Saturday, September 27, 2008

What the Candidates See

The choice for me during the upcoming presidential election is very clear; it is based on what the candidates see when the look at America. Here is a sampling of what they see:

Barack Obama sees an America with universal healthcare—where all citizens are treated with dignity and worth; John McCain sees a healthcare system that is based on an individual’s ability to pay—if you can’t pay, you can’t have equal access to healthcare.

Joseph Biden sees the disingenuousness of Sarah Palin’s moral compass; Sarah Palin sees eye to eye with the hypocrisy of the right-wing conservatives on the issue of moral values.

Obama sees a timetable for withdrawal of US troops from Iraq and a war that has diverted billions of tax dollars from states and local municipalities; McCain sees the surge expanding from Iraq to Afghanistan.

Joe Biden sees women having dominion over their bodies and the right to choose; Palin sees a need to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Obama sees an economy in crisis as a result of subprime “Russian roulette” under Republican leadership; McCain sees the fundamentals of the economy as “strong” in the face of evidence to the contrary.

Joe Biden sees problems with the righteous indignation of Vice Presidential candidates when put to the test of leadership. Sarah Palin sees righteousness in her holier-than-thou attitude on social issues in the face of her own moral and ethical lapses.

Barack Obama sees a debate on the issues as an opportunity to demonstrate to the American people his readiness to become commander-in-chief at a time of grave economic crisis; John McCain sees multitasking as a painful inconvenience to the presidency, and views fleeing from a presidential debate as the single most effective way to respond to America’s economic woes.

Joe Biden sees Dr. King’s dream and John F. Kennedy’s vision being realized in the person of Barack Obama, who has the White House within his reach; Sarah Palin sees Russia from her house.

Barack Obama sees choosing McCain as a return to the failed policies of George W. Bush and asks why; Obama sees himself as the change that America needs and says “Yes, We Can!” John McCain sees business as usual and four more years of the George Bush presidency under his leadership as “change.”

I see an America taking its place as the respected leader of the free world under the leadership of a qualified visionary who will deliver the change that America needs;

I see Barack Obama as the next president of the United States of America.

What do you see?

Regards, Adrian

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Obama Healthcare Plan Has My Vote

As over 47 million Americans are currently without any form of health insurance, the issue of healthcare has become a very major one for both presidential candidates.

The Obama Plan for universal healthcare would guarantee that all Americans would be covered by the end of his first term in office. It would provide all Americans with access to the same type of healthcare benefits currently enjoyed by members of Congress. It would allow for the treatment of all essential services such as preventative medicine, maternity care and disease management. Individuals who can’t afford the premiums would be given federal subsidies to make the premiums affordable.

On the other hand, the McCain Health Plan doesn't stand up to the light of reason, given the rising costs of health care in the United States. Under the McCain Plan, Americans have to shop for health insurance with their own money and would receive a tax rebate of $2,500 per individual and $5,000 per family. Under the McCain Plan, employers would no longer get a tax deduction for providing health insurance to their employees. Simply put, the McCain Plan would give employers an excuse not to provide health benefits to their employees because the tax incentive to do so would be taken away.

The Obama Healthcare Plan would do the following:

Reduce the cost for businesses
Reduce costs by improving the quality of care that patients will receive
Eligibility would be guaranteed
There will be comprehensive benefits similar to the benefits received by members of Congress
Co-pays, deductibles, and premiums would be more affordable
Enrollment would be made easy
Paper work would be simplified and health costs reined in
Healthcare plans would become portable, meaning that employees would be able to move a plan from one job to another without interruption of coverage
Large employers would be required to cover their employees or pay a fine
No one will be turned away for pre-existing conditions
All Americans would be covered

It is my view that the McCain plan would do nothing to solve America’s healthcare crisis; it would encourage more employers to drop healthcare coverage for their employees and would lead to a swelling of the ranks of the uninsured.

The Obama Plan offers hope for the uninsured; it would shift the charity care burden away from healthcare institutions like Muhlenberg to the federal government and would allow for better delivery of healthcare to urban communities.

The Obama plan has my vote.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Hello Again, Third Ward Residents!

As we say goodbye to summer and welcome the crisp autumn weather, I want to take this opportunity to say a special hearty hello to 3rd Ward residents; you have been extremely supportive of me over the years as your councilman (2nd and 3rd Ward At-Large from 1998-2004) and as your freeholder (I completed a 3-year term in 2007). I want to continue the very close working relationship that I have had with you during my years as your representative. I knocked on many of your doors during the recent democratic primary campaign and I have spoken with many of you about the issues that are nearest and dearest to you.

During the next six weeks, I will again be walking the districts throughout the 3rd Ward in the hopes of catching up with those of you who were not at home when I visited back in the spring. I am also looking forward to revisiting some of the issues I discussed with many of you who welcomed me then; I look forward to continuing the dialogue we started. I want to hear from you first-hand, and I want to give you the opportunity to question me on the concerns you feel are of greatest importance to Plainfield right now.

I want to continue to partner with you as we work together to bring about change on the local and national levels. I want you to join me in working to get Barack Obama elected as the next president of the United States. This is an opportunity for us to stand together, united as one for change. I encourage you to visit this blog on a frequent basis to become more familiar with my position on the issues facing the city, Union County, the state of New Jersey, and the nation. I welcome your feedback.

Watch for me as I travel throughout the 3rd Ward in the coming weeks; I’ll be watching for you!

