Paterson can flourish with a second chance

By ASLON GOOW, SR. I have spent the past three decades raising a family, building a business, and working to improve our Paterson communities.  I am proud of those accomplishments.  In 2002, I spoke at an expungement seminar to help young men get a second chance in life hosted by 4th Ward Councilwoman Vera Ames Garnes. 

I shared with them my own story as a young man and how I received a second chance through the expungement program.  I have never hidden from it – I have shared it as a positive example of possibilities.  I owed it to these young men to help them build their futures.  I told these young men that “if I can do it, so can you”.  I believe I gave those young men hope since I was serving as an elected member of the City Council, as a trained police officer, and as a private investigator licensed by the State of New Jersey.  

America believes in redemption.  Redemption has been granted to many people who have turned their lives around – including police officers, fire fighters, judges, and many elected officials, and, yes, myself.  But with redemption also comes responsibility.  A responsibility to live our lives with integrity and to help our youth rebuild their futures.  I have striven to do that, I believe I have made a difference in their lives, and I will continue to do so as Mayor. 

I believe that God offers forgiveness to every person who seeks it with a sincere and repentant heart.  I ask God to continue to give me the strength to fight for what is right and to fight against the petty political retaliation that I face as I work to lift up our City.  While others will attack me and the integrity of expungement programs for political advantage, I choose to build opportunity and second chances for our City – because I was given an opportunity and a second chance.  

For those who want a candidate who pretends to be perfect, they should support someone else.  They will eventually be let down.   I seek the seat of Mayor not because I am perfect, but because I am a Patersonian.  I seek the seat of Mayor because I have lived through the very challenges that our residents face. I know how a young man can make a mistake and I know how a grown man can make it right in his community after 30 years.  I know how a City can suffer for decades but can grow and prosper once again.  Like myself, Paterson will turn around and flourish with a second chance. 

A former Ward 2 Councilman, Aslon Goow is a candidate for Mayor of Paterson

Paterson can flourish with a second chance