William J. Pastras
I have lived in Piscataway for the last 12 years. However, I was born in Ridgewood and grew up in Hawthorne, New Jersey. I used to spend weekends in Edison and Piscataway visiting my Aunt back in the 70's and early 80's. After three years in the Navy, where I was in an aviation crew chasing Soviet subs, I attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. I have been married for 20 years to my wife Joanne and have 2 beautiful girls Juliet (13) and Ellie (10). My wife is from England and moved here after working in summer camps and as a nanny. She is now a school teacher in Newark, a job she loves as much today as when she started teaching in Newark 18 years ago.
I have worked in the restaurant business since I was a young boy helping my father in his diner in Paterson, New Jersey. I have worked as both a chef and manager in a number of fine restaurants in both New Jersey and New York. My final restaurant job was managing Periyali, a highly regarded restaurant in the heart of Manhattan.
I have really connected with the Bernie Sanders platform. I have always had very strong opinions when it come to politics. I was appalled at the state our government was in after the past election. Having to share the news with my two beautiful daughters that their president didn’t think they were as important as the men in our society was heartbreaking. My wife and I decided to start taking action, we wanted our girls to know that they had a voice and they could stand up for what they believe in. I am committed to the people of Central Jersey and I will work diligently to fight for sanctuary cities, equal pay, LGTB equality and environmental issues.
Kedra N. Gamble first cast a vote in an election in 1992. Even as a 20-year old college student, she was aware of the social, economic, and ethical implications of exercising her civic duty and, consequently, supported the values of the Democratic party. Dr. Gamble has always been committed to ensuring access to “the American dream” and, therefore entered the world of public education by serving impoverished minority students who are all too often overlooked and disenfranchised by the public education system and other institutions. Equity, access, and excellence in education have guided Kedra’s professional trajectory as a teacher, teacher educator, instructional leader and educational consultant for the past 21 years.
In her private life, Kedra finds pleasure and comfort in singing, gardening, activism, parenting, and advocating for children. Although she was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, as the eldest of five children, Dr. Gamble has made the Garden State her home. She is the wife of a pastor and principal, and the mother of two energetic, compassionate sons.
As a lifelong learner, Kedra has always excelled academically. She graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and English, a Master’s degree in Education, and Ph.D. in Education with a concentration in Learning, Cognition, Instruction and Development. Her educational background more than adequately prepared Dr. Gamble to successfully work as a teacher and administrator in several school districts, including Plainfield, Freehold, Orange and New Brunswick Public Schools, as well as the New Jersey Department of Education. She has provided professional development workshops and seminars for individual schools, school districts, and publishers across the country. Currently, Dr. Gamble serves as an Assistant Professor of Practice at the Rutgers University Graduate School of Education, as part of the Teacher Education faculty in the Social Justice and Urban Education Teacher Preparation program. Dissatisfied with the current and prevalent anti-OTHER sentiment of the current administration, and with the general acceptance of the status quo by some democrats in office, Dr. Gamble decided to do more than “talk about it”. She is determined to “be about it”. For this reason, Kedra N. Gamble is proud to be part of the Central Jersey/Piscataway Progressive Democratic Organization and is running for County Committeewoman.