Paterson Facebook Connections: Summer Communication Challenge
Wednesday, June 27, 2012 • 8:31pm
I would like to first start off by offering congratulations to all the young Patersonians in the graduating class of 2012. You are all about to embark on a journey of learning that will continue for the rest of your lives. Take what everyone has taught you over these past 18 or so years and try to remember those lessons as you encounter inevitable adversity and wander into the next challenging phase of your lives. There are few things in this world that physically cannot be taken from you and knowledge is one of those things. Never stop enriching your knowledge and intelligence and there will be no limits to what you can accomplish.
Congratulations and I wish you all the very best on your future endeavors.
Today’s letter focuses on a new initiative that will be an extension of the first Community Action Committee that I would like to inaugurate in the coming weeks, the Communications Action Committee. I will announce those details next week.
Now, as I made clear in my last message following the June 5th election, the intention of these committees is to close the communication gap tremendously between our elected officials and our citizens so that we may all be on the same page regarding the most pertinent issues and challenges that the city faces. If we are all on the same page and work together to attack problems at their core, you will be amazed at what we will be able to get done.
The first step toward closing the communication gap is to have all citizens, both those who are concerned and those who are not, to become informed on what is happening within the city. The easiest way that I have surmised for this to take place is to utilize the cost-free tools that are available to all of us and get everyone informed and begin opening dialogues through social media. If someone is on Facebook and they are complaining about communication or city problems, tell them about this.
I have compiled a list of Facebook pages that seek to do exactly that and I am challenging all Patersonians today to support and subscribe to each of these pages, and inform your family, friends, and others to do the same. We have over 145,000 citizens in this city and nearly 30,000 children in our public schools. I am setting a goal for my page and those listed below to reach 30,000 likes each. If that many people are connected, informed, and engaging each other so the community benefits, I guarantee we will begin seeing immediate positive effects and the number will only continue to grow with momentum.
I’ve listed each community leader’s site with a brief description on what I know of the page and its progress. There are many more pages and sources that are trying to inform folks around the city of what is going on but for now, I’m just listing those that I have seen to be most active and informative.
· Patersonpress.com – Let me take this opportunity to thank award winning editor, Joe Malinconico, for the work he does informing the citizenry of the issues in Paterson and doing so with impressive and hard to attain objectivity. Thanks and keep up the great work, Joe. We should all be supporting this online news source and spreading the word about its content on a daily basis. ‘Like’ the PatersonPress Facebook page and show our support by telling others to do the same.
· Paterson Public Schools Family and Community Engagement Dept.: Kemper McDowell, department head, has launched the PPSParents Facebook page and already begun engaging and informing parents of everything happening within the school district. The page has added Public Service Announcement commercials, notifications and updates about all the Parent University workshops taking place, and I’ve been told they are working on setting up live feeds at some of the community events taking place. We have nearly 30,000 students in the district and only 111 ‘likes’ so far. If there were just one page that we need to increase viewership on in the shortest amount of time, I would choose this one for obvious reasons.
· Commisioner Corey Teague: Commissioner Teague has done a remarkable job utilizing the power of social media to inform parents and community members of happenings throughout the community and school district. As an elected official, he provides immediate responses to his followers and engages the constituents in a way that all elected officials should begin taking note of.
· Benjie Wimberly and Team H.O.P.E.: Assemblyman Wimberly and his dedicated Team H.O.P.E. staff, like Commissioner Teague, are utilizing social media in the exact way we need to in order to get everyone informed. This page has over 5,400 ‘likes’ but I bet they can become even more visible than that. Keep up the great work Team H.O.P.E.!
· New Jersey Community Development Corporation: I’d be remiss not to mention my employer and the job they do trying to inform and engage the community. Our work needs no description, we are dedicated to transforming this city in the most positive fashion. Updates and articles are posted regularly on our Facebook page.
· Operation CeaseFire Paterson Police Dept. Unit: Detective Sgt. Pat Murray is operating the CeaseFire PPD facebook page in order to keep citizens informed of all violent crimes and incidents that take place. We will also be launching an official CeaseFire Paterson website very shortly that will keep folks updated on all our upcoming events and planning stages as we revamp CeaseFire over the next year.
· Hispanic Council On Social Policy Center for Community Development: The Hispanic Council page is run by Elisa Torres and does a great job of informing and seeking out important issues to inform people about. Their page has 111 ‘likes’ right now and since they do much advocacy work, it would help their visibility and thus their effectiveness if that number were greatly increased.
· Paterson Education Fund: Mrs. Irene Sterling and her team at the PEF do a wonderful job advocating for our youth and keeping people informed on literally everything within the school district. They are yet another organization where increased visibility for them would be to the benefit of the entire city.
· Let’s Save Paterson: Dave Gilmore is focused on demanding accountability from all our elected officials and is seeking to ensure all citizens stay informed in order to guarantee that accountability in all levels of our city government.
· Positive Possibilities in Paterson: My page is dedicated to informing and reporting all the positive news happening here. I just want a better Paterson for all Patersonians and this is my platform to help make that happen.
In addition to these Facebook pages, there are many other community members doing their part to inform without the platform of a specific Facebook page. Rather, they are engaging other citizens and the city government with their own active participation in political process in order to improve the city. For the sake of their own privacy, I will not list them here but feel free to email me at email@example.com and I can link you up with these important citizen activists.
For now, use these pages and stay informed on everything happening in Paterson and please try your hardest to convince others to do the same.
30,000 people connecting to each other by communicating via social networks is very possible. That is about one fifth of our population in Paterson and about how many people voted for Congressman Pascrell in the primary. I’d bet a large amount of money that together, we can mobilize this entire group of voters to support, spread the word, and stay informed by summer’s end and I intend to persist to make that happen.
30,000 people. Let’s connect everyone by summer’s end and take on the challenge!
Take care everyone.