F rom Plainfield City Hall
  Mayor Adrian O. Mapp
One Plainfield.  One Future.
 
According to a statement on the front page of the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO)...
 
"SRO (School Resource Officer) programs across the nation are founded as collaborative efforts by police agencies, law enforcement officers, educators, students, parents, and communities. The goal of NASRO and SRO programs is to provide safe learning environments in our nation's schools, provide valuable resources to school staff, foster a positive relationship with our nation's youth, and develop strategies to resolve problems affecting our youth with the goal of protecting every child so they can reach their fullest potential."
 
This is a positive statement, one that seems to hold the best interest of our children at heart; after all, positive relationships fostered today, are the cornerstones to building emotionally healthy adults tomorrow.
 
But...
 
How then do we explain the behavior exhibited by SRO Ben Fields who placed his arm around the neck of a sixteen year old schoolgirl, flipped her over backward while still sitting on her chair, and then proceeded to throw and drag her across the room before handcuffing and arresting her? The sixteen (16) year old sustained injuries from her encounter with Fields who weighs about three hundred (300) pounds and who was disturbingly called "Officer Slam" by the student body. She has a cast on her arm, a Band-Aid on her neck, and is suffering from neck and back problems; she is also emotionally traumatized by the incident.
 
It is shocking that this happened at school, a place that sometimes provides the only haven for many students who come from unstable families. Which, as it turns out was the case of this sixteen (16) year old that had recently been placed in foster care. This was not a scenario where they were on the streets and the officer perhaps felt threatened... there was no hand raised against him, there were no weapons drawn, and there was not one threatening word spoken. All that it took for him to explode and vent his rage on this defenseless girl was for her to say no... that's it... just no.
 
This is unacceptable, it is outrageous and it is painful...
 
We need to send a strong message to the Ben Fields of this world...
You cannot abuse your power and victimize our children. You cannot injure innocents and justify it under the pretext of keeping the peace.
We will not stand by while you inflict violence upon them and corral them like animals. We will not allow you to turn places of learning into juvenile detention centers where the slightest infraction is met with punitive physical abuse. You cannot continue to damage their psyche and prey upon their vulnerability while we stand and watch. This cannot be tolerated, it must not be fostered and there has to be consequences.
 
Although Ben Fields has been fired, it is not enough... and I call upon the Richland County, SC prosecutor's office to file criminal charges against him. The message must be clear that we will not allow our children to be brutalized in this manner. There must be repercussions for those who abuse their authority, and we owe it to our children to provide a school environment that does not have the threat of violence or arrest hanging constantly over their heads.
We have a responsibility to our children and it begins with protecting them.
 
 
 
Creating One Plainfield - One Future,
 


Mayor Adrian O. Mapp
City of Plainfield
The MappApp: Coming Soon... 


 
Mayor Mapp Takes Center Stage at NJ Spotlight On Cities Conference 


Three New Jersey Mayors Share Visions, Hopes, and Plans for Their Cities
Colleen O'Dea | October 28, 2015

Newark's Ras Baraka, Trenton's Eric Jackson and Plainfield's Adrian O. Mapp discuss reducing crime, creating jobs at NJ Spotlight On Cities conference.

Good schools, safe neighborhoods, economic growth, and enough money to ensure all of the foregoing is the recipe for success of New Jersey's cities, according to three urban mayors.

Speaking earlier this month at the first NJ Spotlight on Cities conference at NJPAC in Newark, Mayor Ras Baraka of Newark, Eric Jackson of Trenton, and Adrian O. Mapp of Plainfield painted positive portraits of their communities and laid out their priorities for improving life and the reputation of their cities.
"I want to bring about transformational change in our city," said Mapp, who took office in January 2014, adding that decreasing crime has been a top priority. "There is a perception out there that our city isn't safe. We are doing everything we can to make sure that we get the word out that Plainfield is a very safe city and that it's a culturally diverse city ... We are making sure that public safety is job No. 1."

According to State Police data, crime in Plainfield during the first three quarters of this year was down a third from the same time period last year: 1,201 incidents in 2015 compared with 1,800 in 2014.

The crime rate -- for the index crimes of murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, and theft -- per 100 people through September 30 of this year, was 2.4 in Plainfield. That was higher than similarly sized Irvington, whose rate was 2.1 per 100, and Bloomfield, with a rate of 1.5. It was lower than larger cities such as Elizabeth, with a rate of 3.5 per 100; Newark, 2.8; and Trenton, 3.5 per 100 through September 30, according to an analysis comparing NJ State Police crime data with U.S. Census Bureau population data.
"Once people feel safe, they are going to want to come into Plainfield and more business owners will be enticed to become part of the revitalization of the city," said Mapp, calling the effort a "rebranding."

