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Posted on: March 28, 2018

2018 Women's History Month

WHEREAS the month of March has been designated as “NATIONAL WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH,” and in recognition of the outstanding achievements and contributions made by many exceptional women over the years, the Board of Chosen Freeholders of the County of Passaic deems it fitting and appropriate, at this time, to honor and recognize Idida Rodriguez; and

WHEREAS Idida Rodriguez was born and raised in Paterson and currently resides in Montclair, she attended Douglass College in New Brunswick and graduated from William Paterson University with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a minor in Business Administration; and

WHEREAS Idida Rodriguez is a founding partner of 1868 Public Affairs, a full service firm of government and public affairs consultancy in Trenton, she is a renowned and respected political strategist and experienced consultant with a concentration in grassroots and grasstops marketing, public relations, government relations and business development; and

WHEREAS Idida Rodriguez played a key role in numerous successful high-profile Democratic campaigns at the federal, state and local levels; and

WHEREAS Idida Rodriguez served as Chief of Staff to Assemblywoman Nellie Pou, Director of Paterson’s School-Based Youth Services, Instructor for the Pre-College Consortium Program at New Jersey Institute of Technology, Community Outreach Organizer for the Puerto Rican Association for Community Organization, and she worked to increase citizen participation in the U.S. Census; and

WHEREAS Idida Rodriguez is a member of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs’ Local Finance Board and the EMERGE NJ Board, President of the PVWC’s Board of Commissioners, Secretary to the Board of the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of NJ and previously served on the boards of LUPE PAC, Paterson Parking Authority, NJ Real Estate Commission, St. Paul’s Community Development Corporation and Paterson Urban Enterprise Zone; and

WHEREAS Idida Rodriguez has been recognized by the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of NJ as Professional Services Businesswoman of the Year, she has been listed on the Power List as one of NJ’s most influential figures in politics for her career as a consummate Activist-Lobbyist and a top Democratic Party’s strategist, she was also named one of the 51 Most Influential Latinos in NJ Politics and one of the 30 Most Influential Women in NJ Politics; and

WHEREAS Idida Rodriguez is an ordained Interfaith Minister, she established the ministry IGNITE! “Catch the Fire” where she provides spiritual counseling and life-enhancing practices, and her belief that education can change the world brought her to support 82 children in the Dominican Republic to access education; and

WHEREAS Idida Rodriguez is a unique and most respected colleague, associate and friend of many persons within the County of Passaic, and she has brought honor and prestige not only to herself but to Passaic County as well, and the Board of Chosen Freeholders of the County of Passaic would like to express its gratitude and appreciation to her;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT PROCLAIMED by the Board of Chosen Freeholders of the County of Passaic that it hereby publicly recognizes and applauds Idida Rodriguez for the significant contributions she has made, and the exemplary service she has unselfishly devoted to the County of Passaic and to the community; and
BE IT FURTHER PROCLAIMED that this Board extends its sincere best wishes to her for continued success in the future.

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WHEREAS the month of March has been designated as “NATIONAL WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH,” and in recognition of the outstanding achievements and contributions made by many exceptional women over the years, the Board of Chosen Freeholders of the County of Passaic deems it fitting and appropriate, at this time, to honor and recognize Corrections Officer Bassima Hajismaiel; and

WHEREAS Officer Bassima Hajismaiel is a proud Lebanese/Circassian Muslim who came to America at the age of 4½, she is the oldest of eight children and she is the proud mother of two sons ages 10 and 21, her oldest son serves in the United States Army; and

WHEREAS Bassima Hajismaiel is in the process of completing her Associates Degree in Criminal Justice from Passaic County Community College; and

WHEREAS Officer Bassima Hajismaiel began her career in 2000 as a Judicial Clerk 3 with the Passaic County Superior Court Law Division but always felt she should do more, and in 2003 she was hired by the Passaic County Sheriff’s Department becoming its first Arab-Muslim female officer; and

WHEREAS Officer Hajismaiel is currently the Program Services Coordinator at the Passaic County Jail and is in charge of their PREP Re-Entry Program, she is is one of the first female officers to be on the Passaic County Jail’s SORT Team (Special Operations Response Team) and she is also currently on the SERT Team (Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team) and is FTO (Field Training Officer) for her department; and

WHEREAS Officer Hajismaiel is the Treasurer of the Corrections Union PBA Local 197 and in 2016 the Local PBA named Officer Hajismaiel “Board Member of the Year” for her outstanding dedication to the job that she loves and the community that she serves; and
WHEREAS Officer Hajismaiel has spearheaded many events to help improve the quality of life in her community including fundraisers, toys for tots, and book bag giveaways; and

WHEREAS Officer Hajismaiel is on the Board for a non-profit organization for fallen officers called BBO (Brothers Before Others) which group assists fellow law enforcement officers and the families of fallen officers from all over the US and other departments outside the US; and

WHEREAS Officer Hajismaiel is a member of the American Jail Association and last year was honored by the NJ County Jail Wardens Association as the recipient of the “Employee of the Year Award” and she was also honored as one of the Passaic County Young Professionals in the Field of Law Enforcement; and

WHEREAS Bassima Hajismaiel is a unique and most respected colleague, associate and friend of many persons within the County of Passaic, and she has brought honor and prestige not only to herself but to Passaic County as well, and the Board of Chosen Freeholders of the County of Passaic would like to express its gratitude and appreciation to her;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT PROCLAIMED by the Board of Chosen Freeholders of the County of Passaic that it hereby publicly recognizes and applauds Bassima Hajismaiel for the significant contributions she has made, and the exemplary service she has unselfishly devoted to the County of Passaic and to the community; and

BE IT FURTHER PROCLAIMED that this Board extends its sincere best wishes to her for continued success in the future.

