NORTH CALDWELL, NJ — Emily Goldberg, a volunteer for the West Essex Chapter of Moms Demand Action, a nationwide, anti-gun violence organization, urged the North Caldwell Borough Council on Tuesday to adopt a resolution she had presented to the council asking that North Caldwell join in observing June 2 as Gun Violence Awareness Day.
Goldberg told the governing body that the annual nationwide observance honors the memory of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton of Chicago, who sang at President Barach Obama’s inauguration in January 2013 but died from gun violence in her hometown nine days after her performance.
The gun violence organization proponent explained that supporters of the observance were requested to wear orange on June 2 because it is the color hunters wear to prevent them from being shot.
She added that Essex County municipalities such as Livingston, West Caldwell and Bloomfield have passed supportive resolutions.
Goldberg noted that gun violence is present in all communities, with 1.7-million children nationwide living in homes where guns are loaded and unlocked. She added that there are 21,000 deaths each year due to suicides from guns.
Alessi said the council had not received the petition in time to discuss it before Tuesday’s meeting but hoped to take some action.
He added that he could relate somewhat to the statistics Goldberg spoke about because he had received a telephone call from a college friend a few weeks prior to Tuesday’s meeting about an acquaintance, a prominent attorney in Pacific Palisades, CA, who had killed himself and a girlfriend with a gun.
On another matter, Councilman Joshua Raymond noted that several borough officials, following up on suggestions by North Caldwell residents, recently met with local board of education members to discuss a possible school expansion referendum and other matters of mutual interest.
The mayor also announced that a second community forum on school expansion would be held on Wednesday, May 31 at 7 p.m. in the cafeteria of Grandview School.
According to a board of education announcement on the forum, the school body, in cooperation with its architectural firm, has “compiled and reviewed a list of the district’s short-terms and long-term facility needs and developed a number of school expansion options for consideration.”
At the forum, according to the announcement, the board will share additional updates with the community and hopes to gain input and feedback.
Alessi also urged borough residents to participate in the West Essex Memorial Day Celebration, which will begin at 9 a.m. on Monday, with a ceremony at the Essex Fells Town Hall followed by the parade at 9:30 a.m.
He added that Cass Gilbert of North Caldwell would be the grand marshal of the parade.
The mayor also asked all residents to purchase tickets and participate in the fire department pancake breakfast on Sunday, June 4.