Dear Residents of Springfield,
Last year I had the honor of representing all of you as Mayor. With that role comes a heightened sense of responsibility and obligation to every member of our Township. Although this year my role has changed on the governing body, that sense of responsibility has not diminished.
Our community and our country are facing some of the most challenging times we’ve ever had. Now, more than ever, we need leadership across the country that is willing to stand up for every single one of us.
I know that our current Mayor, Chris Capodice, and every member of the Township Committee are up for that challenge — but right now, I’d like to speak for a few moments from my perspective.
As an educator for over 20 years of predominantly black and brown students, wife of a black husband, and mother of two black children, I can only scratch the surface of what members of the black community feel like when they are bombarded with headlines and visuals that convince them that their lives and truths are not valued in this country — and I’m grateful to live in a community that believes the exact opposite. It is important at this moment to acknowledge that black lives do matter, and that the pain in the hearts of so many in this country needs to be acknowledged and addressed proactively. For those protesting to amplify their voices peacefully, only to be faced with violence and outside agitation, please know that your message is still loud and clear; we see you, and we hear you.
The circumstances we are currently facing as a nation also put our law enforcement service members and their families on high alert. Speaking to friends and family that are in law enforcement, and the wives and husbands of those who serve their communities every day, I am keenly aware of the fact that these times are incredibly scary and tense for them as well. Knowing that black lives matter and valuing the contributions of those in law enforcement who execute their duties with compassion and professionalism are not mutually exclusive ideas, and in fact we all look forward to a future where they are not perceived as such.
To support those marching across the country to make their voices heard, and to speak to the institutionalized racism that permeates through nearly every aspect of our lives, this evening (Wednesday, 6/3) evening beginning at 5:45pm, I will be walking from Town Hall in Springfield down Morris Avenue to Town Hall in Union, to stand with those holding a vigil for Hope and Justice at 7:00pm.
I welcome the entire Springfield community to join me, and thank this community for its outpouring of love in this difficult moment.
Committeewoman Erica DuBois