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WHEREAS the month of March has been designated as “NATIONAL WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH,” and in recognition of the outstanding achievements and contributions made by many exceptional women over the years, the Board of Chosen Freeholders of the County of Passaic deems it fitting and appropriate, at this time, to honor and recognize Secretary of State Tahesha Way; and

WHEREAS Secretary Way cultivated her commitment to public service while earning her undergraduate degree at Brown University where she served as the Vice President of the NAACP, President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, taught religious education, and was a radio announcer for WBRU-FM, and upon graduation she attended the University of Virginia School of Law at Charlottesville where she served as a law clerk for the Virginia Legal Aid Society, the United Steelworkers of America, and Polygram, she also served as the Social Chair for the Black Law Students Association, acted as a Peer Advisor, a Big Sister with Action for Better Living, and also was a member of the Articles Review Board for the Virginia Environmental Law Journal; and

WHEREAS Tahesha Way, Esq. was sworn in as New Jersey’s 34th Secretary of State on February 26, 2018, she previously served as an Administrative Law Judge for the State of New Jersey, was elected to the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders and served as the Freeholder Director, she served as a council member for the New Jersey Highlands Water Protection and Planning Council, she is the former president of the Women Empowered Democratic Organization of Passaic County, she served as a board member for Celebrate New Jersey Now, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Institute for Women’s Policy Research; and

WHEREAS Secretary Way provided legal research, editing segments, and writing scripts and trial stories for the Executive Producer of the “Prime Time Justice Show,” she was an associate at the general practice law firm of Steven A. Varano in Totowa and an Adjunct English Professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University where she taught administrative law and practice and also presented on this topic for the New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education, and she served as Special Counsel for the Passaic County Board of Social Services overseeing all agency litigation; and

WHEREAS Secretary Way has been a member of the New York Football Giants Wives’ Organization, the New Jersey State Bar Association, Garden State Bar Association, National Association of Women Judges, Association of Black Women Lawyers, Passaic County Bar Association, and the New Jersey Women’s Lawyers Association; and

WHEREAS Secretary Way is a mother to four daughters and is married to Charles Way, a former NFL New York Giant who has had a career with the League for over 21 years as a player, and team and league executive, the Way family resides in Wayne and attends the Hawthorne Gospel Church; and

WHEREAS Secretary Tahesha Way is a unique and most respected colleague, associate and friend of many persons within the County of Passaic, and she has brought honor and prestige not only to herself but to Passaic County as well, and the Board of Chosen Freeholders of the County of Passaic would like to express its gratitude and appreciation to her;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT PROCLAIMED by the Board of Chosen Freeholders of the County of Passaic that it hereby publicly recognizes and applauds Secretary of State Tahesha Way for the significant contributions she has made, and the exemplary service she has unselfishly devoted to the County of Passaic and to the community; and

BE IT FURTHER PROCLAIMED that this Board extends its sincere best wishes to her for continued success in the future.

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WHEREAS the month of March has been designated as “NATIONAL WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH,” and in recognition of the outstanding achievements and contributions made by many exceptional women over the years, the Board of Chosen Freeholders of the County of Passaic deems it fitting and appropriate, at this time, to honor and recognize the Greater Wayne Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW); and

WHEREAS the AAUW grew from an initial meeting of 17 women held on November 28, 1881 and was formally organized on January 14, 1882, it is now a nationwide organization based in Washington, DC with local organizations identified as branches, the Greater Wayne Area Branch was founded on May 16, 1968 and is celebrating its 50th Anniversary, the branch is currently headed by its Co-Presidents Lorraine LaShell and Jeanne Michaud; and

WHEREAS AAUW’s mission is to advance equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research, its policy work connects and rallies advocates at the local, state, national, and global levels to empower women and girls, it uses lobbying and grassroots efforts to push forward policies that break through educational and economic barriers for women; and

WHEREAS since 1971 the GWA has awarded annual scholarships to women who are 26 or older and returning to college to complete an initial associate or bachelor degree, the scholarships are intended to help ease the burden of college expenses and to date, the GWA Branch has awarded 66 scholarships to deserving women attending local colleges and universities; and

WHEREAS the GWA also focuses on pay equity for women and has made materials about the gender pay gap available at Branch meetings and events and have introduced its salary negotiation program, Start Smart, at WPU, which program introduces college juniors and seniors to the facts about the gender pay gap and teaches them how to prepare to negotiate their first salary, and the branch has also considered offering the Work Smart training program to women who are already working to negotiate a salary reflecting their worth; and

WHEREAS the GWA is involved with AAUW’s Tech Trek one-week summer STEM camp for 60 girls who will enter the eighth grade in the fall and each middle school in the state is offered the opportunity to nominate one girl to attend the STEM camp; and

WHEREAS the GWA originated and developed a program called The Girls Hall of Fame which identifies girls from middle and high school who have initiated and led community service projects while demonstrating their leadership skills; and

WHEREAS the members of the Greater Wayne Branch of the American Association of University Women have brought honor and prestige not only to themselves but to Passaic County as well, and the Board of Chosen Freeholders of the County of Passaic would like to express its gratitude and appreciation to this fine organization;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT PROCLAIMED by the Board of Chosen Freeholders of the County of Passaic that it hereby publicly recognizes and applauds the Greater Wayne Branch of the American Association of University Women and its members for the significant contributions they have made, and the exemplary service they have unselfishly devoted to the County of Passaic and to the community; and

BE IT FURTHER PROCLAIMED that this Board extends its sincere best wishes to the Greater Wayne Branch of the American Association of University Women and its members for continued success in the future.

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