Preserve Historic Lackawanna Plaza and add a supermarket for our community

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In the 102 years that the Montclair Branch NAACP has been in existence, its more than 300 members have advocated for civil rights and social justice consistent with the NAACP Constitution and Bylaws. We write today to advise that as a body of the oldest and largest civil rights organization in the world, we stand firmly behind the May 22, 2018 Resolution of the Township Council (R-18-157). Township Council of the Township of Montclair supports the current plan before the Planning Board and urges the Planning Board to consider it favorably and with dispatch. In its resolve to maintain the integrity of Lackawanna Plaza, including but not limited to the restoration of a “full-scale” supermarket to service the residents of the Montclair community. We support the position that the historic value of the site should not be compromised but further offer that the aesthetic value of the site should be consistent with that of the original design. Moreover, since health and wellness is a major mandate of the NAACP, our goal is to advocate for the right of every individual to have equal access to proper nutrition.

For close to 35 years, the Pathmark supermarket provided a local place for Montclair residents, particularly those who reside in the Fourth Ward, an opportunity to shop for foods and critical items related to nutrition and overall health. Since the closing of
the supermarket, residents have either been forced to frequent local bodegas or “convenience stores", where the cost of basic items are notably almost double the cost compared to a supermarket or super center.

This is a travesty!

Members of the Montclair Branch NAACP Housing, Health, Education and Criminal Justice Committee Chairs along with other affiliate groups signing off in support of this position urge the Planning Board to take a position with respect to the concerns
raised herein and to work with us as we move toward the final design of the Lackawanna Center.


Albert E. Pelham, President

James E. Harris, 1st Vice President

Shakira Pelham, Secretary

William L. Scott, Housing Committee Chair

Rosita Dotson, Health Committee Chair