I’m writing this letter urging the support of the following candidates for the Tuesday, May 10, 2016 Paterson City Council election. Aslon Goow, a second ward candidate, Flavio Rivera, a third ward candidate, and Andre Sayegh, the incumbent sixth ward councilman, all offer unique qualifications to their constituents. However, each share something of great importance with their fellow candidates, one desperately needed by Paterson, a passion and very specialized set of skills without which this city cannot be revitalized.
In the interest of full disclosure, I know each of these candidates very well. However, that is not why I strongly urge Patersonians to vote for them. Each of these men presents a direct contrast to the national politics of divisiveness which we have witnessed during the current presidential campaign. What has transpired in the Republican primary election is shameful and an embarrassment to America. Contrarily, Mr. Goow, Mr. Rivera and Mr. Sayegh have been very clear in pointing out what qualifies them to be your councilman without screaming, shouting and demeaning their opponents.
Mr. Goow is a tough, no nonsense defender of law and order and his ward has been plagued by a significant increase in crime. He knows how to handle this. Mr. Rivera is an expert in finance. For 11 years he has worked on government budget issues, and none of his opponents have anywhere near the skills and knowledge of finance that he would bring to the council. Anyone who pays taxes or rent in Paterson knows how critical managing the city’s money is, and how poorly it has been done these past years, as evidenced by the staggering tax increases. Finally, Mr. Sayegh is a man of intellect and tireless worker who has dramatically improved the sixth ward. He is interested in ideas and programs which are successful elsewhere in the world. In short, he is a thinker and a doer. During the past few years, whenever we meet, his first question to me is always, “What are you reading?” He wants to know about new approaches and solutions to problems.
Let me end my strong urging to the people of Paterson to support these candidates by discussing “the elephant in the living room” — race and ethnicity. Isn’t it time for us to stop concerning ourselves about candidates religions, racial and ethnic background? There is certainly a time and place for ethnic pride. Electing the public officials who will lead our city isn’t either one. You need to look very hard and ask who is best trained and qualified to lead the city, understanding that the council’s job is equally important as is the Office of the Mayor, and selecting the smartest, hardest working people can change each voters way of life. Don’t let anyone tell you it doesn’t matter. It does very much and Mr. Goow, Mr. Rivera and Mr. Sayegh can lead Paterson in a very positive direction. Please vote, and pass it on to your friends, family and neighbors. You and your families future is at stake.
Paterson, N. J.