PATERSON, NJ - Mayor Andre Sayegh announced a new partnership with The Citizens Campaign that will strive to enlist local residents in efforts to defeat COVID-19 Thursday. 

The plan, according to a statement released jointly, builds on “the strong proactive response to the pandemic already underway in Paterson” and relies on local know-how, taps community resources and draws on community spirit to ensure a safe return to our work and our public lives. 

“Building upon the solid foundation established by Mayor Sayegh and his excellent team, we will work together with Paterson Civic Trustees to enlist Paterson residents across the board in the contact tracing, mask distribution and other tasks essential to reclaiming our public lives,” Harry Pozycki, Founder of The Citizens Campaign said.

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Specific components of the plan included enlisting members of the Community Emergency Response Team and other volunteers as contact tracers; developing and deploying quarantine/isolation kits that included disposable silverware, masks, disinfecting cleansers, and other items essential to successful isolation by people that have been in contact with someone who tested positive and are living in more crowded situations; and distributing masks to residents in the most heavily impacted areas.

Designed to address hurdles Paterson, as well as other economically challenged cities face, including higher population density, language barriers, more low-income residents, and greater suspicion and even fear of government, the plan draws heavily on trusted local residents to make it successful.making it imperative that an effective response draws more heavily on trusted local residents that are part of the Paterson Civic Trust.

“Working together with The Citizens Campaign and the Paterson Civic Trust, we will draw on the talents and strong sense of community of Paterson residents to Beat COVID and safely re-open our city,” Sayegh said.

Launched in 2019, The Paterson Civic Trust is comprised of about two dozen volunteer Civic Trustees who meet in monthly No-Blame Solution Sessions, the statement read. These citizen leaders work together to identify cost-effective, evidence-based solutions to the major challenges facing their city.

Among the Civic Trustees is Martha Arenciba who said that, "The Paterson Civic Trustees look forward to working with Mayor Sayegh and his team to ensure a robust and sustained response to Covid-19, better enabling us to protect residents’ health and safety and open our city back up for business.”

The joint COVID response plan also calls for the launch of a Corona Control Task Force to ensure consistent and saturation level communication with residents and businesses; the establishment of standardized community health protocols for individuals and businesses, the launch of a Coronavirus Relief Fund; and enlistment of other New Jersey urban mayors to deliver a strong message to state officials about specific urban needs.

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