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Governor to meet with Camden residents

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Clergy and religious leaders from the city of Camden will meet with New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine next week at St. Joseph’s Pro-Cathedral Church.

Msgr. Robert McDermott, pastor of St. Joseph’s Pro-Cathedral and Co-Chair of Camden Churches Organized for People (CCOP); Rev. Willie Anderson, pastor of Sword of the Spirit Church, CCOP co-chair and residents will meet with the governor seven years since the state takeover of the city, and amid a time just after the resignations of C.O.O. Judge Theodore Z. Davis, and Police Director Louis Vega, and the reappointment of public officials.

Camden residents will give personal testimonies on their struggle to improve the city during the 7 p.m. meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 15.

Resident Rosa Ramirez will speak about her experience as an Economic Recovery Board member, participant in the C.O.O. selection in 2006, and her years of work to improve Camden.

Shelly McCargo will speak of her struggles living next to an abandoned house, and her constant attempts to stabilize the property due to its many safety, health, and structural hazards.

In 2000, 1,200 people from CCOP and the Concerned Black Clergy met at St. Joseph’s to present a “Vision of Camden’s Recovery,” which included every child receiving a well-rounded education, having access to positive alternatives to gangs and drugs, living in a neighborhood free of abandoned buildings and trash, feeling safe in their homes and on the neighborhood streets, growing up and having the opportunity to compete for a good job or career, and being proud to call Camden home.