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The talk is a colloquial expression for a conversation some Black parents in the United States feel compelled to have with their children and teenagers about the dangers they face due to racism or unjust treatment from authority figures, law enforcement or other parties, and how to de-escalate them.
Do you understand why?
Township Committee Reorg Meeting
Happy new year to one and all.
I’d like to start off by saying what an honor it is to have been elected by the people of Morris Township to the Township Committee. Thank you for the trust you have placed in me to represent your interests and that of our community. I am committed to leading by example, and to being open and transparent in my thought process that will result in decisions I make and votes I cast. I intend to represent all the people of the community whether you voted for me or not.
There are 3 factors that will guide me in the decisions I make. First, is the issue before us based on evidence? I’m certainly not the most knowledgeable person in the room, so I intend to rely on expert advice that is based on empirical evidence and sound science. Second, does it benefit the community? Anyone who’s held a job knows that change is constant. Evolve or get left behind. We, on the township committee, are charged with not only operating the town as it is but to also smartly plan for the future. Lastly, are we being good stewards of our environment? I’ve made it no secret that I believe the most existential threat to humanity is the dramatic effects of climate change. It’s real. It’s here and already having an impact on our township. Reducing our carbon footprint, as individuals and as a community is a top priority of mine.
2 principles were always on my mind throughout my campaigns for township committee.
I wholeheartedly believe that we have more in common than can ever divide us. We are a nation of many cultures united under one flag. Morris Township is a multi-cultural community where our friends and neighbors bring to us all a wonderful and diverse dynamic. People move to our community, people live in our township to better themselves and provide the foundations a good future for their children. They should have the same access, the same opportunities that anyone can have to make a positive difference in our world.
The other principle I espouse is that we must be better citizens if want better government. Democracy isn’t a spectator sport. It requires constant nurturing. It relies on an informed and engaged public. Elections matter. Elections have consequences. In 2020 more people became politically aware and actively engaged in the political process than at any other time in my life. The fast-paced information age and young, civically-minded people have added a dynamic that has changed the conversation. Over the last 20 years or so we’ve forgotten how to have a conversation. It means talking and listening to one another and not talking at or over each other. I am ready and eager to have conversations with you, the residents of Morris Township.
The preamble to our Constitution states “ We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”. I pledge that I will uphold those words to the best of my ability.
Where there once was a culture of helping each other we now have politics. It is up to we the people, to act in a more civil way toward each other, to once again start caring how our actions or inactions may effect others and overcome the selfishness that has divided us. We must all take some responsibility for the safety and well being of our friends, family, and neighbors.
A quick side note on historic events transpiring in Washington DC today. Storming the US Capital is not being patriotic. It’s the exact opposite. It’s plunging a dagger right into the heart of democracy in the United States. Let’s all hope that cooler heads prevail now and through Inauguration Day.
2021 will be another challenging year for all of us. But a new year also brings us renewed hope, renewed vigor, and opportunities to be who we envision ourselves to be. Let us not strive to be better than anyone else. Let us strive to be a better person than we were yesterday. Let us strive to be the community that other communities want to emulate.
There are so many people to thank. Anyone who’s been involved in a political campaign knows that it’s the people who work tirelessly behind the scenes that make all the difference. This election was no exception. Thank you to one and all. I was honored to have my brother James and sister Georgia administer my oath and I was delighted to have my mother at my side.
One particular person stands out for going above and beyond and so she gets a special shout-out. A woman whose roles in my life are immeasurable. My campaign manager, my wife, my inspiration, my best friend, and my love, Lee Schwartzberg. I would not be the person I am today if not for her. We’ve all heard the cliche that behind every great man is a great woman. I’ll tell you today that it’s not exactly true. Behind every great person is their significant other who walks right alongside ensuring he/she can be at his/her best every day.
I look forward to working closely with all the members of the township committee, department heads, Scott Carlson, and Tim Quinn to make immediate and positive impacts not only as a member of the township committee, but to also continually improve the lives of the people of Morris Township through 2021 and beyond.
I conclude by reading some final words from Alex Trebek from a show taped 10 days before he died: This is the season of giving. I know you want to be generous with your family, your friends, your loved ones. But today, I’d like you to go one step further. I’d like you to open up your hands and open up your heart to those who are still suffering because of Covid-19. People who are suffering through no fault of their own. We’re trying to build a gentler, kinder society. And if we all pitch in, just a little bit, we’re gonna get there.”
I wish everyone a happy, and healthy 2021. Let’s keep each other safe out there.
Thank you again.
Morris Township Committee