Dear Editor:

Prior to virtually every election candidates tell voters that this one may be more important than ever.  For one single reason, the primary for Congress tomorrow may very well make these claims more correct than ever before, for Passaic County residents in general, and especially for Patersonians.  The reason is that if Congressman Pascrell doesn’t win the primary, Paterson will have no voice in Washington.

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His opponent isn’t incompetent, but his interests lie in Bergen County, not in Paterson, or with our problems.  There is no refuting this fact.  Not only has Congressman Pascrell been an extremely influential Congressman, but more importantly, there has never been any doubt that his home town is where his heart is.  A lifelong resident and former mayor, his commitment to Paterson and its people is beyond question.  The same cannot be said for his opponent whose interests and concerns are not about Paterson.

Hard as it may be to believe, the election on Tuesday may actually be the most important one for Paterson since its founding in 1792, because we have had a voice speaking for us in Washington in every election since our Constitution was written.  If we lose Congressman Pascrell, who will be our voice in Washington?  Please ignore the pettiness of politics and not allow ourselves to be deceived.  We must recognize the fact that Paterson, all of us Patersonians, need the voice of Congressman Bill Pascrell.  I can’t emphasize how important he is to our city’s children, hopes, and its entire future.  This election is that serious.

Look around the world and see how elections in other countries dramatically change everything for its people, often for the worse sadly.  If you are an immigrant, or have parents or grandparents who were, ask them how elections in their native countries changed their lives.  If you or your family are originally from Latin America, Africa, the Middle East or Europe, think about how elections changed you or your family’s world.  If you are from the Dominican Republic, Chile, Mexico, Columbia or Peru, you know how important elections are.  If you are from the Middle East you know what’s going on in Egypt right now regarding elections.  We Americans know better than anyone how important elections can be.  Tomorrow’s election is that important for Paterson and Patersonians.

Some years ago a candidate for President asked one simple question, “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?”  I’m going to rephrase that slightly and ask all Patersonians, “Do you think our home town will be better off if his opponent wins and Bill Pascrell isn’t our Congressman?”  Anyone with any common sense knows the answer to that.

Denis Ross