National Night Out Against Crime 2014 in Union City: A Tradition


Sgt. A. Cuellar, Edison School Principal Eliseo Alemán, UCPD Chief Richard Molinari, Captain Nichelle Luster who made history being the first woman who is a Captain of the UCPD in Union City, PO Lugo and Lt. Walter Laurencio at Union City’s 2014 Night Out Against Crime when thousands of Union City residents come out in appreciation and support of our police department and the great job they do keeping Union City residents safe, considering that our small city is the most densely populated in the United States with 70,000 residents in 1.2 square miles. These are the public servants who hardly get positive press in spite of the fact that every day they get out there 24/7 to deal with all sorts of problematic people, putting their lives on the line to protect our families. They do not seek publicity and to take their picture is a privilege because posing for a camera is not their favorite activity. They simply do their job out of commitment and integrity. May God Bless and protect them.


Union City Mayor, Brian P. Stack, the best mayor Union City ever had. An honest man, a populist who has changed this city forever. Always cordial, a true civil servant, an exceptional political mind, a dedicated public official who could also be a fierce political rival. A true democrat. I’ll always be very proud of serving as one go his first Co-campaign managers in 1998, when even Cuban-Americans turned against us to favor the old political machine. Brian lost that election for 427 votes (?). He would come back to become the most powerful politician in Hudson County. He never forgets his friends. He never forgets those who fought the political battles with him from the beginning. He is gifted with a rare quality in politics: loyalty. He never turns anyone away without an effort, a word of hope, and most of the time a positive result. Here he poses with the first woman Superintendent of Schools in the history of Union City, Mrs. Silvia Abbato, a proud Cuban-American whose achievements in her outstanding career of more than thirty years as a teacher and administrator in Union City is now rewarded and recognized by her peers, the community, and elected officials as the educational leader of Union City. Her hard work and commitment to the students of Union City is an testament to excellence in education. Mrs. Abbato’s husband, Chris Abbato is a lead teacher in UCHS as well as 2012 Union City Teacher of The Year. I wrote years ago that you couldn’t meet better people. I was right, as it is right to celebrate the dedication of these educators and their careers, thousands of students and parents they reached and helped through their lifetime in the Union City public schools. And they go on, as education is their calling; an unbreakable compromise. Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Abatto! In the photo Edison School Principal, Eliseo Alemán, another successful and hard working Cuban-American who I am proud to be considered his friend and who is doing an excellent job in Edison School. You couldn’t find a harder worker and a better man to lead your school. I know, I worked six years with this outstanding administrator. Union City Commissioner Celin Valdivia, another great Cuban-American who is the most recent addition to Brian Stack’s administration. He has been a loyal political ally and friend of Brian since 1997. His aunt is Julia Valdivia, an exemplary Cuban-American who, along with her husband, helped thousands of Union City residents in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. The Cuban community has much to thank her for. She is very proud of Celin as she should be. I had the opportunity to serve in the Planning Commission with him, and I can attest for his honesty, his integrity, and his loyalty to Brian Stack’s mission in Union City. Next to Commissioner Valdivia Union City resident and Harvard and Fordham Law graduate Frances Martel, who is now a writer and editor for Breitbart News Network, Glenn Davis, writer for USA Today, and next to Glenn a good friend, Khaledmukhtar M. Najjar, who does a great job at UCHS and is also a driver for mayor Stack.

Residents enjoying the night of August 5, 2014 in Union City’s Night Out. It is now a tradition that kids enjoy most with hot dogs, refreshments, exotic animals, games, live music, and many more amenities to make this a special night for our residents.

Superintendent of Schools Silvia Abbato and UCPO Lugo: great people. I have the privilege to work with PO Lugo and PO Mendez at Union City High School. I can attest for their total commitment and their effectiveness to deal with and help our students, the young people of Union City.

Glenn Davis and Frances Martel with Papo Ortega, the leader of Cubanoson, which performed live at the Night Out in Union City. Ortega is a former UCPD detective himself. A great musician and a very affable man who’s loved and highly respected by our community. Frances Martel is long time fan of Cubanoson’s music. A proud Cuban-American, Papo is another success story of our exile community.



~ by Rafael Martel on August 6, 2014.

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