Open Letter to Angela McKnight
Real Jersey City’s Michael Shurin writes an open letter to Angela McKnight as she begins her campaign for New Jersey Assembly in LD-31.
Let me begin by saying how excited I am that Mayor Steven Fulop and the Hudson County Democratic Organization have chosen you as their candidate in the upcoming primary (actually the real election because the democratic nominee wins no matter what in November) for New Jersey Assembly in LD-31.
Haters will hate, and a lot of people I’ve spoken with have hated on you for “dealing with the devil,” but that’s politics. Just because the HCDO is despised by many doesn’t mean you can’t be a great leader for New Jersey.
You’re probably the best political decision Mayor Fulop has made since taking office, and what could also be his biggest blunder.
Trust me when I say this – your star shines much brighter than his.
I know your faith in God is strong, and while I’m agnostic, I can’t help but wonder if there is some sort of divine aspect to this election (especially if Assemblyman Charles Mainor is running for re-election).
All I can ask is that you have just the slightest bit of faith in me and what I’m about to tell you.
I know that the next few months will be tough, and I’m probably going to give you some stress (if I’m not already now), but at the end of this two-month journey you will be in a position to change New Jersey forever.
First, if you read my profile in the About Page, you would know that Real Jersey City is in part about creating positive policy change from the death of Lavon King.
Like I said, on the morning of June 24th, 2014 I conducted an interview for Hudson County View with Assemblyman Mainor. During the interview – in which we discussed education, gun, and drug policy – Mainor told me he “would not agree that fighting the drug war has… taken any lives or caused anything else.”
Later that day, Lavon King – who was being pursued for five open cases in Hudson County Superior Court for drugs and theft, as well as a pending violation of probation, according to the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office – was shot and killed by a Jersey City Police Officer.
I don’t disparage Mainor for his opinion on the drug war, specifically that it should be fought harder, but I’m 100% positive the drug war has taken countless lives.
What many don’t know is that on the night of June 25th, 2014 I filmed you speaking for about 10 minutes (full video coming out soon) in front of the steps of City Hall.
Remember the raw emotion of your close friend Takeisha Stewart speaking about the scene at the Jersey City Medical Center in the immediate aftermath of Lavon King’s death?
Because I did, and for the record, I know “truth” was speaking some truth that day because it took over a month to bury King due to the financial burden.
I also heard you speak passionately about black-on-black violence, and I felt your raw emotion too. It was at that moment, knowing what I had already known about you, that I knew of your potential to create political/policy change.
Some may judge you, for good or bad, strictly off the video, or simply have a shattered image of you. What I learned was how diverse of a person you are and how real you can be.
You’re smart, appealing to people from across the political spectrum, and most importantly to me – you’ve shown the ability to “keep it real.”
This two-month journey will feel long, but if you’re elected I ask only one thing of you – make sure ending the War on Drugs, specifically ending the prohibition on narcotics and treating drug addiction as a mental health issue, is your number one priority.
If that means running for governor in 2017, do it, but start working on this issue the day after your elected.
I know taking on the drug war might seem too big of a fight, and being the next governor beyond imagination (although ask Pres. Obama how that lack of experience hurt him in 2008), but one thing Kwadir Felton told me from South Woods State Prison is that “God puts the toughest battles on the strongest warriors.”
Ending the drug war may not have been the policy platform you discussed with Mayor Fulop, Speaker Vincent Prieto, and others from the HCDO, if policy was even discussed, but please have some faith in what I’m saying.
Unfortunately from here on it’s back to news & politics, and I wish you the same luck as the rest of the candidates, with slightly more scrutiny because you’re the HCDO candidate.
Real Jersey City