I have spent the past three decades raising a family, building a business, and working to improve our Paterson communities. I am proud of those accomplishments. In 2002, I spoke at an expungement seminar to help young men get a second chance in life hosted by 4th Ward Councilwoman Vera Ames Garnes.
I shared with them my own story as a young man and how I received a second chance through the expungement program.
I have never hidden from it – I have shared it as a positive example of possibilities. I owed it to these young men to help them build their futures. I told these young men that “if I can do it, so can you.”
I believe I gave those young men hope since I was serving as an elected member of the City Council, as a trained police officer, and as a private investigator licensed by the State of New Jersey.
America believes in redemption. Redemption has been granted to many people who have turned their lives around – including police officers, fire fighters, judges, and many elected officials, and, yes, myself. But with redemption also comes responsibility.
A responsibility to live our lives with integrity and to help our youth rebuild their futures. I have striven to do that, I believe I have made a difference in their lives, and I will continue to do so as Mayor.
I believe that God offers forgiveness to every person who seeks it with a sincere and repentant heart. I ask God to continue to give me the strength to fight for what is right and to fight against the petty political retaliation that I face as I work to lift up our City.
While others will attack me and the integrity of expungement programs for political advantage, I choose to build opportunity and second chances for our City – because I was given an opportunity and a second chance.
For those who want a candidate who pretends to be perfect, they should support someone else. They will eventually be let down. I seek the seat of Mayor not because I am perfect, but because I am a Patersonian.
I seek the seat of Mayor because I have lived through the very challenges that our residents face. I know how a young man can make a mistake and I know how a grown man can make it right in his community after 30 years.
I know how a City can suffer for decades but can grow and prosper once again. Like myself, Paterson [can] turn around and flourish with a second chance.