Constituent Service: Throw a Party
The late Ray Blanco saw to the establishment of an Hispanic Affairs Commission in 2005, but in the four years of the Green-mentored mayoralty, not a single member has been appointed. Yet JG has time to spend six months organizing a two-day fiesta with food and beer.
His favored representative to the Latino community is a good-hearted JG loyalist who happens not to be a city resident. In contrast, JG has launched vicious attacks on a Plainfield Latino who serves on the school board and who offered his background and expertise to the Regular Democratic Organization a while back, only to be told to stay on the farm team and maybe he would have a chance later.
A broad-based, objective membership on the Hispanic Affairs Commission might have been working all along on such issues as preparing for the best Census outcome, helping Latinos to improve their personal safety, educating the larger community to the legal plights faced by immigrant families and individuals and by generally forging links between these new Plainfielders and other residents. The face of the city has changed remarkably in the last 10 years and there is a lot more to be done than glad-handing Latinos at a fiesta.
Another ordinance passed in 2009 (Correction: 2005) was supposed to help those interested in serving on boards and commissions find out what opportunities exist and how to access them. Here again, one can see the hand of politics when seats get filled by the likes of the mayor's bodyguard, her husband (a very nice guy, by the way), her City Hall greeters, her confidential aide, JG office staffers and many members of the Democratic City Committee. The near and dear are nice, but where is the broad community representation? Plainfield is full of smart, talented people who would be more inclined to serve if there wasn't a political hoop to jump through on the way.
More later ...