Wednesday, February 25, 2015

2/25 Plainfield City News: From the Office of the Mayor

Dear Plainfield,

My administration is focused on the successful implementation and completion of old and new initiatives and projects which are designed to address the concerns and needs of our citizens. This week we place a spotlight on the following areas:
  • Immigration Roundtable
  • Education Mayor's Playbook
  • Economic Development Update
  • Public Affairs and Safety Update
  • Department of Public Works and Urban Development Update
  • Event - Decarcerating Plainfield and NJ Youth
  • Arts and Culture
  • Resources  
Help Us Spread the Word!
Please have family and friends sign up to receive these important weekly updates.
Signing up is easy--call(908) 753-3310 and provide an email address, or just send an email to: or 
Creating One Plainfield - One Future,
Mayor Adrian O. Mapp
City of Plainfield

Immigration Roundtable Discussion

Last November, President Obama put forward an executive action on immigration since the legislative branch of the federal government failed to act on the issue. However, this week, the judicial branch took action. A federal judge in Texas ruled in favor of a motion by 26 states that effectively halts the president's order. I attended a roundtable discussion on immigration, Tuesday, February 17, 2015, hosted by Mayor Baraka of Newark, along with the New Jersey Urban Mayor's Association. The plan was to discuss how cities in New Jersey are preparing to implement aspects of the president's executive order but, instead, the focus shifted to the reaction to the court ruling. 

I was very disappointed in the ruling of the U.S. District Judge, which somewhat halted the effective dates of these policies that the president put in place. You can learn more about the roundtable on immigration and how the court ruling affects almost 300,000 people this week by clicking on the video below:

Education Mayor's Playbook

I am doing my part in helping to secure a good education for the children of Plainfield by partnering with our local Board of Education members and the Superintendent to ensure our children perform up to their potential. I encourage you to keep abreast of the Education Mayor's Online Playbook through your reading of the Educational Excellence Task Force's report and the reports provided by the Mayors of Akron, OH and Tacoma, WA. Click here to view Imagine Akron Community Learning Centers, provided by Mayor Plusquellic of Akron, Ohio. Click here to view McCarver Elementary School Housing Program, provided by Mayor Strickland of Tacoma, WA. Click on the link to visit: The Education Mayor's Online Playbook.

Economic Development Update

New Businesses are Opening and Transforming Downtown: 

Ribbon Cutting - New Plainfield Restaurant 
On Wednesday, February 18, 2015, I performed a ribbon cutting ceremony at the grand opening of Itzayana Restaurant & Bakery. This new establishment has wonderful cuisine and amazing baked goods. The location of this restaurant is: 117 Park Avenue, Plainfield, NJ. Give this new restaurant and bakery a try. We are transforming downtown Plainfield, one business at a time.

Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening - Professional Financial Services Firm  
A ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening occurred at the new Farmers Insurance on Monday, February 23, 2015 at 9:00 am. Farmers Insurance is located at 110 East 4th Street. Please join me in welcoming this new business to Plainfield.

Economic Development Community Event
An important component of economic development is to provide resources for Plainfield businesses and my administration is doing just that. On February 18, 2015, the Office of Economic Development, led by Carlos Sanchez, held an economic development workshop for local businesses. The brand new Plainfield-based business Itzayana Restaurant and Bakery hosted this community event. Workshop topics and resources included entrepreneurial programs and business incentives, including the Google Get Your Business Online, the Plainfield City Loan Fund, the Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ) Sign and Facade, and the Property Tax Rewards programs.

