Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Giving Thanks

Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. (Hebrews 13:1-2)

Dear Friends,

Volunteer crew
At the YMCA
Not too long ago, my wife and I experienced the very harsh financial realities faced by so many Americans today; we were in an extremely difficult financial bind as a result of my being out of work. This reality was exposed to all of Plainfield in a flyer that was placed on car windows and in peoples’ mail boxes last year in an attempt to embarrass me and shame my family. That attempt failed, and we chose to lay bare the challenges that we were facing by letting the world know the truth of our financial condition. I wrote back then, “I am not immune to financial hardships; I am like all of the other people whose financial lives have been turned upside down due to their unemployment status and other special situations.” 

LAC Director Flor Gonzalez
With the Latin American Coalition
As I suspected, I was not alone; there were literally thousands of Plainfielders in my same plight, many of whom called me or dropped me a line to let me know that we were brothers and sisters in distress, caught in a financial tide that threatened to destroy our way of life. Some people came up to me and said “Adrian, I know what you are feeling; I am where you are.”

Roni gives marching orders at the YMCA
That was roughly 18 months ago. Since that time, I have found employment, and my family and I are on the road to recovery. The road still has some ruts and bumps, but as I wrote then, “I know, beyond any doubt, that the Creator will smile on me and I will repay every debt that I owe.”
Cedarbrook Apts with Reather and Bev
My family and I were extremely fortunate during Hurricane Sandy. Although we were without power for several days, we were spared the serious damage that has affected so many of the residents of our city. Especially hard-hit were many of our senior citizens, who had to suffer through the cold and darkness, empty out refrigerators which were filled with spoiled food, and whose only hot meals were those delivered by the Salvation Army. 

At Richmond Towers
Covenant Manor in the 1st Ward
Making a delivery at Tower West
As I was out canvassing parts of the Third Ward and visiting those at our senior citizen buildings across the city, the comments I heard consistently had to do with replacing food and having enough money to enjoy the blessings of Thanksgiving. Amelia and I knew that there was something we could do for those in need—following the lead of other organizations in the city, such as many of our churches and other charities, we purchased turkeys and gathered some volunteers to assist us in distributing them to the senior residences and to other groups and individuals. 

With Kim of "Kym's Kitchen"
I would like to highlight one individual, Kim, in whose yearly "Kym's Kitchen Annual Facebook Thanksgiving Drive" we were happy to be able to participate. Kim collects food donations from all parts of our city, and with her own team, organizes and delivers dozens of Thanksgiving food baskets (with vegetables, gravy, yams, boxed pasta, mashed potatoes, stuffing, corn bread mix, cake mix, frosting, beverages, rice, canned milk, butter, eggs, meats, including chicken, turkey, ham, and more) to those who otherwise would go without. She does this for no other reason than that it is the right thing to do. It is hard work, but Kim's humble devotion to the less fortunate exemplifies the Plainfield spirit!

So, friends, the season of giving has just begun, and it is with extreme humility that we offer our small gift; we are thankful that we were able to share what God has blessed us with.

Have a wonderful and blessed holiday.

Adrian and Amelia

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Thursday, November 15 - Red Cross Emergency Assistance in Plainfield!


The American Red Cross will be providing 
Emergency Assistance and Disaster Relief to all residents on:

Thursday, November, 15, 2012
11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

at the following three (3) Plainfield locations:

Plainfield Public Works City Yard
745 South Avenue

Plainfield 3 Engine Station
1147 West Third Street

Plainfield Municipal Utilities Authority
427 Cottage Place

La Cruz Roja Americana estarĂ¡ presente para ofrecer 
asistencia de desastres a todos los residentes el:

Jueves, 15 de Noviembre del 2012
11:00 a.m. a 6:00 p.m.

En los siguientes Tres (3) lugares:

City of Plainfield – Public Works City Yard
745 South Avenue

City of Plainfield – 3 Engine Station
1147 West Third Street

Plainfield Municipal Utilities Authority
427 Cottage Place

"Bury Power Lines for a More Secure Grid‏"

Dear Plainfield,

Please read the contents of the email message posted below and support this effort. 



Below is an email from Bernard Schaer, a MoveOn member who created a petition on, the nonprofit site that allows anyone to start their own online petition. If you have concerns or feedback about this petition, click here.

Dear New Jersey MoveOn member,

Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey hard, and left millions of Americans without power for several days. Power outages do not only create personal hardship for the people in the affected areas; as Hurricane Sandy demonstrated, these power outages claim lives, negatively affect our economy, and impact national security.

The German power grid has outages at an average rate of 21 minutes per year. Why? Because most of their lines are buried underground.
Because most power lines in New Jersey and across the country are strung through the air, they are vulnerable to ice, trees, and lightening. Power companies around the country keep putting up lines and repairing damages after each storm, only to repeat the procedure after the next storm.

The petition I created on SignOnorg to Congress and President Barack Obama says:
Congress: Create an act to facilitate burying power lines in cities and towns around the country. It will improve people's lives, boost the economy, and make us less vulnerable!

–Bernard Schaer

This petition was created on, the progressive, nonprofit petition site. is sponsored by MoveOn Civic Action, which is not responsible for the contents of this or other petitions posted on the site. Bernard Schaer didn't pay us to send this email—we never rent or sell the list.
Want to support our work? MoveOn Civic Action is entirely funded by our 7 million members—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Chip in here.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Please Note: The November meetings will take place as noted below:

Agenda Session:  
Monday, November 19, at 7:30 pm 
(City Hall Library)

Regular Business Meeting: 
Monday, November 26, at 8:00 pm 
(Municipal Courthouse) 


Council President Adrian Mapp

Thursday, November 8, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: FEMA Announces Transitional Sheltering Assistance Availability!

