I moved to Parsippany with my son and husband in 2016. In the five years that we have lived here, I have come to deeply value the rich diversity of this community more each day. As the wife of a Black man and the mother of a biracial son, it is critically important to me to raise my family in a place that protects and celebrates diversity. That is why I am supporting Cori Herbig for Town Council this election.
I first met Cori in 2017 at a birthday party when our sons were in first grade. Since then, our sons have become friends and I’ve gotten to know Cori as both a friend and a candidate. I can confidently say that she stands for the values that are important to me and my family. I have watched over the years as Cori has actively and consistently shown up to make sure that everyone feels welcome in Parsippany. She marched in the Black Lives Matter rally that happened in Parsippany in 2020 after the murder of George Floyd. She attends community events like Morris County Pride and the celebration of Indian Independence Day. She’s also always willing to help whenever our family experiences racism, which we sometimes do, even here in Parsippany.
In contrast, one of her opponents for Town Council, Justin Musella, has demonstrated that he stands with white supremacy. In 2020, after living in Parsippany for just a few months, Justin not only attended but was the opening speaker at a rally supporting President Trump. In his remarks, Mr. Musella stated that “A future where the Democrats win has never been scarier, and if they win it will not be ‘mostly peaceful.’” That type of dog-whistle, fearmongering language promotes the racist stereotypes that put my family in danger.
The Black Lives Matter rally in Parsippany was not, as Mr. Musella would have you believe, an angry Black mob. It was a diverse group of residents from in and around Parsippany peacefully standing up to let the Black community here know that they are welcome and safe. The peace of mind that this message sends to me and my family cannot be overstated. Knowing, and more importantly showing, my 11-year-old son that there is a village of people standing up for equity and justice for all is what makes me proud to call Parsippany my home. I grew up in Plainfield, New Jersey, a majority-minority community. Never once did I feel anything less than welcome by my friends and neighbors, despite the fact that I looked different than most of them. As a parent, it’s my job to ensure that I’m giving my son the same sense of safety and acceptance here in Parsippany.
It’s so important that we show up for each other. Cori Herbig has always shown up for others, and that’s why I’m showing up for her on November 2, Election Day. I hope you will too!
Alexandra Pittman (f/k/a Durning)