This event was an excellent forum for discussing  challenges facing local businesses, collaborating, and networking. You can expect more of these events in coming months. For information on these programs, contact Carlos Sanchez in the Office of Economic Development at

Please watch and share the video on Google Get Your Business Online:

Department of Public Works and Urban Development Update

Improved Approach and Experience - Occupancy Process
The experience an entrepreneur or future home owner faces is important to my administration. Professionalism and taking a consultative approach has been the cornerstone of improving the certificate of occupancy process. The inspection processes and schedules have been mapped out with the use of technology. I am pleased to share with you a letter of appreciation from a local building/business owner:

Subject: Letter of Appreciation: 
"I just wanted to thank you, E. Watson and others of the Mapp administration for
your pro-business attitudes and efforts regarding the permitting and occupancy
process for my building in Plainfield. The Mayor and his administration is to be
commended for a change for a more positive business in our Queen City."

Public Affairs & Safety Update

Plainfield Public Affairs and Safety: Winter Precautionary Tips
The Fire Division would like to remind residents of the following 10 precautionary
tips as we make our through the remainder of the winter season:
1. In case of fire, call 911. Do not delay!
2. If a fire is suspected, have everyone evacuate the house immediately.  Have a
designated meeting place outside the home.  If you can, have evacuation drills
in the home regularly.
3. Keep fire extinguishers on hand in the home and make sure everyone knows how to use them.
4. Carbon Monoxide is known as the "Silent Killer.” Make sure that all flue pipe
connections, furnace and hot water heaters, are properly sealed to prevent carbon
monoxide gas in the house.  All fuel burning appliances should be vented to the
outside and kept clear of snow and ice if they are at the basement level of the
5. If your carbon monoxide alarm sounds evacuate the home immediately and call 911, move quickly to the fresh air outside. Advise the fire department, EMS or the emergency 911 dispatcher if anyone in the home is experiencing flu-like symptoms or headaches.
6. Never use a gas generator, grill, propane, natural gas or charcoal device inside the home, garage or basement. Never use heating devices in the home that run on car batteries. Never store diesel, gasoline or kerosene in the home.
7. Kerosene heaters are outlawed in the city of Plainfield.
8. Learn how to shut off water valves in case a pipe bursts from freezing.
9. Emergency kits for your car should include: a shovel, flashlight, battery operated radio, emergency flares, booster cables, blanket, first aid kit, water, extra batteries, necessary medication, and windshield scraper, just to name a few.
10. Make sure to have your heating appliances and chimneys cleaned and inspected every year. It's not too late now if this hasn't been done.
The Department of Public Safety and Public Works would like to thank residents for their continued support and cooperation during inclement weather.

Event - Decarcerating Plainfield and NJ Youth
Decarcerating Plainfield and NJ Youth was the theme of a panel discussion at the Plainfield Public Library on Tuesday, February 24, 2015. Several local and statewide organizations joined forces and invited the public to participate. The event, sponsored by Keep Youth and Streets Safe (KYSS), which was formed to call for an end to street violence in Plainfield, the statewide organization Decarcerate the Garden State, the Plainfield branch of the People's Organization for Progress (POP), and the Plainfield View blog site, written and edited by David Rutherford (also a newly-elected school board member), brought this important discussion to town. 
After the panel, several local residents also participated in the question and answer period. I was quite pleased to see so many people in attendance, and I spoke with the organizers after the event--more is planned for spring, so stay tuned. Click on the link for Plainfield View--David has been following the Decarceration Movement very closely, and he will have the video posted on the site.

Arts & Culture Update

Plainfield Symphony Orchestra 
The Plainfield Symphony's 95th Season Annual Free Afternoon Family Concert, “The Orchestra Grows Up,” was presented this past Saturday, February 21, 2015, under the baton of guest conductor Michael Avagliano. The program provided a musical tour through the history of the symphony, featuring selections from the Baroque, Classical and Romantic to the Modern era.

Black History Month Program Celebrations:
Ivy Visions, Inc. and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Theta Phi Omega Chapter presented their annual African American History Program this past Sunday, February 22, 2015, at Crescent Avenue Presbyterian Church. The program featured established and aspiring artists showcasing their repertoire of talents--vocally, poetically, instrumentally, oratorically, and through dance. A reception followed in the Fellowship Hall after the program. This "FREE" event was made possible through a grant from the New Jersey Council on the Arts, Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, and administered by the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs.

