PLAINFIELD, NJ - Plainfield's City Committee met on Wednesday evening to select candidates to run for the First Ward seat currently held by Diane Toliver, and for the Second & Third Ward At-Large City Council seat held by Joylette Mills-Ransome.
The PDCC heard from two residents interested in running for the First Ward position.
Gail Smith Alexander, who has worked for the Union County Sheriff's Office, and has worked with at-risk children, is a Plainfield resident who lost to Peter Corvelli for Sheriff in the June 2017 primary.
Ashley Davis works for the city in the Division of Parks and Recreation, a position from which she said she would resign if she were to win.
Davis said, "I'm no longer the generation of the future; I'm actually the generation of now. I'm the generation of the people who are coming to Plainfield; with all this new construction that we have going on, it's the Millenials and my age group that's going to come here to Plainfield. It's the generation that feels really underrepresented and disengaged with this party, not even at a local level but nationally."
Councilman Cory Storch asked Davis and Alexander about their recent civic and political engagement.
Davis responded first, saying she has been to a handful of city council and school board meetings. She said she is involved with the Girl Scouts, is a member of the North Jersey chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., is an active member of the Mount Olive Baptist Church in Plainfield, and is a committee member on the Plainfield Municipal Alliance.
She added that as an undergraduate, she was actively involved in registering young people to vote on college campuses, and worked for the North Carolina Democratic Party as an intern.
Alexander also said she hasn't been to many city council meetings because she had been focusing her attention on her profession, as well as on an at-home business.
She said she believes that it is very important for young people to be taught proper life skills, often lacking when there isn't a responsible adult to guide them, before they fall through the cracks and end up in juvenile detention or incarcerated at the age of eighteen.
Chairman Adrian O. Mapp then called for a vote on the Second & Third Ward At-large position, and Mills-Ransome received a unanimous vote.
Before he called for nominations for the First Ward seat, he said, “Now normally, what we do normally, in the past is that we would present a slate of candidates. And we’ve done that in the past because we put together a vetting committee. We didn’t do that, we didn’t have time to do any of that,” referencing last week’s vote for Union County Democratic Committee Chair.
Councilwoman Rebecca Williams nominated Alexander, while school board member Emily Morgan nominated Davis.
A hand vote was taken; Davis won 23-17, and is now the candidate for the First Ward.
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