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First look
“Out of the Ashes Came Hope”

To debut Spring 2013



Monsignor Wiliiam J. Linder (left), with Willie Wright, original New Community founding Board Member (center), and Bill Blakely of Englehard Industries.

NCC was unlike the average community development corporation.  Most others went as far as one project and stopped.

I remember when we were laughed at in the community and how NCC was overlooked financially. There were those who whispered behind our backs and labeled Joe Chaneyfield the “mean black guy” and me, “the young white priest.”   People just couldn’t fathom this black and white anomaly, Joe and me. 

They certainly didn’t expect us to get our project funded.   We did not give up, because our vision was bigger than what they could even imagine.  What we were doing was God-driven and NCC was riding shotgun.

Monsignor Linder in the early days of community organizing‏

 

"50 People I Admire"
by Monsignor William J. Linder
(fourth in a series)

In my nearly 45 years here at the helm of New Community, I have met some most interesting and influential people. Many of these individuals are mentioned in a book I am currently working on about my life.

Special recognition will be given to all 50 at New Community's 45th Anniversary Gala taking place on March 9, 2013.


Mary Teresa Norton, 1st Democratic Congresswoman

Mary Teresa Norton gained prominence as a legislator who championed the cause of the working poor, especially in her Hudson County congressional district. Most notably, she helped launch in 1912 the "Queen's Daughter's Day Nursery," a nonsectarian day-care center that operated out of St. Joseph's R.C. Church basement. From her years in the workforce, she knew of the concerns of working women for their children and worked on their behalf for the nursery for 15 years. She successfully obtained board approval and funding for a maternity hospital in Jersey City at County expense, a special project of "Boss" Hague. For a quarter century in the House, colleagues knew Mary T. Norton as "Battling Mary," a reformer who fought for labor and the working-class interests of her urban New Jersey district. Norton emerged from Jersey City as the first woman to represent an eastern state and eventually chaired four House committees.
Mary Teresa Norton gained prominence as a legislator who championed the cause of the working poor, especially in her Hudson County congressional district. Most notably, she helped launch in 1912 the "Queen's Daughter's Day Nursery," a nonsectarian day-care center that operated out of St. Joseph's R.C. Church basement. From her years in the workforce, she knew of the concerns of working women for their children and worked on their behalf for the nursery for 15 years. She successfully obtained board approval and funding for a maternity hospital in Jersey City at County expense, a special project of "Boss" Hague. For a quarter century in the House, colleagues knew Mary T. Norton as "Battling Mary," a reformer who fought for labor and the working-class interests of her urban New Jersey district. Norton emerged from Jersey City as the first woman to represent an eastern state and eventually chaired four House committees.
(source: http://www.njcu.edu/programs/jchistory/
Pages/ N_Pages/Norton_Mary.htm and http://womenincongress.house.gov/member-profiles/profile.html?intID=187)

"Before becoming a politician, she went to Hague for funding, which really impressed him. It was remarkable how Mary used her political career for the good of the people. Her ability to work politics made the so-called Hague machine look really good. She was a true champion of the working class."

Monsignor William J. Linder


Jane Kenny, Former NJ Commissioner of Community Affairs

Jane Kenny's work to overhaul New Jersey's building codes in cities made a huge impact on the renewal efforts of many urban communities. The problem with the code was that it was written primarily for new construction, which can be easily designed to meet modern standards. Bringing old buildings up to those strict standards was too costly for many developers, including New Community. Kenny was innovative and put builders together with health and fire officials to hammer out a more sensible rehab code. The goal was to have standards that would make renovating old buildings economically feasible without compromising safety. The new code, which took effect in 1998, had an immediate impact. The state of Maryland and the city of Wilmington, Delaware, have already copied New Jersey's idea, and several more were considering it. Kenny also started the "urban coordinating council," which brings together officials from nearly all state agencies. The council is built on Kenny's conviction that urban problems are complex and cut across the jurisdiction of many agencies in government. Its activities focus on neighborhood-based strategies developed by community leaders. (source: http://www.governing.com/poy/Jane-Kenny.html)

"Jane was an outstanding example of how to be a public servant. She always approached her job as commissioner with just the right balance and it seemed like she really thought about what was the right thing to do and what were the best ways to solve issues."

Monsignor William J. Linder

 

Mother Teresa

At the age of twelve, she felt strongly the call of God and she knew she had to be a missionary to spread the love of Christ. She founded the Society of Missionaries which has spread all over the world, including the former Soviet Union and Eastern European countries. The Society provides effective help to the poorest of the poor in a number of countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, and it undertakes relief work in the wake of natural catastrophes such as floods, epidemics, famine, and for refugees. Mother Teresa died on September 5, 1997.

"The greatest thing about Mother Teresa was how she served the poorest of the poor as they lay dying in the streets of Calcutta. She would take them and hold them and let them know that someone loved them before they passed. To offer them comfort before they died was truly a gift and quite remarkable for those people in need."

Monsignor William J. Linder


William Strickland, CEO, Manchester Bidwell Corporation

As president-CEO of Manchester Bidwell Corporation and its subsidiaries, Bill Strickland builds partnerships to help the disadvantaged build a better future. The MacArthur Fellowship "genius" award winner is also founder of the Grammy-winning MCG Jazz, the most successful jazz subscription series in America. The decline of the steel industry created widespread unemployment and Bidwell Training Center addressed the problem by offering vocational training to displaced and underemployed workers. Due to Strickland's successful track record with MCG, he was asked in 1971 to assume leadership of BTC and guide its transition to providing skills relevant to Pittsburgh's emerging market economy. Strickland's involvement in both MCG and BTC doubled the strength of Manchester Bidwell Corporation's ability to help the community (source: http://bill-strickland.org)

"Bill is truly a master at creating market-driven training programs for people who only want the opportunity to change their lives. Bill's programs in workforce development are that opportunity. Like me, he loves jazz and what I find inspiring is his commitment to encouraging jazz artists and their emerging works."

Monsignor William J. Linder


John J. Heldrich, Chairperson, Heldrich Center's National Advisory Board

John J. Heldrich is one of NJ's most remarkable business and civic leaders who combined his career as a top executive at Johnson & Johnson with a record of leadership and commitment to public, community, and civic service. He was the driving force behind the successful redevelopment of New Brunswick, and chaired and founded New Brunswick Tomorrow, the nonprofit organization that has spearheaded the city's renewal. Heldrich is the founding chair of the New Jersey State Employment and Training Commission, the state agency responsible for preparing the state's workforce to meet the demands of employers and the economy.
(source: http://www.heldrich.rutgers.edu/about-center/staff/john-j-heldrich)

"John is a great example of what corporate management can do to create a better society. He really wanted J&J to stay in New Brunswick at a time when the company considered moving. What I also found amazing was his devotion to his family. Unfortunately, his son died very young and he made it a point to help his daughter-in-law raise his grandchildren by being very involved in their lives and serving as the 'father figure' so to speak."

Monsignor William J. Linder


(Series to be continued in January)

 

© New Community Corporation, 2008
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