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Friday, March 22, 2019

Mayor Mapp's State of the City Address: No one will be left behind

Cover of the handout for Mayor Mapp's
2019 State of the City Address.
(Excuse the spots, it got wet in the rain.)

Mayor Adrian O. Mapp delivered his 2019 "State of the City" address Thursday evening at the Plainfield High School Auditorium.

I was reminded of a rock concert with the various warmup acts for the main event.

an invocation by the Rev. Paul Dean, presentation of the colors by the Police Color Guard, a rendition of the national anthem by the talented young Ronnell Harrison, remarks by Council President Joylette Mills-Ransome and the introduction of City Council members, a Gospel number by the Visions of God Praise Team,  and an introduction by Chelsea Young (who was the Town Crier at the January City Hall event), Mayor Mapp took the stage.

His speech (which you ought to be able to find on the city's website, though not just yet) was delivered to a PowerPoint presentation projected on a theater-sized screen suspended above the stage.

You should look for the presentation on the City's website
(though clearly not tonight). Interestingly, the search
did not return *any* of Mapp's previous SOC addresses.

The presentation proceeded flawlessly. Some in the audience were puzzled by the two teleprompters that were placed on the stage in front of the mayor, because he moved around in making his presentation and did not appear to be using the teleprompters, suggesting he was making the delivery from memory.

In any case, it was a bravura performance.

Using the overarching theme "Smarter - Safer - Stronger", Mayor Mapp reviewed the City of Plainfield's progress (sometimes in the past year, sometimes -- as with crime statistics -- since he has been mayor) through all the major departments and divisions.

He effortlessly recited the various stats on crime, roads, economic development, and other matters. (He is after all a CPA and the Director of Finance in Orange, and has a demonstrably good head for numbers.)

One of the main points of the evening -- and he repeated it with stress several times -- came in his report on Economic Development.

In extolling the development projects that are in progress and planned ones coming down the pike, he repeated over and over, almost as if it were a mantra: "No one will be left behind."

The peroration included a moving recital of Mayor Mapp's personal history, rising from poverty in his native Barbados to a position of political prominence and public service in the state of New Jersey.

He ended with a rousing paean to American democracy quite unlike any I had ever heard before.

At the conclusion, the Mayor invoked God's blessing on all present and the City of Plainfield and left the stage.

The audience stood in applause until he came back three times and took bows.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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