Election Maplewood Opinion Schools / Kids South Orange

Letter: Chisholm-Greene & Laskowski Present New, Independent Voices

To the Editors:

First I want to thank everyone running this year. It is a level of interest and, by extension, concern that I have not seen often living here for almost three decades, especially now when it seems volunteers are tougher to come by. To have so many viable choices and be able to engage in conversation about the candidates and the process is especially important these days.

The conversation surrounding elections throughout the country has not had a positive tone, so I will go against the trend. I support Narda Chisholm-Greene and Mike Laskowski for the SOMSD Board of Education. These are two people who can bring different voices to a board of nine of our neighbors, a board that is to represent every person in every neighborhood in our two towns. Having new, truly independent voices on the board will help to ensure that.

Narda and Mike are an interesting team. They are different in many ways, or really come at this same important interest from different perspectives, an interest in wanting the best for the students in our community, all the students. I have the pleasure of being on the High School Boosters Board with Narda, and she often sits next to me at our monthly meetings so I have gotten to see just how smart and caring and thoughtful she is, how present and how concerned she is with issues regarding all kids, not simply the issues that impact her own. She shows up and she steps up and she speaks up, never with empty words or canned speech.

Mike grew up here. He isn’t the old school lamenter complaining about the good old days while residing elsewhere. He has four children in the district and is actively involved in the community as a volunteer to ensure it remains a great community for everyone and is willing to put in the time to share his knowledge and perspective in the demanding role of a BOE volunteer. He does have a different perspective than other candidates, and that different perspective is important if we truly see ourselves as a diverse and inclusive community.

Please vote for Narda Chisholm-Greene and Mike Laskowski so everyone has a voice and no one in our community is marginalized.

Hank Zona
Maplewood, NJ

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