Well, we knew they were on their way, we were just expecting them to show up a bit sooner. Any large organization needs to do its due diligence before mobilizing, so that was just a case of us being a little too overeager and impatient 🙂
We’re very grateful to Thomas Puryear and his chapter of the NAACP for stepping in to help us set things right in Belleville politics, and to remove the inescapable stigma that now hangs over us by calling for Marie Burke’s resignation.
We have a copy of the letter sent by the NAACP to the Belleville Town Council, which was the statement read by Mr. Puryear in his speech Tuesday evening.
A copy of the press release is linked below, but here is what the letter said:
Approximately three weeks ago, our Unit (Oranges and Maplewood) filed an OPRA request with the Belleville Municipal City Clerk. After our OPRA request was submitted (faxed) our Unit confirmed the receipt of the OPRA request, within the Municipal City Clerk’s Office. As of this communication, there has been no response to our OPRA request (current Police and Fire racial/ethnic composition) by the Municipal Clerk’s Office.
Rather than to continue to wait for a response to our earlier OPRA request, the Oranges and Maplewood: NAACP today has submitted a newly refined OPRA request on our concerns. This evening we are providing the Belleville Municipal Council with copies of our refined OPRA request (”This communication is seeking copies of the Belleville Municipality’s 2013, 2012, and 2008 “Employer Information Report EEO-I” [otherwise known as the “EEO-1 Report”]).
On another matter, our Unit finds the recently recorded remarks of Councilwoman Marie Burke reprehensible. The Oranges and Maplewood Unit of the NAACP strongly believe that the recorded remarks reflect an insensitivity and overt hostility towards people of color.
Therefore, at the most recent meeting of the Executive Committee of our Unit, a unanimous resolution was adopted demanding that Councilwoman Marie Burke immediately resign from the Belleville Democratic County Committee Chairpersonship that she currently holds. In addition, we encourage all Belleville Democratic County Committee representatives to nominate another individual to the position for the upcoming new term.
The Oranges and Maplewood Unit of the NAACP will be monitoring the events that are pertinent to this demand. Let it be understood that should Councilwoman Marie Burke not resign, or if she is re-elected to serve in the capacity of Belleville Democratic County Committee chairperson, our Unit will demand that the Essex County Democratic Party Leadership remove Ms. Marie Burke from her Democratic leadership position.
The Democratic Party of Essex County must have no place for an elected official (such as Ms. M. Burke) who has clearly demonstrated overt racist attitudes towards constituents who compose an essential voting block within the Democratic Party.
Here is a copy of the letter for review: