Blog for Highland Park

Welcome to the Blog for Highland Park, a weblog chronicling events in Highland Park, NJ from an alternative perspective to the often one-sided slant of the official borough newsletter.

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Location: Highland Park, New Jersey, United States

I am a freelance writer and community activist who has worked on many progressive and Democratic political campaigns over the last 25 plus years and a lifelong resident of Highland Park, NJ. I have a BA in Journalism from Rutgers University, an MA in Middle East Studies from Harvard University, and an MEd in English Education from Rutgers Graduate School of Education. An enthusiastic amateur astronomer, I have just completed Swinburne University Astronomy Online's Graduate Certificate of Science in astronomy and am pursuing a Masters of Science in astronomy at Swinburne. I am also an actress with experience in theatre and film and have written a full length play. I am currently working full time on a book "The Little Planet That Would Not Die: Pluto's Story."

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

It's Time

"One day more. Another day, another destiny..." So begins the song sung by brave revolutionaries in the musical "Les Miserables" who put their all on the line to fight tyranny and inequality, to give their all for a better world.

One day more. For Highland Park, it's time. It's time to take back our town for the people, for the businesses, for the seniors, for the children, for the disenfranchised, for everyone who has been unfairly excluded or targeted because he or she does not worship Mayor Frank or share her urbanization vision for our borough.

It's time to take back our town from elitists who think that having more money and/or more degrees makes them better qualified to be leaders and better people than the average working man and woman.

It's time to take back our town from hypocrites who can dish out negativity so full of vitriole that it makes long time hard working public servants retreat permanently from community involvement yet cannot take it themselves when their own misdeeds are brought out into full public view.

It's time to take back our town from a sham of "good government," "ethics reform," and "openness" that in reality is as Orwellian as Big Brother's statement, "war is peace; freedom is slavery; ignorance is strength," an administration that treats the public with contempt, refuses to accept responsibility and answer legitimate questions about how our money is being spent.

It's time to take back our business district from a leadership that overburdens it with excessive assessments only to funnel those assessments to expensive politically connected public relations consultants, event planners, and private firms all connected one way or another with those in power.

It's time to enact an ordinance that reassures all our businesses and residents once and for all that their properties will not be taken by eminent domain, even as a "last resort."

It's time to elect a mayor and council who will make full funding and support of our police, Fire Department, and First Aid Squad a top priority.

It's time to elect a mayor who will support environmental initiatives for their own sake, not as a gimmick for self promotion or lining the pockets of a firm she and her husband own. It's time for a green initiative that leaves no one behind, recognizing that this town and this planet belong to us all, are the heritage of us all, and both need and require the efforts of us all, no matter what our political persuasions or views of the people in power.

It's time to expand our programs for seniors, children, and all residents in a way that does not jack up the price for those services, as has been done with the school/borough summer camps.

It's time to say no to the imposing of a blanket "smart growth" dogma promoting higher density development when that is wrong for our town.

Have you ever tried to comment at public meetings only to be treated in a heavy handed, contemptful, and disrespectful manner? It's time now to talk back to those who looked and spoke with contempt at you. It's time to speak to them and say, in a democracy, ultimate power rests with the people, and government operates only with the consent of the governed. We can withdraw that consent at any time. Tomorrow, I urge all in this town who have ever felt wrongly excluded or targeted, who have felt afraid to publicly express their views, who have been looked down upon by those with a classist, elitist mentality worthy of the Dark Ages to take back your power and bring regime change to Highland Park.

The team for Smart Change, running on Line C, lead by mayoral candidate Nancy Wolf and council candidates George Valenta and Michael Kornfeld, does not seek to blanket
target everyone in local office now for ouster, as the current administration did. Instead, the team for Smart Change seeks to change the way government in this town does business by welcoming people of all political persuasions and beliefs if they have a genuine desire to serve our community.

If you believe in this genuinely inclusive vision instead of the sham that has been perpetrated in its name, please join us in bringing smart change to Highland Park by voting Line C so that on June 6, 2007, our community can truly face a new day.

It's June 5, 2007. It's time.