I didn’t go to work on Wednesday, staying home to battle a cocktail of fatigue, exhaustion, and malnourishment with a backbreaking dose of what felt like fall allergies. Sickness has never felt so gratifying, though. The day of replenishment concluded a campaign that I’ll never forget, and the resulting sweep victory for the Children First Team. Your hard work will allow me, Carletta, and Terrence to dedicate much of our time and energy towards bettering the Plainfield Public Schools.
This campaign was a textbook example of working together. You made donations, both large and small. You posted on facebook. You attended our fundraisers. You made calls from the headquarters, and from your own homes. You took lawn signs. You gave us those last minute alerts to show up at events. You introduced us to your friends, your neighbors, your families. You debated us, before the debates. You encouraged us with your words, your texts – your likes, your retweets, your pats on the back. You invited us into your churches, your community centers, your homes. You gave rides to voters, and you sure did battle at those polls. You voted! You knew both your strengths and weaknesses, and you put the strengths to good use. Many of you didn’t know each other, but you collectively believed in our desire to serve as a positive force in Plainfield and its schools, and for that we thank you.
I’d like to give special thanks to my family. I thank my mother Elena for her hard work and near-sleepless nights, her persistence, and those elusive organizational skills. Thanks Dad for manning the polls, helping to get the word out, and understanding why he rarely saw my mother and I since September. Thanks to my sister Mia for coming up from Howard University to put in that crucial election day work.
Thank you to Wilma Campbell, and the entire Campbell family, for all of their hard work and encouragement – both over the course of this campaign and in their continuous commitment and personal sacrifice in improving the Plainfield Public Schools for years now. I look forward to contributing to change, in my own way.
Thanks to Dr. Cornel West for taking time out of his incredibly busy schedule to volunteer an evening in Plainfield that attendees will not forget anytime soon. We appreciated his energy, his inspiration, and his trust in us – all in the name of education and community.
I thank Maxine Salaam for her unwavering support for our youth and her commitment for making sure our senior citizens are included in the process. Our young people in Plainfield and our senior citizens must have more opportunities to interact.
A big thank you to Terrence, Carletta, and your families. You were great, hard-working, genuine running mates and there could be no better ending than the opportunity to serve with you both beginning in 2015.
A very broad range of Plainfielders contributed to this campaign, and a broad range seem to have been motivated by the outcome. The collaboration we all did feels decidedly retro, in fact, brining me back to some of my earliest memories as a toddler in Harold Mitchell’s headquarters during his successful off-the-line mayoral bid against Jerry Green’s Regular Democratic Organization in 1989.
Appropriately, more than a handful of the same people active in that effort were on hand during Tuesday night’s celebration. One of them was John Campbell, Sr. who made a statement about citizens working in unison to oppose powerful people. “If a mule and an elephant knew how strong they were, they’d never let a man control them,” he said. Indeed. We all must understand our own power here in Plainfield. There is no one to fear, and every reason to work together.
I look forward to serving on the Board of Education come January, and I thank you all for helping the three of us get there. We are ready for the hard work involved in making an impact.
I also look forward to being able to blog normally again, post-election. A notable historic home. Caribbean Spice Roti Shop. The Plainfield Symphony Orchestra. Youth theater. A big KYSS event. There are so many great stories going on in and around Plainfield.