In the middle of her busy, pre-election push, I stopped by the Plainfield Democrats for Change Park Avenue Headquarters on Sunday and spoke briefly Councilwoman and Reverend Tracey Brown. Brown is running on Line C this Tuesday, June 7th, to defend her At-Large City Council seat. Her Third Ward running mate is Alma Blanco.
So how long have you lived in Plainfield?
We moved to this city in 1976, when I was a Junior in High School. At Plainfield High, I ended up making first team All State as a basketball player, and eventually became Montclair State’s second leading scorer in women’s basketball.
And when did you start Ruth Fellowship Ministries?
That was in 1991. At that time I also coached girls’ basketball and organized a lot of charity events in Plainfield, and in other communities. The goal of the church was to win souls for Christ but also to be a blessing to the community. Not just spiritually, but socially. I believe that should be the goal of any real community ministry.
How has this compassion and social awareness translated to the governance?
Well, aside from the ministry, I’ve also worked as a social worker with the Division of Youth and Family Services and Union County Youth Services. So that’s been a help, in terms of understanding which resources people and families need.
I believe my opponents, and the Mapp Administration, should pay a lot more attention to the West End of town, where my ministry is located. The needs of that part of the community are not being met, and we cannot ignore the plight and concerns of the have-nots. For example, we need a full service youth center in Plainfield.
What have you learned about politics during your four years on the council?
It’s sad to say, but in my years of political involvement, I have learned that some people are in politics for the wrong reasons. Money, titles, padding their resumes. At the end of the day, I am a Baptist pastor and will retire from that position. I am not looking to become wealthy through the City Council, nor am I interested in just being able to say I hold that title. The only title that maters to me is Servant. We can’t have servants who are out of touch with those who feel voiceless.
I encourage Plainfield residents to re-elect me as their Councilor-At-Large, and for residents of the Third Ward to cast their vote for Alma Blanco. Election Day is June 7th, and polls are open from 6am until 9pm. We need representatives who work for Plainfield – all of Plainfield – and who put the interests of residents first.