"Politics must include EVERYONE"

Leadership Through Listening & Inspiring Cultural Harmony 

The role of City Council members is now more important than ever, to lead the Queen City through the effects of the current global pandemic, the resulting economic downturn, and continued racial injustices. As City Council Member at Large, I seek your support to help carry Plainfield through because we are all is this together.

My mission is to serve a community that is rich in Culture and Respect. And I intend to make Plainfield a community all residents can be proud of. With your help the "Queen City" can become one of the safest, most welcoming, and highest rated communities in the state of New Jersey.

My background and life experiences uniquely qualify me to connect to all members of our community: all ages, all ethnic backgrounds, and all income brackets. But I particularly relate to our young people and the struggles and challenges they continue to face.

 

In 1996 at the age of 21, I was shot by a police officer simply because I am black. The vehicle I was driving was erroneously listed as stolen. Typically, an incident like this ends harmlessly with a driver being pulled over, provide proof of ownership and the matter is peacefully resolved. Not when you are black. I wasn’t given the opportunity to pull over and show my credentials. The police just started shooting because they perceived me to be a thief. This experience profoundly impacted me and shaped my future, particularly how I raised my children.

 

When the global pandemic arrived in Plainfield, I immediately sprang into action helping any way that I could. The city’s first responders sent out the call for PPE and I answered, procuring and donating 1500 pairs of disposable nitrile gloves and 150 disposable Tyvek coveralls. By dividing them up evenly the donations were made to the Police and Fire departments and the local Rescue Squad. Then I heeded the call to feed our city’s children by teaming up with the Plainfield Community to raise money through a Go Fund Me page where we raised $1000 for the Plainfield Board of Education Covid-19 food account providing over 500 meals for our children.

I am deeply committed to keeping my focus on the people and advocating for the needs of everyone.

LIST OF ISSUES & IDEAS
Transparency 

I think all of us (including me) can do a better job at helping the community understand the complicated development and rapid changes happening in our city by being more transparent. I believe the message should be unified among our city leadership. I also believe that information should be also shared in the form of a video post that explains what’s going on in layman’s terms.

 

There are residents that always have the time attend city council meetings and be in "the know" , then there are our residents that work 9 to 5, they have children and parental duties and may not have the time to attend council meetings, but are just as deserving to be in "the know" as anyone else. What about the single mother with two jobs that has a child in our schools, who has a child performing well in our schools, and plays sports? I would consider her very much a stakeholder too.

Community Outreach & Mentoring

I will continue to reach out to every organization within our town. I will host meet and greets, town halls, and one-on-one's. I will always offer seats at the table when engaging with the whole community. It is my job to understand the needs of the whole community, not just a few. I will not leave any group out; I will meet with residents of all ages, all ethnic backgrounds, and all income brackets. I will never assume that one person speaks for everyone.

I want to make our seniors proud of the work we're doing. I want to make sure our seniors know that we appreciate their hard word and dedication in bringing this city to where we are now. I want our seniors to trust, believe, and support the hard word of our future leaders of Plainfield.

Effective mentors “connect” for respect; meaning, they don’t demand respect from others, they earn it. Mentors earn it through honesty and transparency. That means we must share our experiences with our children and not just the good parts. We need more consistency from our leaders and more commitment from our stakeholders.  

Plainfield Chamber of Commerce

In Plainfield, where the most amazing restaurateurs chose our great city to open up shop. We are blocks from Netherwood or Plainfield Train Station, a one seat ride into Manhattan, and a few steps from a NJ Transit bus stop to Port Authority in New York City. Plainfield boders North Plainfield, South Plainfield, Fanwood, Scotch Plains, Dunellen, and Watchung. In Plainfield, we host free outdoor concerts and the Plainfield Idol contest.

Getting to and from Plainfield is very easy and convenient because we are always less than 3 miles away from Rt 22 and Rt 287. The business owners in Plainfield are the friendliest, welcoming, and the hardest working entrepreneurs in the State. We need to bring back the Plainfield Chamber of Commerce.

Downtown Plainfield

One suggestion I would make regarding our downtown business district’s curb appeal is to make sure our down town is well lit in the evening, make sure our police are driving through our congested downtown street to promote the sense and feeling of safety as opposed to taking a less congested route.

 

I would make sure that our downtown is super clean and pedestrian friendly. "Our downtown is more than a downtown."

Our downtown is an S.A.T. test and our visitors will determine our score. The more welcoming our downtown feels, the more our visitors will choose to patronize the City of Plainfield, buy a home in Plainfield, and spend the rest of their lives here in the City of Plainfield.

Alliances

My personal goal for my our is to do everything in my power to make Plainfield, NJ the safest, smartest, and the most culturally diverse city in our state amongst cities of similar demographics. The best way of achieving this is to include parents when building stronger alliances. I believe parents are the biggest part of any solution involving our city. Our parents, our youth, and our seniors must have seat at the table.

"I am deeply committed to keeping my focus on the people and advocate for the needs of EVERYONE. " 

Robert Graham

aka "Mr. Plainfield"

© 2020 Robert Graham for City Council Campaign.

TeamRKG@gmail.com