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,



Prof. Williams said...

To the anonymous commenter--please be specific about about what was "untrue and unfair" about the blog post you are referring to. I stated facts. I characterized the behavior as it appeared to me. There is no reason to retract anything. Let others state their reasons for attempting to besmirch my past service to the city by doing background checks, OPRA requests, and by lying and distorting my employment record and salary.

Raquel said...

Rebecca, I was flabbergasted when I read the Assemblyman's accusations! As a former Federal Investigator for the Newark Area Office of the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), like you, I am clueless, as to why Assemblyman Green didn't refer this gentleman to said agency. Regardless of whether or not the complaint is valid, it falls under the jurisdiction of the EEOC or the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights (DCR). Surely in his capacity as Assemblyman, Mr. Green is aware of these agencies and could have directed this constituent to one of them for proper handling of his complaint. The fact that Green did not wreaks of subterfuge and is a clear indication that he had an ulterior motive. Green doesn't wish to assist constituents, but aims to use them for his own personal gain. This time, it appears that the intent was to defame Councilman Storch. Let this be a lesson to all...Assemblyman Green cannot be trusted and must be replaced. He serves himself, not the constituents who depend on him.

Nat SIngleton said...

Since I doubt that Jerry Green will have the courage to publish this response in his blog, I am sending this post to other relevant blogs in the Plainfield community.

This is from Jerry Green's Page of 08/19/10

'...I can understand why Dan is bitter, when the last administration lost, he lost his job that paid over $50,000/yr, his partner was let go from the PMUA...'

My response.

I don't normally respond to political invective. But when a person systematically distorts the facts -Jerry Green, I feel duty bound to correct those distortions.
Here are facts:

1. Dan Damon did not lose his job. He retired and was asked to stay by Mayor Briggs.

2. I was not let go from PMUA. I never worked for them. I served as a commissioner for approximately 8 years and received $400 per month for my time as did every other board member. When my term was up, I was not reappointed (I think this was illegal, as I thought my term had another year but why argue, I could be wrong.)

3. As to what I cost the citizens during that period of time in terms of trips, conferences, etc., I doubt if over a the period of 8 years that my total expenses exceeded $1000.00 ( I think they were much less but we did have a cell phone for a while.) This can be checked by an OPRA request, just make sure you request expenses for each commissioner and compare them to mine. I will bet no one has a lower expense record.

4.This year, I was asked, by a member of the city council, if I would be interested in serving as a commissioner(not Cory, Annie nor Adian.) My answer was no (who the hell wants all that grief)
but if they could absolutely get no one they could put my name forward.

These are the facts.

Anonymous said...

@Raquel -

I believe this has a whole lot to do with "the agony of defeat".

The morning after the Rebecca Williams campaign WON the council primary election against Jerry Green's candidate Rashid Burney, the dejected ASSemblyman was tErRoRrIzEd when he woke up to millions of "REBECCA WILLIAMS for Council" lawn signs dAnCiNg and SiNgInG ViCtOrY along the entire perimeter of the dEMONgogue's lawn "NaH nAh NaH nAh NaAaAaAhHh!!! I ToLd YoU sOoOoOo!!! . . . NaH nAh NaH nAh NaAaAaAhHh!!! I ToLd YouUuUuUuuU sOoOoOo!!!

And so the story goes . . .

Anonymous said...

Professa, you and your buddies leave me speechless and humbled!

Blackdog said...

Do you feel as though they are all good, decent people?

Prof. Williams said...

To Blackdog: It is not for me to judge whether the councilors are good, decent people--we are all flawed people in an uncertain world--but I would like to think that basic goodness and decency is what propels all those who would be public servants.

In an earlier blog post (on writer Octavia E. Butler--check it out below), I responded to a query by another commenter. I am reproducing it below, although the question was slightly different--it had to do with whether it was possible to find a politician with a conscience. My response:

Yes, I believe that the majority of our local elected officials do the best that they can to remain guided by their respective inner moral compasses and not allow themselves to be corrupted. For myself, my conscience weighs heavily on me at all times--I understand the responsibility that is entrusted to those with a desire to serve. If you want to lead, you have to know how to serve. If elected, I will serve my city and make sure that NONE of us gets away with anything--to paraphrase Octavia Butler.



Blackdog said...

Amen to that!
What is your opinion of the Plainfield Chamber of Commerce? Their members, at times, have closer contact with the citizens of Plainfield than some of the elected officials do.

Anonymous said...

Seems as though both you and Councilman Burney are both reluctant to talk about anything except yourselves!

Anonymous said...

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.