Like many of my friends and neighbors in town, we moved to Montclair for the benefit of our children, to learn, grow and become part of this very special community that is likely to welcome a diverse family like ours (I am a Boricua and my husband Jamaican).

Unfortunately, I have been forced into educational activism because the reality of the Montclair Public Schools has not lived up to their promise, especially when it comes to BIPOC children and families in our community.

As a member of the Montclair NAACP, Montclair PTA Council and other community organizations, I can attest firsthand to the inadequacies, imbalances and injustices that plague the Montclair Public Schools. Those who are not aggressive or do not have resources or connections are being left behind. Our voices are not being heard in the many organizations that form the backbone of the political machine of Montclair and Essex County that in reality run our town and its schools.

Today, we vote only for our mayor and councilpersons. That gives normal people only one chance every four years to make their voice heard. But starting next week, we can move toward a system in which our voices would be heard every year, and specifically on the issues that matter most to the least heard among us.

Our current mayor was quoted this week refusing to apologize for his mastery of dark money in his day job as head of the state’s biggest educational union. His voice is certainly being heard. Now if only the rest of us could have ours heard more clearly. This is why I am voting emphatically “yes” for an elected Board of Education and encourage you to use your precious vote likewise.

Obdulia Miranda-Woodley
Montclair


loading...

Montclair Local's Opinion section is an open forum for civil discussion in which we invite readers to discuss town matters, articles published in Montclair, or previously published letters. Views expressed and published in this section are solely those of the writers, and do not represent the views of Montclair Local.

Letters to the editor: To submit a letter to the editor, email letters@montclairlocal.news, or mail "Letters to the Editor," 309 Orange Road, Montclair, NJ, 07042 (email is preferred). Submissions must include the name, address and phone number of the writer for verification. Only the writer's name and town of residence will be published. Montclair Local does not publish anonymous opinion pieces.

Letters must be no more than 500 words in length, and must be received by 5 p.m. Monday to be eligible for potential publication in that week's Thursday print issue. Letters may be edited by Montclair Local for grammar and style. While our goal is to publish most letters we receive, Montclair Local reserves the right to decline publication of a letter for any reason, including but not limited to concerns about unproven or defamatory statements, inappropriate language, topic matter far afield of the particular interests of Montclair residents, or available space.

Town Square: Montclair Local also accepts longer-form opinion essays from residents aiming to generate discussion on topics specific to the community, under our "Town Square" banner. "Town Square" essays should be no more than 750 words in length, and topics should be submitted to letters@montclairlocal.news at least seven days prior to publication.