It’s official: Thrive Montclair will have its celebration on April 12. Press release here…(no word yet if there will be beignets…)
Marc Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League, the nation’s largest civil rights organization, and former Mayor of New Orleans, will be the special guest at Thrive Montclair’s campaign celebration on April 12 from 7:30 to 11:30 pm at The Loft in Montclair. Morial, a longtime personal friend of mayoral candidate and councilor at large Ted Mattox, will be on hand to lend his support to the Thrive Montclair team.
Morial’s distinguished career spans more than 25 years and includes service as an entrepreneur, lawyer, professor, Louisiana State Senator and President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. As Mayor of New Orleans from 1994 to 2002, Morial was a popular chief executive with a broad multi-racial coalition who led New Orleans’ 1990’s renaissance, and left office with a 70% approval rating. He produced eight balanced budgets, and led the passage of a new City Charter which authorized the creation of a City Revenue Estimating Conference, an Ethics Board and Inspector General.
Mattox says he routinely reaches out to experts and other public officials in various fields to discuss best practices and how they can apply to the town of Montclair. “In my role as Mayor, I will continue my work as a consensus builder, reaching out for different perspectives and points of view.”
Mattox is known for his trademark “Listening Nights” and for asking tough questions of his fellow town officials. If elected, Mattox says he and his team will expand their reach to experts and officials on both the local and national level to help resolve some of Montclair’s outstanding issues.
“Montclair is not an island. If we are to move ahead, we are going to need to not only tap into our own community, but into the world around us,” he says. “Bringing people like Marc to the table is just one more way that my administration will be different from previous administrations.”
As President of the National Urban League since 2003, Morial’s energetic and skilled leadership has expanded the leading national nonprofit’s work around an Empowerment agenda, which is redefining civil rights in the 21st century with a renewed emphasis on closing the economic gaps between Whites and Blacks as well as rich and poor Americans. His creativity has led to initiatives such as the Urban Youth Empowerment Program to assist young adults in securing sustainable jobs, and Entrepreneurship Centers in 5 cities to help the growth of small businesses. Morial also created the National Urban League Empowerment Fund, which has pumped almost $200 million into urban impact businesses including minority business through both debt and equity investments.
During his tenure as New Orleans’ mayor, Morial passionately attacked his city’s vast urban problems. The city’s economy experienced its most dramatic growth in over 20 years as the Convention Center was expanded, thousands of new hotel rooms were built, the Downtown Casino and Sports Arena opened and New Orleans hosted Super Bowls and Music Festivals, as well as International and Hemispheric Summits. The NBA also returned to New Orleans as he led the effort to relocate the Hornets from Charlotte.
“Montclair, while a New Jersey suburb, has a lot of urban issues. Marc’s input as president of the National League could be invaluable to solving some of the issues that we face right here in Montclair,” says Mattox.
The Thrive Montclair slate, under the slogan “Your Voice‚Ä¶Your Money‚Ä¶Our Future,” was the first to announce its candidacy for Montclair’s Town Council in December, 2007. In addition to Mattox, Thrive candidates include: Starr Daniels for Councilor at Large, Sumana Rangachar for Councilor at Large, Roger Plawker for First Ward Councilor, Mark Reynolds for Second Ward Councilor and Joanna Brick for Third Ward Councilor.