Candidates on the Democratic ticket for Berkeley Heights Mayor and Town Council on Wednesday issued a joint statement setting the tone for their 2018 campaign, and pledged to run a fair campaign strictly on the issues. Stressing that our sense of community and respect towards everyone needs to be a priority in any local campaign, the candidates and their supporters vow to not engage in hurtful or disrespectful activity.

“It’s time to bring positive change to address the challenges Berkeley Heights is facing,” said Mayoral candidate Angie Devanney and her running mates for Council, Stephen Yellin and Alvaro Medeiros. “In the coming weeks, our team will be listening to you, the voters, as we go door to door and meet you at community events.  We would like to thank all the voters who came out to make your voices heard and we congratulate all the Republican candidates on their efforts.

To begin our campaign, we have signed the following pledge:  

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In the recent Berkeley Heights Primary elections, it was disheartening to witness the negative and personal rhetoric in mailings, on social media forums and in public places where neighbors come together as members of one community. Personal attacks, messages of hate and fake ads have no place nationally, or in Berkeley Heights politics. Therefore, we are pledging to engage in a fair and truthful campaign based upon issues and expressly oppose engaging in personal attacks. Berkeley Heights deserves honesty from the candidates and their supporters.

"We would like to invite all Berkeley Heights residents to join with us and 'Take the Pledge' online at https://chn.ge/2sKGtYW as we move forward together.”

In an open letter to Republican Chairwoman Heidi Cohen, Democratic Chairman George Devanney called for unity.  

“I also plan to sign the pledge and would invite you, your candidates and supporters to also participate and take the pledge. We are first and foremost residents and neighbors, this should not be a partisan issue.  Our mutual respect for each other as parents, taxpayers, voters, candidates, campaigners, volunteers and advocates is the bond of community that makes Berkeley Heights such a great place to live and raise a family,” Devanney stated in the letter.  

He added: “Additionally, I plan to renounce any independent expenditure or in-kind contribution that does not adhere to this pledge and I will not condone outside entities – state or county parties – to engage in defamatory activity on behalf of Berkeley Heights candidates.  I hope you will agree and do likewise…… it is my sincere hope that we can agree to this pledge, as voters deserve to hear about the issues facing our town, not personal attacks.”

The letter can be found below. 

Please visit our website at http://www.ChangeWeCanAgreeon.com and/or follow us on Facebook @bh4all. Questions? Contact Campaign Manager Liza Viana at lizaforBH@gmail.com.

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An Open Letter to Berkeley Heights Residents

Dear Chairwoman Cohen,

First let me congratulate you and your candidates on your primary victory yesterday.  

As we prepare for the Fall campaign, and as leaders of our respective parties and residents of Berkeley Heights, I believe we should agree to set the tone of how we intend our campaigns to operate. Last night, our candidate for Mayor, Angie Devanney and candidates for Council, Stephen Yellin and Alvaro Medeiros, signed a pledge on how they intend to run their campaign and communicate with voters.  This pledge was developed as a result of the tone and tenor of the primary elections and our belief that Berkeley Heights deserves better from its leaders and their supporters.  

As the head of the Berkeley Heights Democratic party, I also plan to sign the pledge and would invite you, your candidates and supporters to also participate and take the pledge. We are first and foremost residents and neighbors, this should not be a partisan issue. Our mutual respect for each other as parents, taxpayers, voters, candidates, campaigners, volunteers and advocates is the bond of community that makes Berkeley Heights such a great place to live and raise a family. The pledge is as follows:

In the recent Berkeley Heights Primary elections, it was disheartening to witness the negative and personal rhetoric in mailings, on social media forums and in public places where neighbors come together as members of one community. Personal attacks, messages of hate and fake ads have no place nationally, or in Berkeley Heights politics. Therefore, we are pledging to engage in a fair and truthful campaign based upon issues and expressly oppose engaging in personal attacks.  Berkeley Heights deserves honesty from the candidates and their supporters.

You can view and sign the pledge online at https://chn.ge/2sKGtYW.

Additionally, as the Democratic Municipal Chairman, I plan to renounce any independent expenditure or in-kind contribution that does not adhere to this pledge and I will not condone outside entities – state or county parties – to engage in defamatory activity on behalf of Berkeley Heights candidates. I hope you will agree and do likewise.

In closing, it is my sincere hope that we can agree to this pledge, as voters deserve to hear about the issues facing our town, not personal attacks.

Thank you for your consideration.

Respectfully,

George W. Devanney

Berkeley Heights Democratic Municipal Chairman