Dear Editor,

I was called by a friend yesterday from the Luis Munoz Marin Elementary School in Newark, New Jersey. They remarked that they had children who wanted to learn but didn’t have books. “Do you know anyone who is willing to donate the books to our school?”

This experience was shocking for me to hear, given the $100 million given to Newark by Mark Zuckerberg. Somehow we all look at the situation and come to expect it. Are some of our children disposable and others not?

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The children have their books now.

Some may be quick to lay blame for the lack of progress in our urban cities. It is quite clear the issue is complex and cannot be defined by one specific reason. However, it is intolerable that we would allow any child in our state who desires to learn to not have the proper materials to do so. Where are our priorities when our children are cheated?

If we do not have representatives in office with the courage to address these issues, then we need to change that. Decades of experienced politicians in office haven’t attacked the bureaucracy and corruption impeding our citizen’s progress in our urban cities. Simply stated, it doesn’t require four decades to solve poverty. History and statistics show it is defeated through education. ­­­­­

The children were quite happy to receive their books. I wish that I could do more, but I am only a common man – not even an elected official. Our state has the resources to solve these problems, but does it have the willpower? Our children are counting on the answer to be yes.