The Maywood Democratic Club (MDC) unites progressive neighbors dedicated to improving and maintaining the quality of life and strong sense of community in our town through public service and political action. The MDC is a voice for integrity, fiscal responsibility, transparent communications, and community responsiveness in our local government. The MDC develops and supports qualified local candidates for public office who share the core values of the MDC and the Democratic Party.
The first recorded minutes of the Maywood Democratic Club are dated January 1953. That meeting was called to order by President Lester O'Neil, there were seventeen founding members present. From that foundation the Club would become a force for the future of our town.
In the mid sixties Maywood enjoyed its first Democratic majority. The main platform of that Democratic Council was to build the Maywood Library; a feat which they accomplished. With men like Hal Bloom, who went on to become the High School Principal, a legacy of planning for the future of Maywood was forged.
The first woman elected to the Maywood Council was Mary O'Brian Dutkus in 1972. She and men like Dick Mannion, Tom Richards, Mike Harrison and Richard Lieberman fought for the rights of Maywood apartment tenants. They introduced and passed ordinances that established tenant protection such as a rent monitoring board and a maintenance code that to this day still is in effect. For the landlords, vacancy decontrol was established so rents could be adjusted to market.
In 1984 Jim Panos was Maywood's the first elected Democratic Mayor. During his term, thorium was discovered on several properties in town and Councilwoman Karen Mitchell led the charge to rid the town of this contaminant. Superfund dollars which were extremely hard to ascertain were secured for a clean up that has lasted almost 30 years and is due to reach completion by 2016. It should be noted that in many towns, they encapsulate the contaminants and never remove them but not in Maywood with the hard work of club members like Ms. Mitchell.
Under the leadership of Mayor Thomas Murphy in the nineties, Maywood started the march towards redevelopment. At the south end of Maywood Avenue under his leadership we saw Duane Reade and Federal Express move into town with new modern buildings. He also led the charge for upgrading Maywood's recreation facilities. The Maywood Senior Center was Mayor Murphy's brain child.
As we moved into the Twenty First Century the club maintained the sprit of the past but had the fire in their bellies for the future. Under the leadership of Mayors Richards, LaPietra (now Lapin and Maywood's first female Mayor), Dr. Eustace, Councilpersons Savage, Jengo, Fleischmann, Bresko, McVey and Rupp, Maywood has never experienced such progress. A program was developed to rebuild our streets (nearly half of them), a new ball field - Coaches Park, three new mini parks, the first dog run, new DPW equipment, solar power for Borough Hall, a new and improved West Pleasant Avenue (the Streetscapes project which used no borough funds), upgraded lighting and heating units for all Borough buildings (saving ten of thousands of dollars) and the list goes on and on. Most important of all is the redevelopment started in the nineties and accelerated under the Democratic Councils in the past decade. Millions of dollars in new commercial development at the Bergen Town Center occurred under a Democratic Mayor and Council.
Progress and the Future have always been the watchwords for the Maywood Democratic Club.