Tag Archive: Ridgewood

Saturday Rally for Dems in Ridgewood

promoted by Rosi

Victory Rally

U.S. Senator Cory Booker

Roy Cho for Congress

Jim Tedesco for County Executive

David Ganz and Joan Voss for Freeholder

When: Saturday, November 1 at 4:00 pm

Where: Van Neste Square in Downtown Ridgewood

(East Ridgewood Avenue and Oak Street)*

Refreshments to Follow at

Roy Cho for Congress Headquarters

257 East Ridgewood Avenue, Rear

Ridgewood, NJ

Bring Your Friends and Family

Music and Refreshments

*In the event of rain, the rally will take place at

Roy Cho Headquarters.


Meet Roy Cho @ new Ridgewood HQ August 4th

Dear Friend:

The Cho campaign recently moved to a new and extraordinary Campaign Headquarters located at 257 East Ridgewood Avenue in Ridgewood!   The office is already a buzz with dozens of volunteers helping out daily.

To celebrate our beautiful new digs, we’ll be holding an official Grand Opening Party with refreshments on Monday, August 4 at 7:00 pm.

We want you, your friends, and family to join us!

Please RSVP on our website roycho.com.

Remembering And Feeling Sad

By all reports, Tyler Clementi of Ridgewood, New Jersey was a young man of great promise and enormous talent.  Can we imagine what desperate feelings Tyler might have been experiencing as he drove to that spot on the George Washington Bridge? Can we imagine secretly having our most intimate moments photographed and sent viral over the internet? Can we imagine being 18, just starting college and finding out your roommate “spied” on you with a hidden camera to make the pictures into a “joke”?  How desperately sad for Tyler and his family and indeed for all of us.

What could have made these two young college students think this cruel idea was a “funny prank”?

We’ve all asked each other the most appropriate questions. We’ve written and talked about how in our State gay folks do not have all the same rights as the rest of us do!  We comment on people who think being gay is a choice which can be “cured”!  We know how some in our community still think they can bully and torment others, snicker and make them the brunt of awful jokes. Tyler Clementi’s suicide is being discussed in the national media.  The higher incidence of suicide among gay teenagers is dissected.  A new blog by Perez Hilton called “It Gets Better” was announced on CNN (and even on Fox News), and is designed  to reach out to gay teens.

People are asking should the two idiots who dreamed up this horror be prosecuted under hate crime laws. Should our laws be re-written or changed?   We know that Garden State Equality has been working with Assemblywomen Mary Pat Angelini and Valerie Vaineri Huttle to re-work our anti-bullying law to make it more appropriately stringent.

How will we work to build a community where these laws won’t be so necessary? This week I don’t have very many answers.  As an affilliated Jew in the Bergen/Hudson area, I receive a weekly newspaper which I greatly respect:  The Jewish Standard. Last week they printed their first engagement announcement of a gay couple. This week, they announced that they will not do “this” again. Their editor’s note said they received many letters of condemnation as well as letters of support, but because of the sensitivities expressed by a strong segment of leaders in our religious community, they do not want to divide the community or offend these sensitivities. That is certainly their editorial right to do so. But coming in the same week as Tyler Clementi’s suicide, it makes me even more sad.

So here’s a letter to the Jewish Standard, written by Rabbi Rebecca Sirbu, a member of our Teaneck community:

Letter & rest of diary after the jump:

Legislators set the tone for bullying

Barocas, Legal Director of NJ’s ACLU, suggests our Governor look in the mirror, and our Senate President’s words ring hollow. – promoted by Rosi

It didn’t take long for my feelings of horror and sadness at the suicide of Tyler Clementi to turn into anger – anger not just at the unfeeling young students who so cruelly invaded Tyler’s privacy, but at our state’s leaders who, through their refusal to provide gay and lesbian citizens with full equality, have stigmatized gay and lesbian relationships and set the tone for tragedies like this to occur.

