Wednesday, May 27, 2015


I will be focusing mostly on the upcoming Democratic primary election in the days leading up to Tuesday, June 2. I want to make sure that folks really understand how crucial it is to come out and support the COLUMN C Candidates for City Council and Democratic City Committee. Our opponents have tried to paint us in a negative light, with trashy mailers filled with lies. You have to ask yourself, what does Jerry "I run this m&#@!" Green get out of portraying our city so negatively, especially when there is so much positive to say? Do the Jerry Green Team members think that potential residents, businesses, or developers will want to invest in Plainfield after reading his garbage? Do you think Jerry Green would send such filth to Clark, or Fanwood, or Scotch Plains? The answer is "NO"--Jerry Green disrespects Plainfield so much that it is only here that he would stoop to such filth. 

In the meantime, Plainfield is moving forward. Public Safety remains a top priority--among the City Committee candidates in COLUMN C are Plainfield Police Captain (ret.) Siddeeq El-Amin, who is running in Ward 1, District 1, and Fire Chief (ret.) Cecil Allen, who is running in Ward 3, District 5. The fact that crime is down significantly all across the city since the new administration took office reflects the commitment to improving the quality of life for our residents. We can only be successful if you come out and vote--many of the voting margins in our districts come down to 2 or 3 votes or, in the case of one district, a single absentee ballot made the difference. It's your city, folks!


Monday, May 25, 2015

Enjoy Hannah Atkins Pool Today - Memorial Day

Mayor Adrian Mapp was greeted by Phin, the new pool mascot, as the Plainfield Division of Parks and Recreation opened Hannah Atkins Pool this past Saturday. It was the earliest opening ever, done to ensure that the kids (of all ages) could enjoy it this Memorial Day weekend. The water was a little chilly, but that didn't stop the most intrepid! The pool is open from 12:00 - 5:00 pm today. The other pools, at Seidler Field and Rushmore Park, are being readied for the regularly scheduled openings, respectively, in June.

The City of Plainfield website has the summer schedule of recreation activities and events, including outdoor movie nights, monthly fishing derbies, Family Fun Day events, free "Make-A-Splash" swimming lessons, teen trips throughout the summer, and more. Click on this link, Plainfield Division of Parks and Recreation, to be taken to the page of activities--scroll down for June, July, and August events. Contact the Division of Parks and Recreation at (908) 753-3097 or email to find out more information. Enjoy a relaxing Memorial Day.



Friday, May 22, 2015

The Success of Tyrone Wheeler, Former Student

Tyrone and family headed to Seton Hall graduation.
 Photo: Peter Foley for The Wall Street Journal
I just wanted to share the success story of one of my former students, Tyrone Wheeler, who just graduated from Stillman Business School at Seton Hall University with a 3.9 GPA. Tyrone was in my "Major African American Writers" course--he had a lot to contribute, especially when we focused on social justice issues as central to African American intellectual thought from the late 18th century to the present. Awesome man. What an accomplishment.The story, published in The Wall Street Journal a couple of days ago, is posted below. You may click on the link as well.

