PATERSON, NJ - Calling it an “intimate event for family, friends and supporters,” a fundraising dinner held at The Brownstone earlier this week by Paterson Councilman Andre Sayegh took on a different tone than most others regularly held at the mainstay for political events.
Throughout the evening Sayegh moved quickly between greeting the more than fifty guests in attendance, and responding to calls of “daddy” from his daughters, Sophia, 4, and Kayla, 2. Sayegh’s wife Farhanna, a marketing and sales professional with L’Oreal, also worked the room throughout the evening.
“For Andre family is everything,” said Farhanna. “Having our girls has given him an added sense of what Paterson needs to attract young families, and isn’t that really the goal in any effort to build a strong community?”
The guest of honor for the event was City Council President and Acting Mayor Ruby Cotton whom Sayegh referred to as “compassionate, conscientious and approachable.” During his brief comments he, with Sophia hanging from his leg, praised Cotton for her work on behalf of Paterson’s Fourth Ward, and the entire city, especially in the area of crime prevention.
Alluding to a vote by the city council last week to replace Cotton as acting mayor with former Paterson City Clerk Jane Williams-Warren, Cotton also spoke of the importance of family and friends in efforts to “let light shine through the dark clouds we’ve been under.”
“We have to work together,” said Cotton.
Asked later to share additional thoughts on the role of family on the lives of candidates and elected officials Cotton said that without that support and understanding, “they can’t do it.”
Sayegh, a presumptive candidate in Paterson’s upcoming mayoral election concluded his comments by suggesting that the prosperity that is coming to the city’s Sixth Ward which he represents should be spreading. “The success of the Sixth Ward should be the success of all six wards.”