Elections

Paterson NAACP Hosts Council Candidates

bd8158574ce53376b6ee_6D21B091-BEA7-4861-83B5-873E7074F590.jpeg
"We cannot continue to do business as we have," Flavio Rivera said. The council, he believes, only sees the budget as "numbers" whereas he'd be in a position to "hold the Administration accountable." Credits: Steve Lenox
26bced8725d67cae4d32_33D003A0-2464-4878-9A01-11DFCF9C4794.jpeg
Bernard Jones, who has raised more than $75,000 for local non-profits, said that he would use his connections to raise $1 million for recreation if elected to the Paterson City Council. Credits: Steve Lenox
775d2ba23a7f56e668f1_61B9BC23-D6E6-47FD-8835-1699E90E8C54.jpeg
"The Council has to serve the community, not fight each other," candidate Juan "Mitch" Santiago said. Credits: Steve Lenox
a48d0124f95b028042ee_AC5C93B6-C584-4637-BDA7-193CC1C70E53.jpeg
Former Councilman Kenneth McDaniel said that he would be willing to serve as the City Council President on July 1. Credits: Steve Lenox
1bba9b09d0149cfdb1b4_E5C239DA-B41E-40EC-9FF1-52621890284A.jpeg
Former Councilman Aslon Goow said that he would continue his record of being an "effective" councilman by being "hands on and visible." Credits: Steve Lenox
642bf1cb0afbf684b2df_4380149C-4564-40FE-88B1-06094C5828CB.jpeg
Davon Roberts suggested that the city council has to better use the budget as a tool to push the direction of the city. Credits: Steve Lenox
72081c84412967b458c9_36F8B263-D7F4-4836-86E3-CA8DBA3C54FF.jpeg
Dr. Lilisa Mimms said that city council and mayor's office have to stop "assuming what residents want, and start including them in decision making." Credits: Steve Lenox
96e5d4cfbf8ac744e71d_3D82B2B0-020C-43A0-B338-05818A8A80FE.jpeg
When it comes to the best jobs, highest paid contracts, and development opportunities, "Paterson residents are not receiving their fair share," Casey Melvin said. Credits: Steve Lenox
5704d7f5123deb93e8b8_D40A6452-0652-489C-A563-AA90B5C889A9.jpeg
"Paterson has to be part of the technology revolution," and cannot build by looking to retail. On council Zellie Thomas would help build a mentality that "we value Paterson." Credits: Steve Lenox
0c541a2ff2839d730caa_2924524E-9B1E-4C6B-BBA1-A429C3B51C75.jpeg
Fatima Bell believes the local government can "better use the resources we have in Paterson to serve residents," and not be reliant on the state. Credits: Steve Lenox
de72004c2d7a308df44e_3905B2EA-5718-4E0B-824D-1486B5BC4663.jpeg
Reverend Douglas Maven has a track record of attracting grants and believes that the perception of Paterson must change. "When people don't take pride in their community they trash it." Credits: Steve Lenox
bd8158574ce53376b6ee_6D21B091-BEA7-4861-83B5-873E7074F590.jpeg

PATERSON, NJ- The Paterson Branch of the NAACP held their first of two candidate forums on Tuesday welcoming 11 of the 14 candidates running for one of three At-Large seats on the Paterson City Council.

For nearly two hours the candidates present fielded questions submitted by the audience, which numbered near 100, and took turns sharing their views and vision for the city, as well as on what unique credentials and ideas they would bring to the body if elected.

Following are just a few highlights from the forum.

Sign Up for E-News

 

EXPERIENCE

Aslon Goow and Kenneth McDaniel, both former members of the city council, separately suggested that their past experience on the body would put them in the unique position of being assets to the community immediately. Goow also recounted securing an additional $2 million in aid from the state government when he felt the city was being “shortchanged,” while McDaniel said he would be a force to end the “legacy of mismanagement.”

Dr. Lilisa Mimms and Flavio Rivera both discussed their professional experience, including “27 years in corporate America” for Mimms, and certification as a Certified Municipal Finance Officer (CMFO) for Rivera, one of only two professionals in Paterson to have earned that designation.

