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October 26, 2009

RE: Important Conference Session of Hope for our State’s Future

Dear Mayor:

Our Declaration of Independence affirms that human dignity transcends any social order. It is, therefore, the basis for rights. It is neither granted by, nor can it legitimately be violated by, society. Accordingly, every human being should be acknowledged as an inherently valuable member of the human community and as a unique expression of life.

On October 9, I wrote to preview one of the most important sessions that we will feature at our Annual Conference. We have scheduled this program because we recognize how important it is to affirm the inherent dignity of each unique human life. I am very happy that a group of teen-aged youths has been carrying that message to their peers. And I am very proud that they have agreed to join us at the Conference.

On Wednesday, November 18, at 3:45 p.m., in Hall A of the Atlantic City Convention Center, the League, in conjunction with the N.J. Attorney General’s Office, is honored to join with the New Jersey Chapter of the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials (NBC-LEO) to present “Students Tackling Ordinary Problems.”

“Students Tackling Ordinary Problems,” S.T.O.P. is a traveling performance and writing group for high school students. These young people value basic American values. And they use their talents and energies to reinforce and promote those values among other members of their own generation.

These students seek to promote self-esteem and good morals to their peers. As a byproduct, they enkindle joy and hope in those of us who have spent a bit more time here, on planet earth. Co-sponsored by the Branchburg Youth Services Commission, and the Branchburg Recreation Department, the group, under the director of Miranda DeStefano-Meene, writes a script that includes topics that teens face on a daily basis, such as sexting, cyber bullying, racism and diversity, eating disorders, and substance abuse, to name a few.

The moderator for this session will be Mayor) Jim Leonard of Branchburg. The Speakers will be Creighton Drury, Director, Crime Prevention Initiative and Assistant Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General; the Honorable Jacquelyn E. Johnson, Councilwoman, East Orange; and Miranda DeStefano-Meene, S.T.O.P. Director. But they know that they are only the ‘warm-up acts.” The headliners are the S.T.O.P Performers, from Somerville High School, who will generously share their talents with all of us.

We hope many can attend this session to learn how to organize and sponsor similar efforts in their own communities. Please share this letter with all in your municipality who work to spread this message of hope and human dignity to, and through, local youth and recreation groups.

Very truly yours,


William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director

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