Click Here to Watch Video and Read Entire Article
 
Re-Thinking Re-Entry

From left to right: Mayor Adrian O. Mapp, Senator Raymond Lesniak, Ella S. Teal, and Mayor Christian Bollage

On Thursday, October 29, 2015, I joined other elected Union County officials and the community, at a Union County forum to discuss the challenge of re-entry, and breaking the cycle of criminal recidivism and re-incarceration.  

Some data:  According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS),  2,220,300  adults were incarcerated in U.S. federal and state prisons, and county jails in 2013. This is roughly 0.91% of adults (1 in 110) in the U.S. resident population. The United States spends $74 billion per year on incarcerating people.   Those are astounding figures.  When you think about the process -  when people complete serving their sentences, there are few options and resources.  How do they become contributing members of society?  What employers will hire them?  What training is  available ?
 
Its a substancial challenge we all face.  We are all in this together.  I challenge our legislators to create laws that will do the following:
  • Legislation that will provide re-entry individuals the path to community college
  • Division of Local Government Services create an exemption to the Appropriations Cap for municipal budgets -  to allow for resources to hire individuals re-entering the workforce after serving their sentences without constraints of the Cap.
This is an economic, human rights, and social justice issue.  We need to unite and work towards re-engineering the re-entry process, as it is the right thing to do and will help everyone.
 
Mayor Adrian O. Mapp: World City Day
As the Mayor of Plainfield, I am a member of the U.S Conference of Mayors.  Saturday, October 31 has been designated by the United Nations as World Cities Day. On this day, we have the opportunity to unite and acknowledge the role that cities have in fostering a more global, cultural, and inclusive society.

One of our goals is to work towards improved cultural engagement and that we leverage World Cities Day 2015 as an opportunity to promote understanding through a global message on "Local Governments Moving toward the New Urban Agenda."

I invite you to celebrate World Cities Day in the great City of Plainfield on
Saturday, October 31.


 
Mayor Adrian O. Mapp: Halloween Message
Halloween 2015
 
The Mayor's Youth Summit: Education and Employment
Youth Summit
Mayor Mapp's Plainfield Youth Summit will feature youth-led workshops on the state of Plainfield education.  Community leaders will develop solutions to employment and educational issues facing the community and youth will be paired with national and local scholars.

Summit speakers include Dr. Marc Lamont Hill, HuffPost Live and BET News host, as well as Political contributor for CNN; Felipe Luciano, Director of Communications, City of Newark; and Dr. Janice Johnson Dias, professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.  The Summit will close with a special performance by popular New Jersey artist, DJ Lil Man.

Through collaboration and partnerships, we can build an environment where the voices of the youth are heard.  The summit focuses on Plainfield's youth, as they are the future leaders! This is being held in partnership with our local public schools.

 
Women of Excellence Award: Collecting Nominations

   
 
  
 
Economic Development: Update
Plainfield Business Grand Opening and Networking Event 
 
  Community Development


On October 29, 2015, residents and organizations were given an opportunity to be the first to hear about Boston Community Capital's SUN (Stabilizing Urban Neighborhoods) Program. This program follows the Mayor's recent PCTV interview with the same company and offers an option to those facing foreclosure. 

If you are facing foreclosure and would like to find out if you are eligible for this program please call SUN toll free at 855-604-4663. Please continue to check this newsletter for additional upcoming workshops.  
 
Administration & Finance
     

       

Theta Phi Omega Hosts Annual Clothing Distribution
Contact:                                                                                                                               FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Brenda Woodbury-Williams
Cell Phone: 908-397-6864
Email: nccjfk@aol.com
  
(Plainfield, NJ). Theta Phi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.® and its charitable arm Ivy Visions, Inc. 501 C3 are hosting its Annual Free Clothing Distribution.  The event will take place Saturday, October 31, 2015 from 10am to 2pm, at the Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church, 716 Watchung Avenue, Plainfield, NJ.  This event is open to the general public.  There will be clothing, shoes, and accessories in various sizes for men, women, and children plus a lot more!  Everything is FREE! Tell a friend, bring a friend! For additional information, please contact Lonzella Brice (LPBrice@aol.com) 908-812-8630.

 
Public Affairs and Safety: Update
The City of Plainfield has been moving forward with many initiatives.  Since taking office, the Mapp Administration has placed a top priority on Public Safety. Over the past few months, the Plainfield Police Division has made reducing speed complaints within the City a priority. We have increased enforcement in various areas based upon statistics and citizen's complaints. We have been analyzing data and working with the City Engineer to consider placing four way stops at various intersections on the West and East ends of the city.  We are hopeful that the 4 way stops will help minimize the speeding and/or potential crashes. However, we know they are not a guaranteed measure. More importantly, we are asking all residents and non residents that travel within the City to obey the speed limits, remain alert and aware of stop signs, traffic lights, and wear your seat-belts.         
 
