A Camden Awakening

Felisha Reyes-Morton

First and foremost I would like those that supported me throughout and those that voted for myself and change on June 8, 2021.

In this election from the outset many saw the dice as having been both cast and tallied before anyone knew who was in the room, let alone what questions to ask.

I never set out to be Mayor!!! There you have it… believe it or not do with it what you may… those close to me, conversation and yes ultimately the belief in self liberation.

Liberation for Camden yes; but first and foremost, myself.

The process was fixed and has been for years we as a community have known it and openly accepted it and to extents participated in the propagation of the dysfunctional system that now stifles fifty percent of Black and Brown Camden voters.

Yes, half of Camden is made up of proud: Libertarians,Green Party and Constitutional Party members along with several other legitimate parties including those Latinos and African Americans who call Camden home yet affiliate as Republicans.

Yes, some of us are members of the R group and ourfamily members and neighbors surprise, no not really what was to me and should be to you is that half of all registered Camden voters are not “Affiliated”. Hmmm, I see your hand in the back. The question I presume is what is “Affiliated”,
great question because most often in TV one is Gang Affiliated.

And here in Camden either you are in the Democratic Gang or not!!! Nope. Independents no unaffiliated means unaffiliated so no Vote in Camden primaries such as this.

Yes, literally fifteen thousand plus Camden residents are legally barred by Democrats from voting in the most important vote to decide representation and affiliation (acceptance by the party).

So going in I knew that the voters who will ultimately decide elections going forward were the very ones being overlooked.

Now that I am not a member of the Camden City Democrats there presents itself in this moment of self-liberation the ability to “Caucus ” with a new party.

Yes, up front this time What is Caucus and the act of caucusing and how does it relate to Affiliation “? Both Great Questions….

Well, Caucus and Caucusing and Caucuses are when members of an Affiliated Party (IE Democrats doing so and becoming “invited” members of in my former case the Camden City/Camden County Democrats) Think Washington and AOC being Green/Social and Nancy Pelosi being well Nancy God Bless her.

They may disagree on specifics as members of the larger democratic body, they choose to overcome those internal differences (and work out their family issues in closed rooms) so that both sides can thwart the common external enemies like Communism and Republicans and of course sometimes our own Democratic self’s.

So, when I finally decided to run it was knowing as everyone knew across New Jersey it could possibly be sacrifice worth making to stir the pot and wake up sleeping constituents. Wake them not move them.

What needed to be moved were Progressive Democrats from outside Camden to invest and for qualified Candidates to run and stay in the Race despite the odds to ensure that the conversation and provocation would continue throughout.

My campaign was outspent, outmanned, outmaneuvered and outright done wrong through suppression and intimidation tactics akin to gang “Affiliated” mobsters and actors rather than neighbors, citizens and or elected officials.

The open secrets are out there and this campaign, that of Elton Custis and Quinones all showed what calling them out individually can do. Yes, I came in last, lost to all the boys, and should of convention holds tuck my ponytail and go sit on the sidelines until the next timeout or some dumb status prescribed
Latina role comes up and they come back (like all bad boys do🥰)

The loss helps in my mind expose me to the shelter of the Camden City Democrats and the power they can weld when committed toward one purpose, right or wrong.

My decision to breakaway at this time allowed for the public discourse of the inner workings of a system designed to block out light.

So, during this campaign it was so refreshing to be out with the people to hear them, see them, be challenged by them but above be embraced by them.

The discussions around the lack of concern outside the Fourth Ward (which includes the Waterfront)

That type of power can no longer go unchecked, unchallenged, openly accepted as what we deal with in Camden.

The city woke up this election and close to forty percent voted for a new choice;  granted that choice was split in Column 5.

However true political pundits understand what that represents 40% can be grown to 50% and in a town used to straight up races 98% wins that changes everything in terms of leverage and outside fundraising for change.

Numbers don’t lie now can Progress Unify is the question.

Congratulations, Vic. Your team once again showed its strength and commitment to purpose, I and the Fourth Ward look forward to working with your Administration going forward.

To my Column 5 colleagues let us not miss out on the importance of the collective win we represent for Camden.

Yesterday was an awakening and today is not a time for complaining because tomorrow’s work must be done.

Congratulations to the continued fight for Transparency, Inclusion and Equity.

Thank you all again and see you in the community soon.

Felisha Reyes-Morton,
Councilwoman of the Fourth Ward

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  • Moe Howard

    Is it proper to capitalize “Brown?” First time I’ve seen that. I thought only black was to be capitalized.

    • NJBlech

      Is it proper to poke Curly (Curley) in the eyes or pull Larry’s hair out? Reyes Morton wrote the article and she can capitalize as she sees fit. And I see what you did there indicating that Black is to be capitalized but not capitalizing it yourself.

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