Education

Letters to the Editor

Paterson Women Use Mayoral Forum to Discuss the Future of Paterson

5254dcddbdbf2706e540_87D2AC4A-9BFD-4330-AB3D-8038FD22F184.jpeg
The women that participated in the mayoral forum said they look forward to hosting the next mayor of Paterson to discuss ways to build their shared future. Credits: Oasis
5254dcddbdbf2706e540_87D2AC4A-9BFD-4330-AB3D-8038FD22F184.jpeg

Dear Editor,

 

At Oasis – A Haven for Women and Children, we serve over 700 women and children daily in our headquarters on Mill Street.  We empower all our clients – women and youth alike – to find their voice and become engaged in their community. Recently, we hosted a forum to discuss the upcoming mayoral election; over 80 of our adult education students participated. We would like to share some of their biggest concerns about the future of this great city.

 

Safety and crime

Sign Up for E-News

There are many sections of the city where our women do not feel safe to walk during the day, let alone at night. From increased drug-use to a resurgence in prostitution, our students feel their neighborhoods are deteriorating. Many wait in frustration as a stretched-thin police force doesn’t respond to their phone calls. All see increased community policing as part of the solution, but they also long for greater neighborhood building efforts. This includes a stronger presence in the community by elected officials.  As one woman noted, “We only see them on the streets at election time.  Where are they the rest of the year?”

 

Transparency and customer service in government

Very few of our women have had positive experiences with city employees, and most say there is very little transparency about city services and programs. Indeed, the city website and departmental pages are woefully inadequate and out of date. And due to decades of corruption in many levels of government, many don’t trust city leaders. Their hope is that the next mayor actively works to improve transparency, rebuild trust, and focus on the customer service side of city employment.

 

Parks and recreation

As with general concerns about safety, our women feel unsafe in almost all our city parks, especially small, neighborhood ones, and do not allow their children to visit these parks alone. They speak of drug paraphernalia, overflowing garbage, even pimps. This is unacceptable and would not happen in other municipalities. Additionally, there are not enough recreation opportunities for children of all ages, registration is not transparent, and what does exist is unaffordable to many. Safe spaces and activities for our youth need to be high priorities in the next administration.

 

Other quality of life issues

From potholes to trash pick-up to little recycling, there is much room for improvement across the city.  The dirtiness of the city was a repeated theme in our forum, demonstrating a lack of pride in our community. Some complained about the absence of street parking in their neighborhood, where metered parking dominates. Others mentioned broken street cameras that don’t act as a crime deterrence. In mentioning all these issues, our women spoke of feeling as if their concerns are never heard; that you need to “know someone” to get anything done.

 

We understand that money is needed to address many of these challenges, and we hope the next mayor has a plan in place to attract outside grant funding that can help in each of these areas. After listening to our women, we also hope the next mayor is more actively engaged in the neighborhoods of Paterson – holding forums and community meetings, encouraging local leadership. We know one thing for sure – our women look forward to hosting the next mayor here at Oasis after his inauguration to discuss our shared future.

 

Jennifer Brady – Executive Director

Kathleen Long – Chief Development and Marketing Officer

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor.

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 ...