The NAACP event was interesting last night. I met Rob Andrews, who is quite a nice guy – I can understand why you like him, Jay. Carol Skiba, Aishaah Rasul (my two running mates) and I were there to meet folks and hear their concerns. We didn’t get to address the crowd, it was really a chance to meet the Senate Candidates. Newark Councilman Rice was present to speak for Senator Lautenberg who was unable to come, and I think he did an admirable job.
The original invitation was to freeholder candidates too, but Ganz and McPherson did not show. Cid Wilson was there but left the room abruptly. Curiously, Vernon Walton showed up in the middle of the event – underdressed – probably because he got the call and came in a hurry. A BIG hurry.
Some BCDO FOJ (Friends of Joe) tried to put Gordon Johnson on the spot about a judicial appointment, but aside from that setup, the main issues brought up were
1) Affordable Housing
2) Predatory Lending
3) Summer Youth Employment Internships
4) Health Care disparities
5) Prison Re-entry Programs
6) Expungement Programs
7) Sentencing discrepancies
8) Post Secondary Education Funding
9) No Child Left Behind
10) Educational Prep Programs
11) Low-Moderate Income Tax Relief Credits
The candidates all seemed to give the answers that the audience expected but they did give Councilman Rice a tough time about Lautenberg being absent which is a shame because Lautenberg actually has the same rating as Andrews – 100% on his voting record for NAACP issues. Cresitello came off as old fashioned and started by talking about gas prices – which was not an issue that was the focus of the event. He appeared very much a Mayor, who has not reached out to other Senators to find common ground and issues to work on with them. He reminds me of our Mayor – a unitary one, who has control issues and is clearly not a legislator. Cresitello does not strike me as someone who can get consensus and create meaningful legislation. He reminds me of Mayor Rustin here in Tenafly, who will berate you for your vote right there on the dias if he disagrees with you. Like Bush, dissent is NOT ALLOWED.
I was surprised when the woman at the sign up table asked me if I would like to join the NAACP, I did not know that I was eligible to do so. If any one else would like to contact the NAACP the phone # here is 201-227-1875
After the forum, we met up with many County Commitee folks from Teaneck who had been challenged like we were from Tenafly during the 2005 special election of Huttle vs. Wildes. So it was a nice reunion for me with folks who really know just how bad the BCDO can get.
Joe Ferriero is really using certain folks just to get at key constituencies. Like many of my friends in Teaneck, I remember VIVIDLY when the Black Caucus supported Huttle prior to that special election and nearly every African American County Committee member who walked into BCDO HQ was challenged. It was the most disgraceful thing I’ve seen them do at the BCDO.
Lots of politics being played to get the African American vote in Bergen County these days. It is a powerful voting block. Unfortunately for Joe Ferriero, he has to do a lot more to make up for past sins against this community – dreaming up Team Teaneck, and attempting to disenfranchise the entire Teaneck County Committee in 2005, as well as allowing land use attorney Dennis Oury and Farouk – (developer by night, county engineer by day) almost get away with plans to loot Teaneck and rezone it for their own ends in minority neighborhoods. They definitely messed with the wrong town. Teaneck women are politically savvy and know exactly what the FOJ are up to. I will help any way I can to make sure Joe Ferriero and his buddies stay out of non-partisan Teaneck. My friends there don’t like what he’s been doing with the place, if you know what I mean…..
Vernon Walton is a nice guy, but that is what Joe does. He chooses “nice guys” that are pushovers and may not even realize when they are being used for political ends only. Joe just needed another puppet. I feel sorry for Vernon. I really do. Aishaah is a force to be reckoned with – and she will beat him for Freeholder handily on June 3.
I guess I understand why Ganz and McPherson may have been ashamed of how Joe Ferriero’s BCDO treated the African American community in Bergen County since 2005. I wouldn’t blame them for being ashamed. I would be.