To the Editor:
My name is Uma Purandare, and I am proud to be the Democratic candidate for the Hopewell Township Committee.
My family and I have lived in Brandon Farms for over 20 years, and I am the proud mother of two Hopewell Valley Central High School graduates. Throughout my time in Hopewell, I have always strived to be, as Gandhi suggested, the change I wished to see in the world. For me, that has always meant committing to the betterment of my community.
One of the things I value most about Hopewell Township is its tradition of community service. As both a Girl Scout leader and an active member of the Hopewell Valley Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO), I worked with many parents encouraging girls to be compassionate, courageous, and confident.
I also managed A-Z Mentoring sessions to raise literacy levels of underprivileged children and adults by providing free 1-on-1 tutoring in a safe learning environment. With the help of friends in Brandon Farms and nearby towns, I started the Marathi Language School to help kids learn my mother tongue and strengthen their bonds with extended family. My volunteering with the Hopewell Valley Mobile Food Pantry has enabled me to see first-hand the challenges of families during the COVID-19 pandemic and the many community members committed to helping them.
As a scientist with a degree from Drexel University, I am trained to evaluate issues based on the available data and facts. I have brought these values to the nearly six years I have served on the Township’s Zoning Board of Adjustments. The Board has taught me a lot about our neighborhood, residential communities, and the needs of the local businesses. It has also showed me the importance our community places on preserving our beautiful green space and rural character.
Having lived in the township for 20+ years, I recognize that it is going through many changes. The best path forward is to remain true to our values. We must follow our township’s master plan. We must be fiscally responsible making sure that every taxpayer dollar is well-spent to keep the cost of living within the reach of every resident. We must focus on the community’s health, safety, and sustainability. We must maintain our history of being a strong, inclusive, and welcoming community. In coming weeks, I am looking forward to meeting with you in person/virtual forums to explain and emphasize my commitment to this community.
Thirty years ago, I moved halfway across the world from my small rural town in India. My family and I were immediately welcomed, and every day I think about how to serve the community my family and I call home. I hope to earn your vote in November 2021 election. Please note in-person voting begins October 23, 2021.
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