LETTER: Herman Will Bring Balanced Approach to Maplewood TC

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Three candidates are running for two Maplewood Township Committee seats in 2024: incumbents Nancy Adams and Jamaine Cripe, and Malia Herman. The primary election is on Tuesday, June 4, 2024. The general election takes place on Tuesday, November 5, 2024. Read all of our Election Coverage here.

I am writing to share my reasons for supporting Malia Herman as Township Committee member in the primary on June 4th.  There are three candidates running for two positions, and Malia brings a fresh perspective to our current leadership.  Malia is enthusiastic and creative and is a true advocate for the safety and inclusivity of our community. She Is a dedicated and informed volunteer in many organizations across the schools and town and exudes boundless energy for hope and progress.

I first met Malia in 2015, when our daughters were both in Kindergarten.  Cristy Mendoza and I were in the process of organizing a Girl Scout Daisy troop, and what started as a dozen girls, quickly grew to eighteen and then twenty-four in a matter of three days.  We did not want to leave anyone out, but could not run a group of that size alone.  Malia immediately stepped up as a volunteer and then quickly found herself as our third co-leader.

To be honest, it was difficult at first for me to work with Malia, whose enthusiasm and creativity made initial collaboration challenging.  You see, I had my ideas of how to run meetings and my ideas for engaging the scouts, and she had different ideas based on her experiences as a scout.  But instead of being inflexible, we were all able to listen to each other’s point of view in a respectful way that allowed us to work collaboratively, leveraging our different strengths, for the benefit of the troop. Malia took the time to listen to our points of view and collaborate which benefited our girl scout community.  In the end, our scouts really benefitted as we had more resources and activities to offer, such as a summertime gardening and sustainability program that Malia both planned and led.  We ended up with such a dynamic troop that within two years there were a dozen MORE girls that wanted to be a part of the fun! This is a perfect example of how adding new ideas and changing things up can not only improve the situation for all, it creates growth and opportunity.

In the years that followed, I have been impressed with Malia’s advocacy both to create greater access and opportunity for all children in our schools and advocating for safety in our community by helping to start a local MOMS DEMAND ACTION chapter, and most especially with her involvement SEPAC (Special Education Parents Advocacy Committee).  Whether connecting special needs families for casual commiseration at a SEPAC Cup Chat, or speaking at the Board of Education meeting to raise essential concerns as we came out of the COVID years, Malia continues to bring a community together and is a rational voice sharing concerns for access and equity.

Malia generously donates her time in the schools and in our community, and with enthusiasm. She is a dedicated volunteer with many organizations in Maplewood including the pool committee, PTA/HSA school boards, and is the SOMA Shares Liaison for the MMS book table (as well as helping to coordinate toiletry kits, winter coats etc.).  She is on committee for  BSA Troop 5 Maplewood as they create amazing leadership, volunteer, and outdoor learning experiences for teens in our community.

Malia’s engagement and passion for access and equity in Maplewood is an essential asset to the Township Committee.  As the parent of two school-aged children, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to vote for a candidate that not only has skin in the game, but one who actively advocates in so many ways for our community and youth population. Malia is a balanced candidate with a positive outlook and a commitment to make our Maplewood safer, stronger, and more inclusive. I sincerely hope that you will join me on June 4th in voting for the candidate with a fresh perspective, Malia Herman for Maplewood Township Committee.

Lynne Daley
Maplewood, NJ

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