My name is Fatima Bell. I am a very active parent, community activist and lifelong Paterson resident who is quite concerned about the direction our city is headed in. First, I’d like to provide some academic/career history information.
I am presently studying to earn a Bachelor’s in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Psychology and Sociology. In 2015, I graduated from Passaic County Community College with a degree in human services for substance abuse counseling. My plan is to earn a Master’s in counseling.
I am presently a Board Member of First Step Clinical Services, LLC, a Paterson-based outpatient program which provides a wide range of community services such as anger management, parenting skills, relapse prevention, individual/group therapy and marriage counseling. I have had the opportunity to operate parenting and women’s empowerment groups in a family shelter located in Paterson for several years.
I was an intern at the Kintock Day Reporting Program located in Paterson where I assisted individuals transitioning from the criminal justice system back into life as a public citizen. I assisted each individual with employment referrals and general life skills education. I am currently employed with the New Jersey Friendship House in Hackensack NJ as a Life Skills Coach for adults with autism.
Additionally, I am also responsible for providing support to individuals with Autism by teaching them to develop the skills needed for greater independent functioning in the community. Through social and vocational activities as well as classroom-type settings we teach them how to become productive citizens. Second, I don’t share that information lightly, it wasn’t easy to accomplish. It took determination, resilience and a resolve to not give up. I have always been a person who will fight for what I believe in.
I believe in Paterson. I believe we can shine again as one of the oldest industrial cities in America. Paterson is my home and that’s why I want to help solve the issues we face instead of joining the chorus of critics, most of whom don’t live here. It’s not enough to say a river is dirty unless you plan to roll up your sleeves and help clean it up.
Recently, I decided to take my experience, energy and passion to a new level by deciding to run for a seat on the Paterson Municipal Council. The end goal for me is to be a voice for my community, to provide insight as to the fiscal crisis we face as a city and to restore honor to city hall.
I believe that if I am elected to the city council I will be able to serve my community as an extension of the services I already provide on a daily basis. It won’t be about promises for me. I have already been doing the work.
Candidate for at-large seat on Paterson city council