On Tuesday, May 9th, we have the privilege of voting for Village Trustees to serve our community. There are four candidates running for three seats. I encourage you to research each candidate and make an informed decision.

In particular I encourage you to get to know Nureed Saeed. I have known Nureed for two years as the mom of three children that attend my preschool. You can learn a lot about a person’s disposition and commitment to humanity in how they interact with their own children, as well as the other children they greet each morning. Nureed is thoughtful and attentive, and she is also willing to correct children with the intention to help them learn.

This spring I experienced her passion and commitment to our community and her willingness to stand up for what she believes. Her poignant speech at the SOMA Action rally speaking against the “travel ban” and for the sanctuary city status. She succinctly outlined why it is important to make all residents feel welcome in their community. “An American citizen’s fear that America is not safe for them is why South Orange’s status as a sanctuary city is so important.” The gentle reminder that all politics is local and we need thoughtful people to work for the betterment of us all.

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Nureed and I have had many conversations about development, public safety and the revitalization of our downtown area. She approaches issues with first asking a ton of questions. This is critical. She doesn’t have all the answers, but she asks lots of questions and then uses that information to creatively problem solve. This is a great skill necessary for solving complex issues as well as building consensus amongst other trustees.

I encourage you to vote on Tuesday, May 9th and stay engaged.