Hello, Plainfield,

Please read the  advisory below that was sent to the administration this past Tuesday. It contains guidelines for transitional sheltering assistance. As we have been telling residents during our door-to-door canvassing, they must register with FEMA. Register at or call 1-800-621-3362 (FEMA). 

The PDF below, a facsimile of which was sent to all mayors in affected areas, has the detailed information, such as a list of some hotels and motels, but the mayor has been urged to ask hotels and motels in our area to participate in sheltering displaced Plainfield residents through the program. 

The administration will be contacted to find out which area hotels and motels the mayor has contacted, and what the response has been so that those of you who need shelter or who know others who do not know where to go. Please forward.

November 6 Mayor's Advisory on FEMA Transitional Sheltering Assistance Availability




Monday, November 5, 2012



This is an update for Monday, November 5:

More areas in Plainfield have had power restored, although we still have several thousand to go, out of 19,000 subscribers. Please see the previous post for information you should share with anyone who still does not have electricity.

NOTE: As we were going door-to-door today with FEMA and emergency shelter information, we were on a street where some neighbors were in the process of cutting into a huge tree with lots of downed wires, etc. They had taped off with electrical tape what they thought were dead wires, thinking it was safe, and were using chain saws on the huge tree. We informed them that what they were doing was very dangerous. A PSE&G worker was electrocuted yesterday when BACKFEED electrified a wire. He is in intensive care. Certainly, it's frustrating to still see trees blocking some areas, but it is better to wait for it to be done--even the pros can be injured.

Per Municipal Clerk AJ, please go to your regular polling site on Tuesday, November 6. The polls are open from 6:00 am - 8:00 pm. Generators will be supplied to any polling station still without power on Tuesday. If there are any changes, you will be notified at your regular polling site

Also, you can STILL VOTE by going to the Union County Clerk's Offices in Elizabeth and in Westfield--they will be open TODAY, Monday, November 5 until 4:00 pm. The Westfield satellite office is on North Avenue in Westfield--right across from the Westfield Diner.

Union County residents who have been displaced OUTSIDE the county may vote by email or fax. Click on the link below:

As always, please feel free to reach out to me, and may God bless you during this difficult time!



Saturday, November 3, 2012


Hello, Plainfield,

Councilor Williams and I have gathered this information from a variety of resources and are cross-posting it on our blogs for residents. We will continue to knock on doors this weekend to distribute flyers to residents, but please feel free to print this information as a hand-out and pass it along!


For non-immediate health issues or other assistance, such as basic needs, support for seniors or persons with disabilities, children, or mental health issues, call 211 or go online here:

Washington Community School, located at 427 Darrow Avenue (off West 7th Street), is being utilized as an emergency shelter in Plainfield. Folks can get hot food, warmth, blankets, and snacks here. Cots are available for those who will stay overnight. The school is also a charging station for your cellular phones and other electronic devices. 

Emerson Community School at 305 Emerson Avenue is being used as a "resource center," with information and some sandwiches and beverages for residents to come and pick up. This site is NOT an emergency shelter.

Engine 3 Firehouse at 1147 West Third Street also has food and beverages to distribute.

Plainfield Schools are scheduled to open on Wednesday, November 7--the district's automated phone alert will update if there is any change.

Per Municipal Clerk AJ, please go to your regular polling site on Tuesday, November 6. The polls are open from 6:00 am - 8:00 pm. Generators will be supplied to any polling station still without power on Tuesday. Also, the Union County Clerk's Offices in Elizabeth and in Westfield will be open Sunday, November 4 from 8:30 pm-4:30 pm for  those want to vote early. The Westfield satellite office is on North Avenue in Westfield--right across from the Westfield Diner.

PSE&G has restored power to about 11,000 out of 19,000 Plainfield subscribers. There are a little over 8,000 to go. Extra crews have been dispatched to Plainfield to try to get more power restored.Call PSE&G at 1-800-436-7734 to report downed electrical lines.

FEMA was in Plainfield yesterday, touring and assessing damage.To file a claim with FEMA, call 1-800-621-FEMA (1-800-621-3362). Make sure you register with FEMA--below is the link to a printable form.

To file an insurance claim if you can't find the number of your company or agent, call the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance at 1-800-446-7467 or go to the website below. 

To report complaints about insurance companies, call 1-800-446-7467, or click on the link to file a complaint: 

According to NJ state law, excessive price increases are illegal during a state of emergency like this one, as well as for 30 days following the end of the emergency. To report possible consumer fraud or price gouging by contractors or others, call the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs at 1-862-209-0130 or 1-973-220-3474.

The Chairman of the MVC has issued Administrative Order 2012-03, authorizing a 30-day EXTENSION for all those whose licenses, registrations, and inspection stickers expired on October 31.

If you would like to provide volunteer assistance in the cleanup and restoration effort, call 1-800-JERSEY7 (1-800-537-7397). Back up numbers: 1-609-775-5236 or 1-908-303-0471. Volunteers may also send an email to This service is managed by the NJ Business Action Center and the Governor's Office of Volunteerism, both Divisions of the NJ Department of State.

As always, please feel free to reach out to me, and may God bless you during this difficult time!