going to talk to HUD," how he was "head of housing" in the state, and so on. He said (on video!) that there would be apartments in the city for everyone, and that no one would be homeless. Clearly, it was his intention to have his council members let the PILOT expire--I will leave to others the speculations about what Jerry Green gets out of it.

Of course, Jerry's claims about his power were laughable, as everyone finally saw when they viewed his performance on video. His deliberate attempt to try to get the PILOT to expire and his nasty, bullying attitude--"I ain't got all night to be here!"--showed the Liberty Village residents that he has no power--all he has is bullying--as they also saw when he verbally attacked me outside the church 3 weeks ago. Many of those residents thanked me for alerting them by distributing a flier (which the combatants on the city council tried to say was "dirty" and "nasty"--lol) urging them to attend the council meeting to see the vote.

...Notes on the "Resuscitation"

Green's "vision" is clear--he wants to do nothing but destroy the new administration's vision to move Plainfield forward because he can't control things. Jerry Green's (once again) new best friend, the past mayor, is his true legacy--8 years of failed leadership for her, 22 years for him. He is now trying to resuscitate the failed career of Robinson-Briggs to get his unqualified candidates elected--he has said he made a bad mistake, and that he should have supported Robinson-Briggs for a 3rd term. Imagine my surprise to see private citizen Robinson-Briggs at the Richmond Towers event for Bonnie Watson Coleman. I guess she doesn't need to earn a living, like the rest of us.

Sharon's silly, ineffectual comments and "cheer-leading" had some folks cringing with embarrassment at how she continued to infantilize our senior citizens with the constant, annoying, and patronizing "yays" while someone else was speaking as she rudely kept trying to upstage the elected officials who were there. She had a bagful of campaign literature for Jerry Green's candidates, but was rebuffed in her attempts to put it out. When her friend Hattie Williams gave her the mic to speak, she started blathering on about how one of the candidates was "a commissioner and a chief"--the residents looked mystified, as they had no idea who or what she was talking about (police commissioner? fire chief?). The assemblywoman left soon after.

So, I will end by saying, beware of wolves in sheep's clothing--Jerry's handpicked candidates will say anything to get your vote. You see what they have said thus far.


Monday, May 5, 2014

Liberty Village PILOT Agreement Must Pass Tonight

Above are two sides of a flier distributed to Liberty Village residents (some of whom read this blog). You will be coming to the special meeting called by the mayor tonight to watch your elected officials in action. Below is an updated version of side two of the flier. I am hopeful that the residents will come out tonight to show the city council that they are in favor of extending the PILOT agreement to the prospective new owners of Liberty Village. The people spoke LOUD and CLEAR about their support. 

Of course, they will also realize that Jerry Green (the embarrassing spectacle) was feeding them a bunch of misinformation about his "power" as the "head of housing" to do anything to extend a federal HUD deadline! Jerry Green made sure to schedule a meeting at the same time to ensure that he would not be subject to ridicule for his on-camera statements that have turned out to be so much hot air! Why would he spread such nonsense and endanger the Liberty Village community?? What is in it for him?? He will have to backtrack on all of his ridiculous and misinformed comments that were caught on camera, and his city council cheerleaders will have to pass this PILOT. If they don't, you will know that it's because of politics. If they do, it's because you, the residents of Liberty Village, forced their hand. 

Dear Neighbor,

Please come out to tomorrow’s Special Meeting called by Mayor Adrian Mapp to discuss the Liberty Village situation.  The HUD Section 8 contract is set to expire this Tuesday, May 6. Jerry Green knew full well that the deadline was firm--yet he chose to play with your residency. If the council resolution does not pass, the HUD Section 8 vouchers will be at risk. 

The community meeting hosted by Councilwoman Tracey Brown at Ruth Fellowship Ministries regarding this situation illustrated the urgent need for the Plainfield City Council to pass a resolution to allow the new management company to purchase the Liberty Village Complex with the existing 50-year PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) agreement for HUD Section 8 in place so that you can continue living there at an affordable rate. As you know, when the property was managed by the Housing Authority of Plainfield, it received an extremely low score from HUD, which endangered the agreement. 

You testified to the housing authority’s poor performance yourselves! However, the prospective new owners have an excellent reputation regarding affordable housing. They have agreed to several conditions to improve your quality of life—there will be a return of the community room with new computer stations for resident use, new washers and dryers, upgrades to the grounds, security cameras, an on-site super, and improvements to plumbing, electrical, and the sidewalks. This is ALL IN WRITING, and it was in writing then!  

Also, the new owners agreed to give a larger percentage of the taxes they pay to the City of Plainfield, the additional money for which can be used to improve public safety. If this PILOT does not pass, the new management will not be able to come in.

When we tried to pass the resolution last month, only Councilwoman Tracey Brown, Councilman Cory Storch, and I (Councilwoman At-large Rebecca Williams) voted YES, as favored the new agreement. The other Councilors, including Bridget Rivers, Vera Greaves, Bill Reid, and Gloria Taylor voted NO. All the information was given to the City Council in early April. Councilwoman Rivers and Assemblyman Jerry Green were among those (along with Cory Storch and Adrian Mapp) who met with the proposed new owners last year. Because of the NO votes, the situation has become urgent.
You saw how nasty Assemblyman Green became when this issue was discussed. I ain’t got all night to be here!” he said, showing extreme disrespect toward you, toward the city staff and council members, and toward the church where the meeting took place.  

He claimed to be “head of housing” for the state, and yet he has done nothing to protect you, even though he knew the situation was dire. The needs of the community should be of primary importance to all elected officials—I hope you will come to the meeting and support the resolution. Please do your best to come out—please call, email, and encourage your neighbors to come out as well. Silence implies consent—please let your voice be heard!

All best,

Rebecca Williams

Councilwoman-at-Large, Second and Third Wards

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Play Ball! Opening Day of Plainfield Baseball League!

Plainfield's future baseball heroes with their coaches!
On Saturday morning, I had the pleasure of attending the opening day of the Plainfield Baseball League. For those of you who remember the contentiousness and divisiveness caused by the previous administration and their cronies, today marked the beginning of a great season--a unified league focused on ONE PLAINFIELD. The kids were excited, and it was a great day! Let the games begin!
Hanging with Nancy Jordan.
Karen Glencamp-Daniel, Recreation Superintendent Veronica Taylor, and Emcee Patricia Collins Roach.