In more ways than one, this woman is single handedly restoring my faith...
From the beginning of this journey, which for me began 13 months ago, I was adamant and steadfast that I wanted a well-rounded ticket. I wanted a ticket that represented Belleville. I wanted a ticket that united and not divided. I wanted at ticket that looked to Belleville’s future, not dwelled in its past. To that end, I had the profound privilege of interviewing several candidates as my running mates for the Council-At-Large position. All were great, and all will bring their unique perspectives and backgrounds to the campaign. I am grateful to them for continuing their hard work for the campaign. This movement will not end on May 8th, but shall proceed with their continued involvement. However, for this specific election, I could only choose two running mates. Therefore, one last additional candidate.
I have taken the time to get to know this candidate. I’ve spent hours with her and her husband Allen. I’ve met her immediate and extended family. I’ve met her friends and trusted confidants. The entire time, I was an open book. I was honest and even vulnerable. We share very similar qualities and characteristics. I completely relate to her. I know where she comes from because I come from the same place. She also has deep roots in everything that I value, everything I hold dear.
The funny thing is, although it took a while, I eventually realized that I wasn’t vetting her, she was vetting me. She wasn’t going blindly or alone into this decision. That’s the type of woman she is, that’s the type of inner circle she surrounds herself with, and that’s something I absolutely respect.
So, without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to the woman, who one day I will be proud to say I had a hand in thrusting into government. Belleville’s next Councilwoman, Mrs. Naomy De Pena.
A little about Naomy…
Naomy is a wife, mother, daughter, former educator and entrepreneurial minded business owner. Beyond that, she has been a Belleville homeowner for nearly ten years. Growing up in the Dominican Republic, her family’s Belleville roots extend more than two decades, which includes her spending summers in Belleville.
An educator with more than 15 years of experience working with children with autism and learning disabilities, she holds a degree in Special Education from NJCU with a concentration in Psychology. Prior to focusing on her flourishing ‘after-care’ business, she served as a translator and advocate for children with special needs in the Belleville Public Schools. She is also a former member of Bvote and a Belleville school teacher union representative, where she’s used her strong voice to be an advocate for teachers and students.
The daughter of a Pastor and the sister of a Jersey City BOE Trustee, who is also a Pastor, she is no stranger to public service. As a Missions Coordinator, she led many humanitarian efforts bringing medical teams to Mexico, Haiti, Ecuador & the Dominican Republic.
Naomy too believes in a #BetterBelleville and a more welcoming Belleville for all our residents. Tommy and I look forward to collectively working with Naomy toward that goal.