Man of Integrity

Oct 24, 2018

To the Editor:

As was true for many of us, I met Joe Mangino when he and his volunteers came to my aid days after Superstorm Sandy devastated this area. Sandy was a nonpartisan event; so was the help offered by START (Stafford Teachers and Residents Together), which Joe cofounded. As a former educator, I was so impressed with the coordination of volunteers and what was needed by us in Stafford affected by that storm. The money and backs saved through volunteerism and community – incredible! Stafford Township addressed the cleanup and recovery much more quickly than other communities.

On the two-year anniversary of that storm, I became part of the solution for recovery by joining the New Jersey Organizing Project. I worked with Joe and other members of the NJOP to address the urgent needs of the shore communities in their recovery. Areas of concern were, and still are, grant money for rebuilding/mitigation, national flood insurance program regulations, rental assistance and its extension, fighting for foreclosure legislation, accountability of unscrupulous contractors, etc.

This took many trips to Trenton and other locations to meet with legislators to make clear the dire situations many folks found themselves in. Again, there was nonpartisanship; we met with Republicans and Democrats. Recovery for individuals and communities needed to be nonpartisan. Six years later nearly 20 percent are not home yet and communities are still recovering. .

Through working with Joe Mangino, I have gotten to know him as a man who cares passionately about his community and its economic and environmental present and future. He is a man of integrity, honest, hard working and committed to helping others. He and his team will focus on Stafford and work in a nonpartisan manner as needed for a better and stronger community.

Sandi Mackay


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