CWA Local 1081
60 Park Place, Suite 501
Newark, NJ, 07102
Office (973) 623-1081
Fax: (732) 988-1081

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Newark Teachers Union

New Jersey Citizen Action Oil Group

February 27, 2012


Hon. Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr.

Essex County Executive

Hall of Records, Room 405

465 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.

Newark, NJ, 07102


Re: OPRA Request

       Richard E. Constable, III


Dear Mr. DiVincenzo:


CWA Local 1081 respectfully submits this Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request our Union be provided all recordings, video and/or audio, of the Ninth Annual Essex County African American History Month Celebration held on Wednesday, February 22, 2012 at the Hall of Records.


Of particular interest to CWA Local 1081 is the County of Essex providing our Union the full recounting of the remarks made by Richard E. Constable, III, Acting Commissioner of the NJ Department of Community Affairs, as he received from you the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Award.


According to the press release section of the web site of the County of Essex, Mr. Constable addressed those gathered for the celebration by stating, "I thank the County Executive for this award. It is truly an honor to be the recipient of an award named after a personal hero of mine, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. There is a difference between a civil servant and a public servant. A public servant recognizes they are there to work and help their neighbors (underline added) and during this month I am mindful that I stand on the shoulders of those who have come before me and it is my hope to follow in their footsteps and give back. The legacy I hope to uphold is to continue to help and give back to children in inner cities so that their futures can be as bright as mine has been." (



  1. Contrary to Mr. Constable's acerbic assertion, our Union notes that the true difference between a civil servant and a public servant is that the former obtains their job through a competitive examination and the latter through a political appointment. In fact, based upon his provided biography, the bad-mannered barrister has not held a non-politically appointed job since 2002.
  2. CWA Local 1081 takes extreme umbrage with Mr. Constable's implying that all civil servants are not "there to work and help their neighbors". Our Union invites him to take a tour of the offices of the Essex County Division of Welfare and observe what real work is as our members strive, under the most trying of circumstances of understaffing and a decidedly dearth of resources, to "help their neighbors" who are the neediest of the County's residents of whom the majority are "children in inner cities".

3.      The night before his assassination in April 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King told a group of striking sanitation workers (AKA, civil servants) in Memphis, Tennessee: “We’ve got to give ourselves to this struggle until the end.  Nothing would be more tragic than to stop at this point in Memphis. We’ve got to see it through” King believed the struggle in Memphis exposed the need for economic equality and social justice that he hoped his Poor People’s Campaign would highlight nationally. For Mr. Constable to have the audacity to accept your Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Award while insulting all civil servants insults the memory of Dr. King as well.

  1. CWA Local 1081 finds it ironic that Mr. Constable graduated from the University of Michigan as a Harry S. Truman Scholar. President Truman's President's Committee on Civil Rights was established by Executive Order 9808, which he issued on December 5, 1946. The committee was instructed to investigate the status of civil rights in the country and propose measures to strengthen and protect them. On July 26, 1948, President Truman advanced the recommendations of the report by signing executive order 9980 which ordered the desegregation of the federal workforce, a workforce consisting primarily of civil servants thanks to the 'Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act (ch. 27, 22 Stat. 403) of the United States. This is a federal law established in 1883 that stipulated that government jobs should be awarded on the basis of merit. The act provided selection of government employees through competitive exams, rather than ties to politicians or political affiliation. It also made it illegal to fire or demote government employees for political reasons. To enforce the merit system and the judicial system, the law also created the United States Civil Service Commission.


CWA Local 1081 thanks you, in advance, for your anticipated expeditious cooperation with this sincere supplication.


Yours truly,



David H. Weiner, President

CWA Local 1081