To the Editor:

Our family has had an extremely difficult two years and as such I was going to stay out of chiming in publicly on this year’s primary but my passion for our town and gratitude for the hundreds and hundreds of friends that have been so kind to all of us has given me the kick I needed to chime into our local race.

You may not have heard of Rez Estevez before this year’s race but I have known her for years. Hands down, she is one of the smartest human beings I have ever known. I have never heard more articulate and intelligent solutions come out of anyone’s mouth and I am honored to support her and be her friend.

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For the first time in a long time, Chatham Township has some serious issues staring us down right in the face. For years the Affordable Care Housing issue has been kicked down the curb and now we are faced with potential mandates that could alter our town’s landscape for good. And I say this with love because I do believe in Affordable Housing but when you wait decades to meet requirements and are faced with potentially having to build 500 - 700 new housing units…….that has s deep impact on everything we do here in Chatham Twp.  We also have major commuting issues that have other town officials who live on the Midtown Direct line already lobbying for some work around solutions. We need to be doing the same.

There is also the ongoing Pilgrim Pipeline project that needs serious advocacy and collaboration with our neighbors. We will also run out of tear downs and rebuilds eventually which have been a substantial contributor to our tax base. In other words, we need a professional strategic plan to not only deal with these issues but anything else expected or unexpected coming down the road. Rez is the most qualified to design and implement that plan. Her unique qualifications and background include skills and degrees in law, immigration and the environment. We need Rez.

Last week the Republican leaning Chatham Courier endorsed Rez and Mike Kelly (another outstanding candidate) for Township Committee. The sentence that speaks most about their opponent and status quo incumbent can be quoted here: "she falls in line with the conservative majority and shows little initiative to find solutions to problems confronting the township.” They said it. I know it to be true. It’s time for action. And a little kindness wouldn’t hurt either. 

Please go out to the polls and join me as I enthusiastically support Rez Estevez for Chatham Township Committee!

Laura M. Ali

Chatham Township