Members of Masjidullah of Plainfield, New Jersey celebrate Black History Month with the presentation of the unique program, "Islam In African American History," at 7:00 pm Wednesday, February 25, 2015, at the Plainfield Public Library, 8th and Park Ave., Plainfield. A professional panel of presenters will navigate their way through history and reveal information about a chain of events which re-shaped the landscape of African Americans living their lives as Muslims from the time of slavery to emancipation. This timely program provides a glimpse into the rich, and mostly unknown, legacy of the African American Muslim Community. 
Date: Wednesday, February 25th 
Time: 7:00 pm 
Location: Plainfield Public Library (Anne Louise Davis Room)
800 Park Ave., Plainfield, NJ 07060  
For more information, call Maxine Salaam, Community Liaison at (908) 337-0889 or email at

duCret School of Art - 36th Annual High School Art Show
Come and see a great art exhibit from New Jersey high school students in their junior and senior years. Art categories include: Oil, Acrylic, Watercolor, Pastel, Pencil, Pen & Ink, Printmaking, Serigraph, Mixed Media, Traditional & Digital photography and Graphic Art. [No hand crafts, sculpture or pottery] Prizes will be awarded at the reception.
Date: Friday, February 27th 
Time: 7:00 - 9:00 pm 
Location: duCret School of Art (auditorium) 
1030 Central Ave Plainfield, NJ 07060  
For more information, call (908) 757-7171

"Rhythm and Praise" Photography Exhibit Continues 
The Brian Price Photography Exhibit showcases the Epic Journey of Black Gospel music. The exhibit runs through March 28, 2015 
Location: Plainfield Public Library, Anne Louise Davis Gallery 
800 Park Avenue, Plainfield, NJ 07060


AARP Tax Preparation
AARP tax counselors will provide our members with free tax appointments from now until Wednesday, April 15th from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Call 908-753-3506 for an appointment.
Bring the following documents to your appointment:
* 2013 federal and state income tax return if you filed
* 2014 federal and state income tax booklet
* 1099 SSA and/or 1099 Forms
* W-2 Forms per employer
* 1098 Form if you own a mortgage
* Social Security card for all dependents
* ID for anyone ages 18 and over.
* All child care and dependent care provider info, including employer's name, SS
# or EIN #.
* Your 2014 Tax Receipt
* All rent receipts or total annual rent paid if you are a tenant.
If you're interested in having a PTR done, please have your "proof of taxes paid" completed by the City Hall Tax Office prior to making an appointment.
IRS Can Help if W-2s Are Missing
In most cases you get your W-2 forms by the end of January. Form W-2 (Wage and
Tax Statement) shows your income and the taxes withheld from your pay for the year. You need your W-2 form to file an accurate tax return. If you haven't received your form by mid-February, click here to see resources from the IRS.

How to Become a U.S. Citizen: Know the Basics
The process of becoming an American citizen requires planning and time. Knowing
in advance what to do will help move things along much more smoothly. The video featured in this blog highlights some general requirements that you must meet in order to become a U.S. citizen, such as:
* Meet the minimum age requirement
* Be a permanent resident of the United States and remain in the country while your naturalization is being processed. Note: your marital status may affect how long it takes to process your application.
* Be able to read, write, and speak English. Note: there are some exceptions for some older and long-time residents, and for some disabled permanent residents.
* Have basic knowledge of U.S. history and government
* Be a person of good moral character
* Take the oath of allegiance to support and defend the United States and the Constitution
For detailed information about how to become an American citizen, call the National Customer Service Center at (800) 375-5283 or (800) 767-1833 (TDD for the hearing impaired), or click on the link to visit U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Watch the video below:

Until next time...

Stay warm and have a great weekend!