LONG BRANCH: About four months ago, community concerns brought together residents from the neighborhoods, the churches, civic groups, the local NAACP, the local Ministerium (a council of church groups), the police department and representatives from Council, Recreation and others.
The concerns were arising from incidents of violence and disturbances across the country, in New Jersey recently, the city in the not too distant past. And neighboring towns.
The newly formed group in "reaching out" has led to a focused gathering, still informal, of sharing observations and ideas, and merging the views of events in the country that need addressing locally perhaps. Albeit long overdue, some said.
The gatherings have been in late afternoon thus far. They may be held at other times in order to accommodate
The group met at the Trinity AME church hall on Liberty Street, on September 22 at 4:00 p.m. A list of ideas and objectives were shared among the two dozen attendees which included the city Director Public Safety, Jayson Roebuck and Middletown's Police Chief Craig Weber. Both have worked with the NAACP's to improve understanding and mutual respect within the towns.
Trinity AME Pastor Rev. Dr. Lesly Deveraux opened the 90-minute discussion. Ideas were tabled, discussed and recorded. They said that progress is being achieved and more will come.
A meeting date is to be set for next month. Those readers attracted to this community project contact Rev. Devereaux (732- 222-6598) at Trinity AME, 64 Liberty Street), or Bill Dangler, NAACP (1-877-530-0067).
Some of the items for discussion at the last meeting were:
Holding a community get-together, a cookout or picnic to meet other residents.
Arranging a parents meeting of community families
Presentations of city and county organizations to help understanding of operations
Inviting other community groups who may have similar objectives for improving relationships among community members.
Gain understanding of why and how groups and government must work together for the betterment of all.
Inspire open discussion of matters where conflicts may occur. Seek out the reasons.
Bring more openness with the community in terms of negative events and causes.
Learn what activities and what interests community. people want.
Search the community for places to bring people together like the Bucky James Center.
Everyone is invited to join the planning and to support the project to move ahead. Next meeting date is October 20, 2016. 4:00pm at Trinity AME.