Opinion: Johnson, Brook will continue to move ‘BoroForward’ despite loss in election

PHOTO COURTESY OF YURI MARDER

Friends and neighbors, the vote has been officially certified and confirmed the earlier counts that reflected that Doug Tomson and Janine Erickson received 53% of the votes in the election. To the people of Hillsborough, the Johnson Brook team offered an extremely clear and different choice of goals, ideas and character and the majority of our neighbors decided that they wanted Tomson and Erickson for Hillsborough. We respect that choice and we will continue to work for a better Hillsborough.

At the outset of the campaign, we were in direct contact with Tomson and made a gentleman’s agreement that, on behalf of the well-being of our entire community, that we would all run a campaign based solely on the presentation of ideas and would not engage in the misinformation and character-maligning tactics that we have all come to despise about the election season. We held our side of this commitment because we believed in it, but in the end, our opposition did not. We are extremely proud of the campaign that we conducted featuring uncompromising personal responsibility and accountability, truth, integrity, and fresh ideas focused on creating a stronger, more inclusive, and healthy community. We focused on the positive work we would do on behalf of the Hillsborough community if elected.

We sought to create a platform that would bring neighbors together across partisan divides and did not use the divisive and dishonest tactics until now rarely seen in Hillsborough. Of all of the misinformation lobbed against our campaign, we were particularly saddened to see our opponents attempt to turn a community-building, peaceful social justice protest, where over a thousand residents gathered to stand in solidarity against the unlawful killing of George Floyd, into vile, baiting, anti-police campaign messaging. We trusted that residents understood that because you are pro-justice in America, you are not anti-police. Of course we support the Hillsborough Police Department and that is totally consistent with supporting equal justice for all people. We are committed to do the work building those needed bridges.

We continue to believe that to move a community forward into a shared and cohesive future, leadership has a responsibility to not engage in that harmful divide-and-conquer tactics, that have proven so corrosive on the national level. Also, just for the record, neither of us ever supported the construction of 800 homes from 2005, especially dishonest, since it was the Republicans who approved over 740 units of new housing in just 2020.

We want to thank everyone who supported us and believed in our ideas of creating a new vision for Hillsborough. This vision respected all people, focused on a transparent and inclusive local government dedicated to smart growth and infrastructure planning that respected our tax dollars, and promoted preserving our remaining natural beauty and character.

Our vision also focused on the goal of transforming a rapidly growing suburban township into a vibrant community with an actual downtown with shops and cultural offerings that celebrate our rich diversity, like Somerville or Princeton. We looked to help turn Hillsborough into a place that people would want to come to visit rather than drive past on the bypass, and therefore strengthen our local economy. We hope that our campaign illuminated the need for resident participation and insistence on a more diverse and inclusive local government, and we hope that our platform will encourage our neighbors to hold leadership accountable for managing the growth of the township by not continuing to yield to real-estate special interests.

With the presumed election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, we join with our neighbors in overcoming this pandemic, healing, and building a stronger tomorrow. We hope that we will work together to build the community and America that we know we absolutely deserve. BoroForward!

 

Donnetta Johnson

David Brook

Hillsborough