Dear Mr. Light,
I'm writing as a longtime resident of Piscataway, constituent, and head of household with three (soon to be four) registered and active voters. I love our town, but I believe we can do more to make it a place we can all be proud to call home. There are phenomenal people who live here, pay taxes, send their children to our schools, use our roads, vote in our elections. They have insight and ideas and vision. Why not listen?
In the recent election cycles, I've heard you (and Bob Smith) say things like “you have to understand that being challenged makes people defensive…” Well Sir, I do not understand. I was under the impression that challenging the status quo brings about progress, and that political discourse makes a party stronger. Isn't that why we have primary elections? As Chairman of the Piscataway Democratic Organization, please help me understand why you feel otherwise. Wouldn't it benefit every member of our community to engage in an exchange of ideas that can result in strengthening our party and Piscataway as a whole?
In a Democratic town, we should be having regular discussions about how we can protect our most vulnerable citizens. We should be talking about standing up to ICE, championing our LGBTQI community members, providing mental health services for residents, and on and on and on. We are far behind other communities in New Jersey when it comes to these discussions and I believe that many residents feel it's time. This is why they are getting involved and running for positions like County Committee. Again, help me understand why you are meeting this with such resistance.
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I see young people struggling with anxiety and mental illness, but no Piscataway Township Mental Health Commission. I watch local governments close by stand up and defend the rights of the LGBTQI Community, but silence in Piscataway. I learn of municipalities near by passing groundbreaking ordinances to commit to renewable energy, while Piscataway refuses. There's no pressure on local officials to fight for Medicare for All, for protections from ICE, or to legalize Marijuana. In fact, when I attend town council meetings, all I hear is talk of more warehouses and rerouting truck traffic all through town. And I know WE CAN DO BETTER! We can build a town that effectively represents all of us, instead of the few who have the power.
Recently, an Anti- Muslim flyer targeting a member of our community was circulated by the PDO. He was described as a “radical… Trying to take over our township government.” The flyer, which was condemned by leaders of the Muslim and Interfaith communities, caused waves of hurt feelings and animosity to ripple across the town, through neighborhoods where Hindu and Muslim families live side by side. Families that watch their children play on the same sports teams and belong to the same scout troops. Creating such racist and divisive literature has no place in politics, in our party, in our community. What message are you sending to voters? To Muslims? To children? Why have you issued no statement against this? No apology? Please Sir, help me understand.
I really wanted to give you an opportunity to address all of this because I don't believe you have. The more I'm out and about through town and on social media, the more I hear from people who also want answers. And while you continue to hide, your silence undermines the very values of Democracy that you say you're trying to protect.
Help me understand.
Ward 1, District 4
An Open Letter to Ted Light
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