A line from my testimony to the New Jersey legislature during the 2009 marriage equality debate echoed hauntingly in my mind:

“When the state itself segregates people, it grants the rest of society permission to do the same. Through its example, the legislature excuses bigotry and emboldens bullies.”

keep reading below the fold

Tyler Clementi’s body is identified

tyler-clementi_370x278CNN is reporting (via the Breaking News banner) that a body pulled from the Hudson River has been identified as violinist, Ridgewood resident, and Rutgers freshman Tyler Clementi, 18, the victim both of an apparent suicide jump off the George Washington Bridge and of two classmates who broadcast a secretly recorded private sexual encounter over the internet.

At Blue Jersey, we’re subdued today, so troubled by apparent cruelty, so saddened by the loss of a talented young man getting ready for the world at our state’s university. More than anything, we want to join you in any efforts toward strengthening our young people – all our young people – so that we don’t miss out on what glory they can bring to us with their hopes, their dreams, and their long, long lives.

Rest in Peace, Tyler Clementi. We’ve got you, little brother.

Viciousness Goes Viral with Deadly Consequences

As details of the Rutgers University cyber/voyeur/bullying tragedy continue to emerge, a nation comes to grips with the shocking suicide of Tyler Clementi.

Screen shot 2010-09-30 at 8.18.36 AM
#TylerClementi Twitter feed

Evidence suggests the harassment by his roommate was chronic and that Clementi possibly reached out for advice about the invasive bullying just hours before his apparent suicide. Gawker:

Though not as bothered with his roommate’s actions as he likely should have been (Clementi) is clearly disturbed by the disregard for his privacy-and the bigoted disgust-shown by both his roommate and the people commenting on his roommate’s Facebook page “with things like ‘how did you manage to go back in there?’ ‘are you ok?'” He says he’ll file a roommate change request form, and “see what [the school] can offer” him.

Clearly it’s a ghoulish intersection of voyeurism and cyber-bullying at play here. After all, “Being brave on the internet is one thing-facing a privacy-free dorm full of bigots, day in, day out, is another thing entirely.”

NJ Senator Loretta Weinberg suggests that, ” this terrible tragedy demonstrates a bigger problem. Despite anti-bullying laws and efforts to teach children tolerance and acceptance, unprovoked acts of cruelty continue to take place, resulting in tragic deaths of youngsters across our country (like this.)”

Students at RU: “stunned, angry.” Photo courtesy Santiago Melli-Huber

I awoke to 100+ email messages about this incident (see sampling below the fold) and the “seizure of conscience” it evoked feels reminiscent of Matthew Shepherd’s murder in 1998.

It’s too early for the blame game or for silver linings, I can’t help but hope this incident spurns our own legislature in Trenton to renew their commitment to anti-bullying legislation to protect youngsters from the viral viciousness which led to Tyler Clementi’s death.

Humiliation and Death of a Rutgers student

Update: a body has been found.

Tyler Clementi, a violinist and student at Rutgers University, is the man police believe jumped to his death off the south walk of the George Washington Bridge last Wednesday night. His body has not been found, but a wallet was left. He was 18 years old.

Tyler: The story is still developing, but all signs point to Clementi’s suicide, and tie his death to his humiliation by two fellow students, who police believe set up hidden cameras in his dorm room on the Davidson campus, recorded a sexual encounter, then broadcast it widely via the internet. The students, Dharun Ravi of Plainsboro and Molly Wei of Princeton, have been charged with invasion of privacy.

Asher: Last week, Houston 8th-grader Asher Brown shot himself in the head after what his parents say was relentless bullying. Picked on because of his size, his religion and because he didn’t have the fashionable shoes. Some kids also said he was gay, and performed mock sex acts on him in gym.

Chris: This week, at the University of Michigan, the school’s first openly gay student body president – Chris Armstrong – is the subject of a breathless, angry blog written by alumnus Andrew Shirvell, a Michigan Assistant Attorney General who describes himself as a “Christian-American.” Chris Armstrong Watch is creepy as hell. CNN’s Anderson Cooper interviewed Shirvell last night and nailed him as “obsessed with this young gay man.” The video is must watch, a view of “Christianity” full of sick obsession and – my read – terrifying sexual jealousy.

