Montclair Republican Club gives citizens a voice.
Coming up Thursday, Feb. 12 at Nauna’s Bell Casa in Montclair is a Montclair Republican Club meeting that will focus on education in Montclair. This meeting is going to study the achievement gap in Montclair, and will host three education activists who are actively devoted to change and reform. This meeting will take lessons from success academies in New York and teach the public how to apply them to Montclair; it is open to the public and non-members.
“Our goal is to provide a home for people who think differently than the vast majority of the town,” said John Van Wagner, the Montclair Republican Club President. “People think they have nowhere to get support for their ideas. I’ve spoken with many people who find themselves alienated, and they are cautious about expressing their political views [in Montclair].”
The Montclair Republican Club also brings in speakers from “different walks of political life,” including Governor Christine Todd Whitman. At their meetings and with guest speakers, the club picks an issue to drill down on and gain a fresh perspective that “differs from the Montclair political life.”
According to Van Wagner, the greatest asset the Montclair Republican Club brings to the community are the people. “They’re all community oriented and conscious for shining a light on the government,” said Van Wagner. “They’re trying to throw open the doors and shine light on things that normally would go under the radar. [Our] people are committed, energized and smart.”
The Montclair Republican Club also had a sit down with Mayor Robert Jackson last year. “He’s been gracious,” said Van Wagner. “We don’t want to pick apart their policies just because they’re on the other side of the spectrum. Mayor Jackson has reduced the town deficit and did a great job saving the social security building so Montclair can decide what will happen to the building instead of the federal government.”
The Montclair Republican Club is easy to find online and also offers an emailing list to stay in touch with the club. It is open to not only Montclair, and it is a community-based offering a forum. Those interested in getting involved can find the club online at montclairrepublican.wordpress.com and on Facebook at Montclair Republicans.