Election Opinion South Orange

Letter: Ed Moore is Committed to All Residents of South Orange

To the Editor:

Darn it. I just don’t hear Ed Moore boasting enough about his qualifications at campaign events. And among the abundance of Board of Trustee candidates, I’ve decided I can’t sit back and let this humble man go unrecognized. Sure, Ed Moore probably has no idea who I am, but to be honest I think of him as a living South Orange legend. So, I’ve decided to do some bragging for him.

I moved to South Orange in the summer of 2016. Not long after, I went to a Development Committee meeting just to check things out; Ed Moore was there as a member of the public, introduced himself, and spent the rest of the meeting listening and taking notes. A few months later, I went to a Planning Board meeting. Who was also there in the audience? Ed Moore. The next time I saw Ed Moore he was mingling at an Achieve Foundation fundraiser, raising money to support our local public schools. And then a few weeks after that, who pulled up to donate items for our Academy Heights Neighborhood Association garage sale? Ed Moore. He gave us tons of stuff to sell. And he doesn’t even live in Academy Heights!

Park clean up? Ed was there. South Orange Public Library fundraiser? Ed was there. Speaking up at Board of Trustees meeting about pedestrian safety? Ed was there. When my husband, an EMT with the South Orange Rescue Squad, responded to a call for someone in distress he stepped out of the ambulance and…you guessed it…local hero Ed Moore was already there helping the person. Because, of course he was. He’s Ed Moore.

Even though Ed Moore may not remember my name, I still decided to make a list of things that make him awesome:

  1. You may know that Ed Moore is an older married white man. But what you probably don’t know – and what he doesn’t make a big deal about – is that his family is biracial, multicultural, multigenerational and they live together in a two-family home in West Montrose. They have, under one roof, the diversity of age, race and experiences that we strive to integrate in South Orange. Everybody belongs here? He lives it.
  2. When Ed Moore retired from corporate America, he went to work at a non-profit focused on women’s health. Women’s health, ladies!
  3. Eight short years ago, Ed Moore helped start his neighborhood association in West Montrose. Built it from the ground up and it now has 600 members. Ed Moore is president.
  4. While the rest of us have been complaining on Facebook about pedestrian safety in this town, Ed Moore has been working with South Orange and Essex County officials to do something about it. It took him and his collaborators years, but they achieved a major overhaul of Scotland Road, including improved lighting and other traffic calming measures.
  5. Aging in place is another hot topic in our community. Well, my man Ed Moore is on the management committee of SOMa Two Towns for All Ages, an organization that supports older residents to do just that.

Here’s the thing – just about anyone can get a friend to write a letter of recommendation when they’re running for office. But how many people can get a near stranger so darn psyched about a board seat during a local election? Ed Moore can. It’s because there is no doubt in my mind of his commitment or capability. There is also no doubt in my mind that he cares as much about my neighborhood as he does West Montrose, or Seton Village, Tuxedo Park, Village Colonials or even Newstead. Because Ed Moore loves our town – that was obvious to me, an anonymous onlooker, long before he decided to run for office.

So, yeah, I’m an Ed Moore superfan. And I think you should be too. You don’t need to know him – heck, I don’t really know him – but I wrote this letter because I do know this: Ed Moore is a good man, he is dedicated to his community, and we would all be lucky to have him representing us on that Board.

Melissa Wood

South Orange

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