The South Orange Village Board of Trustees stepped up two years ago in declaring the town a Sanctuary City, and we applauded — because it’s a great start. Our aspiration is for South Orange to provide sanctuary for everyone who lives and visits here. It needs to become a safe and welcoming place for homeowners, renters, students and visitors, a sanctuary where income, language, skin color, or sexual orientation matters less than the pride we take in showing respect for one another. We are running for the Board of Trustees to work with all of you to make that aspiration a reality.
We face many challenges. As the Use of Force Report presented to the Trustees on Jan. 28th highlighted, many people of color in South Orange confront a daily reality that can be harsh and unwelcoming. We know many longtime residents, particularly as they age, feel an increasing pressure to move away to escape the rising costs of home ownership and rent. Pedestrians and bike riders rarely feel safe and welcome on our streets. And our downtown still struggles to match the charm and vitality found in neighboring town centers.
Identifying these issues is easy. Tackling them will be tough. But we remain certain that if we all think and work together, we can solve them. Together, we can make South Orange a model for forward-looking communities. We can think together, do the hard work together, and thrive together as one community if we make smart, informed choices. We ask for your vote on May 14, and to join us in helping this town rise to its remarkable potential