Supporters Show Appreciation for Deputy Mayor Jamaine Cripe After Primary Loss


“We still won,” said Morgan Triska. “We still won because we still have you as a town leader who will continue to advocate for people who aren’t seen equally.”

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Maplewood Deputy Mayor Jamaine Cripe lost her primary bid for her second term on the Maplewood Township Committee, but she won the approbation of her supporters, a number of whom took to public comments at the June 5 TC meeting.

“So much of the term that you are currently serving on has been filled with people in the community saying things that you aren’t. This evening, I want to say things that your are,” said Morgan Triska. “You are bold. You are tenacious. You are giving. You are compassionate. You are empathetic. You are loving. You are a hard worker. You are spiritual. You are a problem solver. You follow through. You are forgiving. You are always eager to learn. You are an amazing friend. You are a leader. You are a wonderful role model.”

“We still won,” said Triska. “We still won because we still have you as a town leader who will continue to advocate for people who aren’t seen equally.”

Triska also congratulated Malia Herman, who took second place in votes received and who will join Mayor Nancy Adams on the Democratic ticket for the general election in November. Herman was in the audience at the June 5 meeting.

Returning to Cripe, public commenter and Cripe campaign volunteer Barbara Velasquez said, “You are a woman of compassion and courage. … I’m proud to know you and I’m proud to be your friend.”

“Your willingness to stand on principal and to express the courage of your convictions regardless of the consequences is an admirable quality that is far too rare, particularly among politicians or elected officials,” added Velasquez.

“I thought about what it will mean to lose someone who looks like me … who looks like my daughter on the Township Committee,” said Dr. Khadijah Costley White.

“I’ve been looking at the walls of this room and looking for someone who looks like us,” said White, referring to the murals that fill the room. “I know what it means to be disappeared.”

“What you’ve done here … no one can take that legacy from you,” said White. “No one can take away the space you’ve taken up … and the integrity you’ve shown.”

“And actually you deserve a break,” said White, saying Cripe should take the time to heal and be restored.

Jane Perry thanked Cripe for being her partner on Cougar Cares at Columbia High School “for so many years and for fighting the good fight there.”

“Thank you for being willing to serve and run,” said Jane Conrad. “Thank you for serving the Seth Boyden and Lightning Brook community which need representation. … Thank you for recognizing that … respectful dialogue is what we need more than ever.”

Referring to Cripe’s vote as a member of the Board of School Estimate excising artificial turf for Ritzer Field from a bond ordinance, Conrad thanked Cripe for her fiscal leadership and “for recognizing what’s at stake for our town on climate change. .. Thank you for standing up for nature and for kids rights to be in nature.”

Jen Sturm, who said she was an organizer of a ceasefire rally at which Cripe spoke, where Cripe’s comments prompted backlash and an ensuing statement from Cripe, thanked Cripe.

“I can’t imagine this is an easy town in which to serve in public office, especially if you are a person of integrity,” said Sturm. “People come at you from all different directions and the second you take a stand … even a humane and just stand, those whose narrow interests misalign with the stand are suddenly out to get you.”

“Last night’s loss is a loss for all of Maplewood,” said Sturm.

Watch the full public comments here:

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