The stakes: These are the stakes in all equality questions. It’s why life and death are tied by advocates to such docile domestic issues as “marriage” and “kids.” We look at people and decide they’re allowed only so much of what we think is ours to dole out as we please. If you don’t see people as equals, it’s easy to depersonalize them, reduce them  to losers, or to jokes. Not for you – you’re not worth it. Stealing from people’s humanity, you may not know how much you take. High price. Tyler Clementi may have paid that for us. And Asher Brown, 13. That crazypants in Michigan wants Chris Armstrong to pay it, or he wants something else entirely. But this shit isn’t funny. It never was.  

A Grand Opening & A New Beginning for the 40th District

I wanted to personally invite everyone in the Blue Jersey Community to the grand opening of our campaign headquarters on Thursday, July 23rd at 7:30 pm at 27 Chestnut Street, Ridgewood, NJ Suite 2A.  Opening this office is the first step to truly challenging Trenton insiders Scott Rumana and Dave Russo for their failure to 40th District residents.    

A common cliché in electoral politics is that we need change from the current incumbents or administration.  I do not think anything could more true of the current incumbent Assemblyman for the 40th District.  During the primary season, when they were challenged by a Republican splinter group-instead of the focus being on the loss of jobs, unemployment or other important issues facing us the constituents-it was the same old tired rhetoric of politicians playing politics. When our country is facing the challenges of our generation, we need leaders who can rise to the need of the people and get working on making a difference in people?s lives.  We can not be wasting our energy on old style politics.  We all deserve better leaders and we need them now. I have done my part to challenge the status quo,  John nor I alone can get us elected to represent you.  I can only hope that people see the need for better leaders and that we need your help during this election.

Our campaign will be about the issues facing 40th District families.  We will be legislators that work on  building consensus and delivering solutions.  As President of the Ridgewood Board of Education I worked tirelessly to build consensus among the Board and I will do this as a State Assemblyman.      

Let’s Help Our Friend Paul Aronsohn!

Non-partisan municipal elections are just a couple of weeks away, and I just wanted to make sure everyone knows that our friend Paul Aronsohn is running for Council in Ridgewood.  

Many of you got to meet Paul when he ran for Congress against Scott Garrett in 2006.  The 5th district is a very tough place for Dems to make headway but Paul ran a classy race and a spirited campaign that brought a whole lot of new folks to the process and a whole batch of passionate supporters and a whole bunch of votes to the polls.  Paul also brought some really great ideas and issues to the table, and I was sincerely hoping he would run again for the seat again this year.  So when he first told me he was running for Council in Ridgewood I was ecstatic.

I know that one of Paul’s favorite parts of running for Congress was when he got to talk with real people on the campaign trail and talk about ways to make life better. And that is exactly the same thing he is doing in running for Council.  He will fight to make life better in Ridgewood and make government more responsive – by maintaining open space, better funding first-responders, ensuring traffic safety and making sure parking is kept available for commuters using NJ Transit to get to work.

Like I said, this is a non-partisan race. And Election Day is Tuesday, May 13th.  So, please check out www.paularonsohn.com to see some of the issues Paul is talking about and some of the things that matter to Ridgewood.

We all know how turnout can be unpredictable, to say the least, in local elections without up-ballot candidates.   So, I hope Paul can count on some of you in this important election – be it by giving a small financial contribution, offering to call friends who live in Ridgewood or even volunteering your time on Election Day for GOTV.  

I love Blue Jersey and the discussions we have on this site. But sometimes we need to step away from the keyboards and help in other ways – especially when one of our friends is the actual name on the ballot.  And I really hope this is one of those times.  We need more people like Paul Aronsohn in government – be it Congress or Town Council.

So, if you want pitch in you can just email Paul@PaulAronsohn.com.  I didn’t tell Paul I was putting up this diary, but I’m sure he won’t mind me putting his email out there.

I admit that I am biased here.  Paul Aronsohn has been my friend for several years – ever since I worked for him in the Governor’s Office.  He is a stand-up guy and a rare person who is running for office far all the right reasons – to help others and to make a difference.  He has a solid command of the issues and will really do a great job for his neighbors and all the families around town.

Paul will be a new voice for Ridgewood – a voice of experience, a voice of reason and a voice of passion. He will bring a whole lot of energy, too.  

I hope you can help Paul in this important endeavor!