I do not like politics, hence you will never see my name as a candidate on a ballot. However, this letter is not about Paterson politics. What it is about is the medical crisis we are all in now, and the reaction to it from elected officials.
As we all have heard, we, not only Paterson, but the entire nation and abroad, are in the midst of a medical crisis. When Andre Sayegh was elected as mayor, his theme was ‘One Paterson’ seemingly with the desire to come together as one city. If there was ever a time not to play politics, it is now as we need not cast aspersions on anyone else, but to come together to fight for each other to fight this virus. If ever there was a time for unity it is now. I have read various nasty comments against many city officials, and it disgusts me. Now is not the time for divisiveness among elected officials. It is the time to come together as one group to help this city in need. We have already had deaths here, and undoubtedly there will be more.
My fantasy, if you will, has always been for all the leaders from all the ethnic groups here in Paterson, to come together in one room to bring forth plans that will not alone engage their ethnic group, but the whole city. But that seemingly is just that, my own fantasy even though it is one that is possible, but hasn’t occurred, and probably never will. But if ever there was the time for it, it is now. I’ve heard narratives from Hispanics and Blacks, but not from the Muslim communities fighting among themselves, and to their constituents, using disparaging words about each other to make this into their own private war. This is wrong, and unfair to everyone, all of the 175 to 200 thousand residents, a number thrown out by the mayor. Now is the time for unity. You do not have to like each other. But you must work together so Paterson residents can come to believe that you, their elected officials, are not grabbing for support, but rather for the betterment of all of us. Any of us, as we have seen, can become ill and die. We don’t need more deaths.
What we do need is to come together as one city, “One Paterson” to ensure that we are all able to stay healthy. This is the only way. Now is not the time for name calling, or other innuendos, but rather the urgent time to prove that you are worthy of a vote, and that is shown by your actions. I am not only calling for “One Paterson,” but one council coming together for the betterment of our city.
Your unity will keep us all safe and healthy. Ultimately, it will also prove who you are as a human being. Please think about this, not only think, but act properly as leaders not as competitors. One for all, and all for our own welfare.
Resident of Paterson