Mimms also serves as a Commissioner of the Paterson Planning Board, and has spent years getting to know and serving the community, while Rivera spoke of how he recently helped save the school district nearly half a million dollars because he “knew the right questions to ask.”

Juan “Mitch” Santiago also pointed to his seven years as a member of the Paterson Board of Education, as well as his more than two decades as an employee of the Department of Public Works where he has seen how Paterson has been run under several different mayors.

HOUSING

Community activist and Paterson school teacher Zellie Thomas shared parts of his platform on housing saying that Paterson residents are “overly burdened” by housing costs and proposed to use CDBG grant funding to help prevent foreclosures.

Bernard Jones, a Commissioner of the Paterson Housing Authority, said that among other things he would commit to creating a viable first time homebuyer’s program for city residents while Casey Melvin suggested that “one of the greatest opportunities (the city) can give residents is an opportunity to buy a home.

 

CHANGING PATERSON’S IMAGE

“The only way to get economic development into the city is to make Paterson safe,” Davon Roberts told the audience. To do this, he said that he would work closely with the Paterson Police Department and the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office, and ultimately strive to change the perception that “Paterson is a place people want to get out of, not go to.”

Reverend Douglas Maven, who has spent 27 years as the Paster at First Zion AME Church, and also serves on the Passaic County Board of Social Services, as well as on the Paterson Housing Authority, said that while Paterson may have a “negative image” it also has “all the ingredients to make it great again.” What’s lacking, he said, is a “common vision.”

 

FIRST 60 DAYS IN OFFICE

First time candidate Fatima Bell who has said that she is hoping that her candidacy will motivate millennials to participate in the electoral process said that she would spend her first days in office “learning” about the budget, and getting to better know all of the community organizations so that they can “start collaborating and stop colliding.”

 

Councilwoman Martiza Davila, seeking to retain her At-Large seat, was at a Paterson City Council meeting and unable to attend the forum.

The organization will host a similar forum on Sunday, April 15, in partnership with the Eastside Neighborhood Association, featuring the mayoral candidates. This event will begin at 6:00 p.m. and be held at the Alexander Hamilton Community Center on East 34th Street.

Election Day is Tuesday, May 8. Voters will have the opportunity to vote for up to three candidates for Council At-Large.

 

Receive news about all of the candidates, as well as everything else happening in Paterson, by signing up for TAPinto Paterson daily e-news updates.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Paterson

Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly Seeks Input on State Budget

April 17, 2018

Dear Editor:

As one of only 12 members on the New Jersey General Assembly’s Budget Committee, I am in the unique position to question New Jersey’s commissioners, those charged with leading our state's various departments, on the specifics of the FY 19 budget that Governor Murphy has proposed. As you may know, this budget must be passed by June 30, 2018.

From education to ...

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka Shares Secret of Newark’s Success in Paterson

April 18, 2018

PATERSON, NJ- With new construction dotting its neighborhoods, control of the schools back in local hands, and a spot on the list of finalists to land Amazon’s proposed second headquarters, Newark is a city on the rise.

It is with the state’s largest city’s upward trajectory in mind, and contemplation of their own city’s future, that several prominent Paterson leaders ...

Paterson Music Project Joins New Jersey’s Newest Youth Ensemble to Perform Bernstein Classic

April 18, 2018

“Somewhere…there’s a place for us.”  So goes one of the most beautiful songs Leonard Bernstein ever wrote—part of the legendary musical West Side Story.

On Sunday, April 22nd, children of a unique New Jersey music education alliance will perform the song on the stage of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center to open a New Jersey Symphony Orchestra ...

Organizations Team Up to Make Prom Dreams Come True

April 5, 2018

On March 29 the Paterson Great Falls Rotary ClubTAPinto hosted their annual prom dress giveaway. This year they joined with several other groups, making the event bigger than ever. TAPinto Paterson reader, and Great Falls Rotary Club Director, Debra Flower shared this piece abut how the event started, what it’s become, and where it’s going.

Paterson Great Falls Rotary Club ...