'Those People', just like 'Not in my Backyard' or better known as NIMBY, divides all of us in NJ from ever trying to work together to solve our financial, pension, infrastructure, transportation and property tax issues.
Aren't we all 'Those People' to someone else? Which of the following descriptions of me will label me one of 'Those People' to you?
I am 56, white, female, homosexual, high school educated, not a member of any organized religion, former democratic Mayor, now an independent, middle to upper class, teacher, activist.
What descriptions separate you?
A few years ago, I gave a presentation about municipal consolidation in Summit, NJ. During the Q&A a man in a suit stood up and declared this idea to be dead in the water because he did not want to be with 'Those People' in Springfield or New Providence. By the way these are fairly affluent towns and New Providence schools are rated top in NJ.
It is somewhat disturbing when people actually say 'Those People' in public. I much prefer when they just imply it.
So I did a little research and found out two interesting facts about Summit NJ.
Summit has the most households that make over $200,000 per year in NJ. Summit, also, has 25% of its residents that make under $35,000 per household per year.
He is already with 'Those People'.
I recommend he read ' The Sneetches' by Dr. Seuss.
If we cannot mature beyond this mentality of highlighting our differences, then I agree municipal consolidation will never happen again in NJ.
What drives me is I see the similarities of the issues we are facing. I see the connections we all have that encourage us to start working together. Let's get moving.