To the Editor:

I didn’t expect to be spending the spring semester of my junior year in college quarantined in Piscataway, my hometown. I’ve been enjoying my time at Franklin and Marshall College, where I am majoring in sociology and political science, preparing to be a citizen of the world. Since being back home, I’ve had a chance to reflect on some of the lessons I’ve learned in both places.

When it comes to the diversity of people, Piscataway is an amazing community. After graduating from Piscataway High School, I discovered what a privilege it was to be surrounded by all kinds of people, bringing with them unique cultures and diverse points of view. Most of my college peers have never had that experience. Thanks PHS!

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But in terms of local government, Piscataway seems stuck in the distant past.  I was born in 2000 which means that Mayor Wahler has been in office my entire lifetime. I grew up without a community center, although it was always promised.  It means I grew up with the same people setting repeated priorities and policies. The Council from the outside may seem to represent all of Piscataway’s unique facets, but it doesn’t act that way. When I attended Council meetings as an intern, I didn’t witness many proposed new ideas, diverse points of view or debate.

Consequently, I’m following this year’s primary elections with great interest.  Will Piscataway’s people finally be reflected in its politics? Could the town come together by electing unheard and distinct voices?

I thankfully can vote in New Jersey and I am definitely going to vote for change, for the Column A Dems on Your Side. I’d like to tell my college friends I come from a town where diversity and democracy go hand in hand! Therefore my vote will be going towards Bill Irwin for Mayor and Ralph Johnson, Laura Leibowitz, and Kameula Tillman for Council.

Caitlyn Erdman, PHS Class of 2018