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Politics Isn't Fun

Losing elections is never ideal, but it’s a part of this process that every candidate has to prepare for. I regret nothing about running as an Independent for Newark City Council this year. In fact, I wish I had run as an Independent before this, because it has been an enlightening and humbling experience. Lest you conclude that I am done with politics I want to assure you that I am only getting started. There is a great deal which must be addressed in our community. I intend on being a thorn in the side of the “movers and shakers” for as long as I need to or until I can’t anymore.

I have long enjoyed politics, from learning about it to discussing it and eventually to campaigning itself. However, I need to stop treating this as “fun”. Making sure that our community is safe, secure, and prosperous for all is an obligation, not a hobby. You certainly don’t think its fun when crimes go unaddressed, streets unpaved, firehouses close, or jobs are cut.

This isn’t some abstract subject which doesn’t affect you when you ignore it, because it isn’t something you enjoy. Politics deals with the quality of life and it should never be treated as a side project which you care about when you have time. Lives are literally at stake here when we get this wrong.

A major part of the problem with our system is that too many so-called politicians are in it for the wrong reasons. They see politics as something to add to their resume as opposed to a service to others. That mentality needs to change.

When I see deep poverty rising in our neighborhoods, unabated crime, unattended infrastructure, and even the steep decline of participation in our elections I am not smiling or laughing. There is real pain in Newark and beyond and that pain is only getting worse. I became an Independent because the major parties are more concerned with their political chess games than they are with making sure that they actually serve the people. I keep running for office for the same reason.

An injustice to one of us is an injustice to all of us.

This isn’t fun. This is serious.

In the coming weeks, I will be sharing my thoughts in a series of blog posts to be called “A Community Vision”. The primary focus will be on building a better Newark which works for all of us, but it is intent on being a manifesto for every community.

Stay Tuned…

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