HomeMoorestown NewsCouncil declares January Muslim Heritage Month

Council declares January Muslim Heritage Month

Meeting agenda includes a report on cannabis operations

Special to The Sun
Moorestown resident Saima Bhutta (right) receives the proclamation regarding Muslim Heritage Month from Mayor Nicole Gillespie.

Moorestown council proclaimed January Muslim Heritage Month at its Jan. 22 meeting.

“We celebrate the great diversity of all our citizens and extend the promise of our country to all,” said Mayor Nicole Gillespie, reading from the proclamation.

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Resident Saima Bhutta received the proclamation and addressed the community, explaining that she lobbied for the idea of January as Muslim Heritage Month nearly two years ago.

According to the state legislature website, a joint resolution designates the month of January of each year as Muslim Heritage Month in New Jersey. The designation allows the state and its residents to respectfully acknowledge and promote awareness and appreciation of Muslim Americans and their contributions. The bill unanimously passed last year.

“This was a historic event, and I was honored to witness the historic signing among a room filled with some very happy people,” Bhutta recalled. “ … Muslim Heritage Month not only recognizes the rich culture and contributions of Muslims, but it also is an opportunity to promote the rich diversity of New Jersey while encouraging a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment for all.

“The designation will allow the state and its residents to respectfully acknowledge and promote awareness while appreciating and recognizing the many contributions of the state’s Muslim community,” Bhutta added. “For someone like myself, who’s (been) working for 27 years on fostering interfaith conversations and building bridges of understanding between interfaith communities, this recognition is huge for me.”

Next up at the meeting were items for discussion, including amending the township code to facilitate lead-based paint inspections in residential rental dwellings and a report from the Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC) regarding cannabis operations in Moorestown.

Later in the meeting, an affordable-housing resolution was approved that will authorize the expenditure of funds from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund for services received in connection with the development and implementation of a housing plan for the township. Council then closed the session with comments.

“ … I would like to just take a second to thank everyone who’s reached out with supportive messages ever since my appointment,” noted Councilman Christopher Keating. “I just want to reiterate that I am here if anyone wants to reach out or discuss any issues that are important to you or important to me and the council. So please do.”

“ … I’d like to thank EDAC on the record for all the work that they did in making those cannabis recommendations,” said Deputy Mayor Quinton Law. “I know this is an incredibly tough issue and it requires a lot of research and we’re trying to do this the right way, so I appreciate them taking the time to provide those recommendations.”

For more information on EDAC’s report or the meeting, visit www.moorestown.nj.us and click on the live meetings tab.


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