Workforce Development
 

Jersey Job Club
The Jersey Job Club gives you the tools and support you need to find a job. We will help you develop new skills and build upon skills you already have. There are 23 local Job Clubs and six statewide industry-specific talent network Job Clubs throughout New Jersey.

T o find a good job in challenging times, successful job seekers look for opportunities to get an edge. The Jersey Job Club is just such an opportunity - and the sooner you start, the sooner you'll get results.


Job Seekers - Click on Link Below for a Listing of Local Job Fairs
Division of Parks & Recreation: October Events
           
 

 

 
 
Senior Citizens Center: Events
HEALTH PROGRAM
 
The Medicare open-enrollment period begins on Thursday, October 15th and lasts through Monday, December 7th.
 
MAY I HAVE THIS DANCE?
Belly-dancing and ball room dancing classes have resumed at the center every Thursday from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Please see Judi Johnson to sign-up.
 
HIDDEN TREASURES THRIFT SHOP
Hidden Treasures Thrift Shop will be holding a sale on all store items priced from $.50 to $25.00 during the month of October. Store hours are from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. every Tuesday through Thursday. Come and enjoy the savings.
   
SAVE THE DATE:  THE HOLIDAY PARTY IS COMING
The annual holiday party will be held on Friday, December 11th from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at Washington Community School. Due to a lack of participation in our large catered events, the center staff requests that all updated Plainfield residents leave a $10.00 deposit to reserve their seat. Once you attend the event, your deposit will be refunded to you on the following Monday. To attend, non-Plainfield residents must pay $20.00 which is non-refundable. In order to ensure accurate attendance, all guests are asked to sign up in advance. If you require transport, please print your name, address and phone number on the East or West End ride list.
 
Plainfield Learning Center
10 Tips to Winterize Your Home 
 
 
Union County Update:  The Union County Votes App  
For Immediate Release: October 26, 2015 - Union County NJ
By Union County Press Office

Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi speaks with a commuter about the Union County Votes App at the Union train station. The free mobile app is designed to help Union County residents connect quickly and easily with accurate information about voting and elections.

The Union County Votes app enables voters to find their polling place, request voter registration forms and vote-by-mail ballots, view sample ballots, and follow unofficial election results in real time. The app also provides information for persons interested in becoming a poll worker or running for office, including election filing dates and district maps.

For more information about the Union County Votes app, visit http://ucnj.org/county-clerk/. (Photo by Jim Lowney/County of Union)
State of New Jersey: Vincent Prieto Stands with Airport Workers
Vincent Prieto, Speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly, supports airport workers in their fight for $15 and union rights.
Congresswoman Bonnie Watson-Coleman: We Should Not Have to Ask Whether the Student Provoked the Officer, Because There Are No Circumstances in Which His Actions Are Acceptable
Press Release from Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman's website: https://watsoncoleman.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/watson-coleman-we-should-not-have-ask-whether-student-provoked-officer

October 28, 2015,  Press Release  For Immediate Release

Washington, DC (OCTOBER 28, 2015) Today, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) issued the following statement after Richland County, South Carolina officials announced the termination of Deputy Ben Fields' employment following videos of a violent interaction between Fields and a student at Spring Valley High School in South Carolina:

"I could barely watch the video of the young girl being attacked by Deputy Ben Fields in her own classroom.  The actions of Deputy Fields are reprehensible, outrageous, and unfortunately indicative of the systemic problems in law enforcement.  Watching a man in uniform body slam a child, in a classroom, as her peers watch, is one of the most disgusting things I have ever seen.  Much of the media commentary has been no better.  We should not have to ask whether the student provoked the officer, because there are no circumstances in which his actions are acceptable.

"Richland County officials have recently announced Deputy Field's termination, and I believe that they made the right decision.  He must also be held accountable through the legal process, and I am confident that the FBI and Justice Department will thoroughly investigate this case.  But the discussion about appropriate use of force by law enforcement , especially when it comes to children, needs to continue.  We've seen countless videos of violent interactions between young people and police in situations that appear entirely avoidable - at pool parties, in public parks, and in schools.  We need an honest and earnest discussion, and we need action that leads to positive changes in law enforcement."
President Obama: Speaks to Police Chiefs in Chicago
President Obama delivers remarks at the 122nd Annual IACP Conference in Chicago, Illinois. October 27, 2015.
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Volume 2 - Issue 42