Regards, Adrian

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Plainfield Homeowners Need Help Now

The current mortgage crisis has affected homeowners in Plainfield in much the same way it has affected homeowners in every other part of the country. A significant number of homeowners in Plainfield are in crisis, struggling to keep up with their mortgages, utility bills, and other household expenses. As many as 1,200 homeowners in Plainfield are in a pre-foreclosure state. Our community residents need help and they need it now.

Recently, Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs held a community forum during which she announced that her administration will be organizing bus tours for local realtors and interested outside investors to preview Plainfield’s foreclosed properties. Although this might seem like a good idea to some, it is not the answer to the crisis homeowners are facing. Families are interested in finding ways to protect their biggest investment; they want to stay in their homes and remain a part of our diverse community.

Instead of conducting bus tours for realtors to look at foreclosed properties, thus compunding misery with indignity, the mayor and council need to organize homeownership retention seminars to provide struggling homeowners with every available resource that could help them to survive the mortgage crisis.

These seminars must be run by thoroughly vetted organizations approved by the government so that desperate homeowners do not fall victim to predatory lending scams. I call upon Mayor Robinson-Briggs and the city council to reach out to local banks as well as our local real estate brokers for sponsorship of such seminars. These seminars can occur over the next six months, providing information and opportunities for struggling homeowners who are in danger of losing their homes to find solutions before it becomes too late.

So, to the mayor, I say: hold off on those bus tours of foreclosed properties! Let’s work together to bring homeownership retention seminars to struggling Plainfield homeowners. This is the kind of assistance homeowners need in these very harsh economic times.

Regards, Adrian

Monday, September 15, 2008

Barack Obama for America

Many of you know that I am originally from a tiny paradise, an Edenic gem in the Caribbean sea known as Barbados. In Barbados, often times, one erects a galvanized fence known as a paling (informally as palin’) to insulate one’s property from others and to keep people out. But in the past couple of weeks, we have all come to know another "Palin."

Let me just say this to my Plainfield neighbors and to all Americans: no amount of palin’ can insulate John McCain from the failed policies of the Bush administration. No amount of palin’ can protect John McCain from the fact that he has embraced these misguided policies, and no amount of palin’ can keep Barack Obama out of the White House.

This election is about who is best suited to lead this nation at this time and who is most committed to bringing about the change that America needs; it is not an election about race and it certainly is not one about gender.

This election is about who is committed to investing in renewable sources of energy to help reduce our reliance on foreign oil while protecting our environment; it is not about who best advances the interests of big oil by allowing big oil to drill in the Arctic.

This election is about who can best fight for all Americans by pursuing a foreign policy agenda that can most adequately protect our nation while reducing the threat of another war in the Persian Gulf; it is not about who has fought in wars for this country.

Our next president must spend less on fighting wars abroad and must commit more federal dollars to local municipalities to more effectively fight the war against crime and the epidemic of illegal drugs in our neighborhoods.

Our next president must commit to a system of universal healthcare to provide adequate affordable healthcare to every American, a system that would ensure the continued viability of healthcare institutions like Muhlenberg Hospital.

I urge all Plainfielders to vote for change on November 4th.

  • Vote to restore the health of the nation’s economy.

  • Vote for healthcare for the 45 million Americans who are currently without any form of healthcare.

  • Vote to put more teachers in the nation’s classrooms so that the notion of “no child left behind” can become a reality rather than just an empty phrase.

Vote for Barack Obama to become the next president of this, the greatest nation on earth.

Regards, Adrian

Monday, September 8, 2008

Road Repairs Require Ongoing Commitment

During my recent primary campaign to become the local Democratic Party nominee for the 3rd Ward in this upcoming November election, I knocked on hundreds of doors. Dozens of Plainfield residents expressed grave concerns about many issues that need to be addressed by the council and the Robinson-Briggs administration. An issue that came up quite frequently was the condition of our roads and the worsening state of deterioration due to benign neglect.

As one walks around the city, one cannot help but notice the terrible shape of most of the streets and the hazardous conditions that pedestrians and drivers encounter on a daily basis as they try to maneuver around the many bumps and pot holes. This is a situation that cries out for attention and leadership on the part of the Robinson-Briggs administration. The section of roadway on West 8th Street by the Plainfield Public Library is a classic example of what happens when infrastructural needs are neglected.

As president of the council in 2004, I worked with the former administration and council to pass Bond Ordinance 1236, which funded the repaving of 22 city streets between 2004 and 2005. This was the beginning of what was to be an annual resurfacing program. Sadly, this repaving program has been largely ignored for the past three years.

It is crucially important for the administration and council to give priority to fixing the city’s broken streets. Additionally, the city must hold New Jersey American Water responsible for the hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage caused by the many utility cuts necessitated by the current enhancements to the water lines throughout the city. I encourage the mayor and council to have immediate discussions with New Jersey American Water to ensure that the damage caused to city streets by its ongoing project is corrected to the infra-red patching standards required by city ordinance. I hope that New Jersey American has made all of the appropriate escrow deposits for the many cuts it has made to city streets. This utility company must be held accountable and Plainfield tax payers must be spared the cost of restoration.

The mayor and council must get the road resurfacing program back on track immediately, and must commit to an annual program. Such a commitment should not be made conveniently once every four years event in preparation for an election. It must be a genuine ongoing commitment.

Regards, Adrian