LETTER: Jamaine Cripe’s Deeply Compassionate & Progressive Voice Should Not Be Silenced

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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. The deadline for submitting a Letter to the Editor for the Primary election is Tuesday, May 28, at 5 p.m. Read our Election Guidelines here. Read all of our Election Coverage here.


We, the undersigned, enthusiastically endorse Jamaine Cripe for reelection to the Maplewood Township Committee. We are racial justice activists in SOMA, and we strongly support diverse and inclusive towns and leadership bodies. Jamaine Cripe is the only Black woman (and only person of color) currently on the Maplewood Township Committee. She is a 21-year resident of Maplewood. Her responses at the Hilton Neighborhood Association’s Candidate forum showed her to be a devoted and dedicated servant of Maplewood and its values. Her long history of community service confirms this commitment. Jamaine brings progressive and compassionate values to everything she undertakes.

On the Maplewood Township Committee Ms. Cripe is currently serving as Deputy Mayor. She is collaborating in the formation of the All-Access Advisory Committee. This committee will ensure inclusiveness for all residents including the neurodiverse and the differently abled. Ms. Cripe has been a key voice in the creation of needs-based pool membership and free access to the pool on heat advisory days. She has championed The Inclusive Playground project, (groundbreaking planned for 2025) which is designed to accommodate a diverse population. She has supported the expansion of environmental sustainability efforts. Ms. Cripe is the only person ever to have been elected to the Township Committee who lives in the Seth Boyden (Lightening Brook) neighborhood.  As such she maintains ongoing relationships with segments of the Maplewood community that are often silenced or overlooked.  

Jamaine Cripe has the courage of her convictions and has taken courageous stands on matters that others would shy away from to avoid controversy, like opposing artificial turf to replace the grass on Ritzer field and calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. She has responded to criticism of those positions with respect and grace.  You can read a full discussion of her positions on these issues and her responses to the criticism on the “Issues” page of the Adams-Cripe website https://adamscripeformaplewood.com/.

American history is full of examples of silencing Black voices. Recent examples include Colin Kaepernick, who was blackballed from the NFL, BLM activists censored by social media algorithms, and attempts to outlaw Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives to suppress racial justice efforts. Additionally, there have been moves to silence the truth by making it illegal to make “White people feel bad”.

Ms. Cripe is no less competent, compassionate, or dedicated than she was when she last ran for Maplewood Township Committee and won. Her deeply compassionate and progressive voice should not be allowed to be silenced. To sustain our beloved community, we ask voters to watch and read candidates’ remarks for themselves. SOMA Action has developed a Voter Guide that contains links to The Hilton Neighborhood Association’s Candidate forum and statements made by Ms. Cripe. Voter Guide — SOMA Action


Kim Chan
Erin Siders
Isis Fabian
Joel Sunbear
Bert Morris
Melody Sunbear
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