The following letter was shared by Maplewood Mayor Dean Dafis and Township Committee member — and former Mayor — Vic DeLuca after it was submitted to the Maplewood Democratic Committee on January 22. Dafis and DeLuca are seeking the MDC’s endorsement as they have declared their intentions to run for reelection to the Maplewood Township Committee. Read more about the TC election and how the mayor is selected here.
We hope you are well. We are writing to respectfully request the Maplewood Democratic Committee’s endorsement for our re-election to the Maplewood Township Committee. It has been our honor to serve the public and we are proud of our efforts to keep Maplewood an open and welcoming community. We believe both of us have been effective leaders on the Township Committee, serving as Mayor and Deputy Mayor, and as chairs of key committees.
We’ve been very visible and responsive during our time in office, whether attending community meetings, festivals, cultural events, and new business openings throughout town. Interacting with our residents has been very important to us. We’ve convened meetings to address our residents’ concerns and have been constantly available to address their issues, including pedestrian safety and traffic calming, environmental sustainability, responsible economic development, police and community relationship building, and arts and culture. Most recently, as members of the Public Safety Committee, we are strategizing with our new Police Chief Al Sally on ways to prevent crime and increase safety in all of Maplewood’s neighborhoods.
Some of our recent accomplishments include:
- Hiring a Crisis Intervention Social Worker to work with first responders in dealing with mental health crises and emergencies
- Establishing the Community Fridge to help our neighbors dealing with food insecurity
- Launching the South Essex Fire Department to better protect lives and properties in Maplewood and South Orange
- Beginning the construction of the new 21st Century Maplewood Library
- Opening an adult use cannabis dispensary, resulting in $500,000 in new tax revenue that will strengthen and expand our community services.
Beyond Maplewood, both of us have worked with Mayors and other elected officials around the state and nation to fight for responsible gun laws, tax reform, affordable housing, reproductive freedom, LGBTQ+ rights, and climate change solutions. We also have been successful in raising millions of dollars in grant funds to create new programs and address our infrastructure needs.
We’ve been very active in the Democratic Party, working on local, state and national campaigns to elect more Democrats. In the Mikie Sherrill campaign, we worked side-by-side with our terrific Get Out the Vote Team, to help our new Congresswoman win a resounding victory. And we played key roles in Deborah Engel’s historic election to the Township Committee.
We ask for your support in the 2023 election for Township Committee. We look forward to continuing our efforts to make Maplewood the best it can be to live in and raise a family and to be a strong voice for progressive policies and practices.
Dean & Vic