Monday, August 16, 2010

Cory Storch, an Exemplar of Public Service in Plainfield's 2nd Ward

Just one day after making a plea for unity and asking that “we all work together,” words from Assemblyman Jerry Green at the vigil marking the 2nd anniversary of the closing of Muhlenberg Regional Medical Center, he published yet another blog post attacking Second Ward Councilman Cory Storch, both as Executive Director of Bridgeway Rehabilitation Services and as a councilman here in Plainfield. It is characteristic of Assemblyman Green to smear his political opponents (as he apparently characterizes Cory, a fellow Democrat!), but this time, he has gone too far in his attempts to distort Cory’s excellent record as a mental health professional by publishing a letter from a constituent whose course of action would be better served by contacting the EEOC with claims of unjust treatment by a former employer.

I have known Cory for about 10 years, and he is honest, ethical, and caring. I served as his campaign manager in his first successful general election back in 2003, and I got to know him very well. His insights and knowledge of Plainfield, along with his desire to serve, are what gave me the impetus to work with him and try as hard as I could to get him elected.

Cory and other New Democrats (myself included) are used to these specious, baseless attacks by the assemblyman, but I feel the need to set the record straight on the Cory Storch that I know. Cory has often been lauded for his work as Bridgeway’s ED, and rightly so. The supportive housing that Bridgeway promotes is the kind of housing that works—I know this because I know many mental health professionals. The lame attempts by the assemblyman at racial and class divisiveness are so transparent that I cannot imagine why he would continue to make them in the age of Obama.

Cory’s dedication to making Plainfield a better place for all of us is clear in his former service on the school board, in his community work and support for many of Plainfield’s boards and commissions, and in his role as the Second Ward council representative. When my constituents (I am an elected Democratic committeewoman in the Second Ward and serve also as Second Ward Leader of the Plainfield Democratic City Committee) and other Plainfield residents have an issue—code enforcement, speeding, trash pick-up, dead trees, crime, etc.—Cory has been accessible and helpful in directing them to the right city agency to correct their problem. He is reform-minded and progressive, and that is why I continue to support him.

Cory is the councilman who brought the visioning study to Plainfield—in addition, he is the one who continues to advocate for LEEDS, and he is very involved in improving the quality of life for Second Ward residents—regardless of political persuasion (including those who are not voters). The assemblyman ought to take a look at the demographics of the Second Ward—I have—like the other wards, the Second Ward also contains a majority of black residents. When Cory and I were out canvassing this spring for my primary election campaign, we once again spoke to many of these residents, many of whom Cory has known for a couple of decades. They support him, and with his endorsement, they also supported me.So, when Assemblyman Green uses coded words to appeal to race, he is demonstrating profound ignorance of his own ward—yes, Assemblyman Green lives in the Second Ward as well and, ironically, he, too, benefits from Cory’s leadership in our ward.

I am excited at the possibility of joining Cory and the other progressive voices on the city council—if he chooses to run for re-election next year, he can count on my support once again, along with the support of our fellow Democrats in the Second Ward.

All best,