Locally there has been reflection and reassessment of the meaning of the "Gang Truce". The positives is that for a few months there should not be shootings in the 4th Ward. The negative is that our local authorities had nothing to do with this armistice. In fact they apparently became aware only after the newspapers had reported on the pancake celebration.
The Star Ledger's editorial columnists pointed out that the Mayor's "hugs and kisses" does not solve the problem. The gangs and drugs are still out on the streets. There is still an authority failure including the leadership in the police department, if rumors are true, that will prevent a permanent solution.
Renata Hernandez in her blog announced a May 28, 1pm meeting at PHS:" Next week a host of Plainfield residence (sic),both past and present, will come together to continue these PEACE efforts. I hope you will be there to lend your support, find out how you can help, and share ideas on how to develop recreational programming for our youth. The ultimate goal of this event is to help support the establishment of a Recreation Center for Plainfield Youth!"
I welcome any attempt to correct the problems facing Plainfield. The intentions of this "host" of unspecified individuals should not be disparaged. However, any major action should not be initiated or conducted by individuals outside of the City's Government. If the intent is to form a non-profit recreational facility that is fine. If it is to create a solution for the core social/economical problems that are the root of the gang problems, that should not be the province of an ad hoc public group.
The proper venue for action to solve the City's problems must be as part of the City's government. Administration should be the leader with the Council's support. Any solution will need dollar support and that has to come from taxes with hopefully grant support. That is why no self organized group can be the driving force.
If the Mayor is ever to show leadership she should appoint a sufficient diversified large, name it what you wish ,task force to devise a broad workable solution. I am sure that no community person without overwhelming personal issues irregardless of race, religion, economic status, age, or political affiliation would turn down a request to serve on such a body.
slight editorial change 10:20am