EAST ORANGE, NJ — Irvington was at East Orange Mayor Ted Green’s annual Father’s Day Breakfast at Langston Hughes Elementary School on Rhode Island Avenue in that city’s 3rd Ward on Saturday, June 16, by Ron Brown, an Irvington Board of Education member and the Essex County Improvement Authority commissioner.
“Fatherhood is the cornerstone for success,” said Brown on Saturday, June 16. “Fatherhood is the only way every race, every nationality will make it, because the fathers are the cornerstone for what we do. I’m proud of my sons. I have two and one daughter and I’m very happy and I’m happy to see so many fathers here today. So whatever happens, I’m happy about it.”
Brown’s son, Justin, was also at Green’s Father’s Day Breakfast, but he had to be there.
“My son now works in East Orange under Mayor whats-his-name, Ted Green. I don’t know, only one mayor means something to me and that’s Anthony Vauss,” Brown joked. “But I’m glad he hooked up with Mayor Green and I think they’re going to do good things together. We want our young people to go everywhere. We want our young people to experience every avenue available to them and Mayor Green offered him an avenue to grow so I’m very happy for him and I’m looking forward to him doing good things — and maybe someday we can steal him back to Irvington.”
Justin Brown said he’s focused now on doing the best job he can for Green in East Orange and that included volunteering at the Father’s Day Breakfast.
“I’m working as an aide to the Mayor Ted Green and in closely with constituent services,” Justin Brown said Saturday, June 16. “I’m not a father yet. I’m actually getting married in October 2019, and I look forward to having 12 children.”
Justin said he might wind up back in Irvington, working for Vauss and the Team Irvington Strong social and political organization, but right now, he’s very happy with Green, who worked as director of the Irvington Building Department before being elected mayor last year.
“I’ve been coming to this event for the last seven or eight years with my father and I just want to say, ‘Happy Father’s Day’ to my father and ‘Happy Father’s Day’ to Mayor Green,” Justin Brown added.
This was Green’s first Father’s Day Breakfast as a mayor, but the presence of hundreds of attendees — including fathers and sons, entire families, and invited guests like Essex County Advocate Judge Ted Stephens, Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, and Leroy Jones, chairman of the the East Orange and Essex County Democratic committees — this year’s event was as successful as in previous years.
Speaking of Jones at the event, emcee Christopher Awe said, “He’s no stranger to any of us.” Awe hopes to take over current East Orange City Council President Romal Bullock’s 2nd Ward seat when he officially steps down from office in July to become the city’s new tax assessor. “He’s a longstanding pillar in our community and our political standard bearer here in East Orange.”
Jones said it’s always a pleasure to be home in East Orange with family and it’s always a pleasure to attend Green’s annual Father’s Day Breakfast.
“It is certainly my pleasure to be here today, as a father and a grandfather, to understand the magnitude and the foundation of what fatherhood means,” said Jones on Saturday, June 16. “All of you obviously share in that ideal because we’re all out embracing the essence of fatherhood, the foundation of a community. ‘One City One Community and One Goal and Progress’ is the answer and I am so pleased to note that the mayor has continued to grace us with this Father’s Day celebration, year after year, because that’s part of that quest of progress that this city is on a sharp path to achieving.”
Jones said the Father’s Day weekend would be a time of celebration, not only for fathers but the single mothers who act as fathers too.
“We have a responsibility to make sure that those individuals who haven’t stepped up to the plate, some of us step into those roles and be those mentors and be those shining examples for young people, to set them on a course for achievement, progress and as solid contributors to our communities,” said Jones. “So, ladies and gentlemen, I just want to thank the mayor again and certainly Chris for doing a great job as emcee. There’s a lot to come from a young man that has put in his time in this community. And to all of you for just being out and being in a celebratory mode, but also never losing sight of the fact that fatherhood is a foundation, and it’s a rock in this community and it has been that cornerstone that has kept this community strong.”
Shane Adams Sr. and his son, Shane Adams Jr., agreed wholeheartedly with those remarks. The two are affectionately known to their friends and family as “Big Shane” and “Lil Shane.”
““He turned out excellent. I’ve got to thank God for giving me such a son,” said Adams Sr. at the event. “Those that lack the ability to be a dad because they don’t want to be is missing out on a great opportunity. When God created kids and sons, he created a great thing to have a relationship, a bond, somebody to be there to carry on your legacy of whatever you’ve done in life. Missing out on fatherhood, you’re missing out on something great.”
Adams Jr. said he’s proud to actually be his father’s living legacy. He also said he’s glad that his father is also a grandfather.
“I evolved,” said Shane Jr. on Saturday, June 16. “I enforce that hardship that he brought me up on and that made me the person that I am today. Grandparents, they do have the tendency to ease up on their grandchildren, but it’s up to the ones that know the ins and the outs and that can relate to the discipline that they was brought up on to apply that same discipline on those that’s coming up underneath them. I ain’t mad about that. I ain’t mad at all.”