Dear Editor:

In the past couple of decades, I have had many titles. For nearly 22 years, I have been a mom and mom to three students of the Scotch Plains-Fanwood School district for a total of 17 of those years. I have been a wife for a few years longer than that. I have been a social worker for the past 20 years. I have been PTA President, a Leader of Girl Scout Troops 260 and 181, a JCC Board member and most recently, the Director of Human Resources for the Franklin Food Bank. Through each of these titles and the responsibilities that come with them, I have learned the importance of patience and the value of making room at the table for many ideas and voices. 

I have never been a politician, it is not a title I ever pictured myself holding, but I believe it is time for that title to take on a very new meaning and I think I can help. 

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Throughout the past few years, it has become increasingly apparent to me, and I’m sure to many of you, that it is time for the word “politician” to get a serious makeover in our country. And if the Black Lives Matter protests of the past few months have proven anything, it is that this makeover is long overdue. 

I believe that the changes I hope to see in this country can start right here, in Scotch Plains.  If I am elected, I will do everything in my power to make our town an example for what an inclusive, welcoming and safe American town can look like. With the help of organizations such as REAL Parents x SPF forming in our community, I hope I can help to provide a more inclusive atmosphere. I hope to encourage our town and its resources to support more of our BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) community. 

This starts with making decisions that involve the whole town. 

There should and must be room for many voices at the table, and even if the type of open forum meetings I would like to have may not be possible in this pandemic age, this will mean that my Zoom will be open to ideas from everyone in town. 

The Democratic Mayoral Candidate, Josh Losardo, and I want to see more new faces at Town Hall. We want residents who never participated in their local government to serve. We are confident that our town will be an even more accommodating, safe place to live as more residents participate and make it so. I invite you all to join us.

Ellen Zimmerman
Democratic Candidate for Scotch Plains Town Council

Editor's Note: Ellen can be reached at ezimmerman4sp@gmail.com.