Back when I served as an elected member of the Paterson school board I can remember being turned away from many demonstrations specifically because I was a political figure and the organizers didn’t want politics to taint the rally or demonstration. And even if I did attend, it would be made clear to me that I wasn’t welcomed but that since I was there already I wouldn’t be asked to leave.
Well, since being out if office, I continue to see demonstrations throughout the city being hijacked by political figures. Politicians who see opportunities to sweep entire communities and to sway those communities in their direction to assist them in their political aspirations. Genuine demonstrations shouldn’t be used as platforms for politicians to get off on the attention. It should be reserved solely for activists, those who have no political agendas or ambitions.
Again, keep politicians out of the demonstrations. Let the community hold these rallies by themselves. If our elected officials are parading for the cameras then what time do they have to address the needs of the city? Let’s get serious about the work that must be done to restore Paterson.
Corey L. Teague