Tyrone Wheeler left a life of crime and is now on his way to a life of achievement
Melanie Grayce West(Wall Street Journal)
May 18, 2015 8:41 p.m. ET
Tyrone Wheeler hit a low a decade ago, serving time in prison for dealing drugs and aggravated assault. On Monday he graduated from Seton Hall University’s Stillman School of Business, with a near-perfect 3.9 grade-point average.
“It’s kind of surreal, this whole thing,” the 41-year-old said during an interview on Sunday. “I know it’s true and I’ve worked really hard to get where I’m at, but a lot of times when I do think back to where I was, to where I am—it just seems unbelievable.”
Mr. Wheeler’s path from a life of crime to a life full of promise started with a shift in thinking behind bars. Back in 2005 he was on his fourth incarceration and two years into the minimum 8 1/2 years of a 23-year prison sentence. His daughter wasn’t a part of his life. His mother was growing older. His
With Prof. Michael Reuter. Photo: Peter Foley for The WSH
future, he said, was prison well into his 50s and 60s.
Mr. Wheeler decided that it was “time to make some real changes,” he said.
He began reading self-help and motivational books, and took courses in paralegal work, and heating and cooling systems. He surrounded himself with positive people.
In the fall of 2011, out of prison and living in a halfway house, Mr. Wheeler was on his way to class at Essex County College when he had a moment of clarity. Littering was second nature to him then, he said, a reflection of not caring about his rough New Jersey surroundings or much of anything else.
But on his way to class that day he decided not to drop the trash on the ground. “If I can stop littering,” he recalled thinking, “I can change anything in myself.”
Mr. Wheeler’s competitive nature kicked into gear. The self-described class clown became a student who sat in the front row at Essex County College. With good grades came scholarships and awards.
Upon receiving his associate degree, Mr. Wheeler had three college offers. He chose Seton Hall for its low student-to-teacher ratio and its friendly professors. He jumped into class projects, volunteering and leading the school’s management society.
It was sometimes difficult to be the oldest student, and often, the only African-American in class, he said. His first semester, he would sometimes go the whole day without speaking to anyone.
He ate by himself. A few friendly classmates would josh Mr. Wheeler about his studiousness, calling him a nerd. It was a title he embraced.
Michael Reuter, a professor at the school’s department of management, was an adviser to Mr. Wheeler. He described his student as having “a relentless pursuit of being more than he ever dreamed he could be.”
“I always get choked up,” said Mr. Reuter. “I am so happy for the guy. This is just the first step. He will accomplish great things in life because of his passion, because of his renewed purpose.”
Through a professional connection, Mr. Reuter helped his student to secure an interview at Wakefern Food Corp., a Keasbey, N.J.-based retail cooperative that distributes for ShopRite grocery stores. Mr. Wheeler begins his role there as a procurement analyst on Tuesday.
As a result, he is skipping the big graduation dinner in favor of a family lunch.
“I’m fortunate enough to have a job,” said Mr. Wheeler. “I want to get to bed early.”

Saturday, May 16, 2015

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood...

The 2nd Ward Family Fun Day went off without a hitch--even the weather cooperated so that we could provide a great day for Plainfield residents. Plainfielders from all 4 wards (and of ALL ages) came to join in the fun. Below are just a few photos. The Division of Parks and Recreation did a great job--we will see you soon!

"The Painted Lady of Plainfield"
The ever popular egg toss!
Attack of the Giant Checker men!!

"Tiny Bubbles"

Ready, aim...!

Greeting old friends and new!
Bringing up the rear! 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

2nd Ward Family Fun Day at Leland Avenue Park Saturday, May 16!

This Saturday, May 16, from 12:00 noon - 4:00 pm, Councilman Cory Storch and I will once again be co-hosting the Annual Family Fun Day in the 2nd Ward in Leland Avenue Park (also known as Cook Elementary School Playground). Last year's Family Fun Day was incredible fun--below are some photos! Once again, we will fire up the grill for delicious summer food and jam to music by DJ Sunil! We will have face painting for the kids, and play games and contests (with trophies) for both children and adults! Come out and enjoy wholesome fun for the whole family. Although this event is being hosted by Cory and me, it is being sponsored by the City Council and the Division of Recreation for the City of Plainfield--everyone is invited!  So, bring a lawn chair, bring your kids, your friends, and your neighbors.


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

ANNUAL YOUTH FISHING DERBY Saturday, May 9 at Cedar Brook Park!

This Saturday, May 9, the Division of Parks and Recreation for the City of Plainfield will once again host the Annual Youth Fishing Derby at Cedar Brook Park. I have attended the derbies in the past--the kids always have lots of fun. You can contact Recreation at (908) 753-3097, or sign up with Community Pass from the convenience of your own home! Click on the link for Community Pass. See you at the Derby!