Bloomfield Mayor, Councilman Oppose Proposed Chick-fil-A on Garden State Parkway

Bloomfield Mayor and Councilman Rich Rockwell released statements against a proposed Chick-fil-A at the Brookdale South rest stop on Garden State Parkway.

UPDATE: Montclair Councilor at Large Peter Yacobellis joins Bloomfield Mayor and Councilor in opposing a Chick-fil-A at Brookdale South.

“The New Jersey Turnpike Authority should know better than to welcome a company with a 0% score on the Human Rights Campaign’s Corporate Equality Index into our welcoming and inclusive region. This is a really disappointing decision that I hope will get reversed,” said Yacobellis.

BLOOMFIELD, NJ – Following the announcement that the New Jersey Turnpike Authority planned to allow a new Chick-fil-A restaurant to open at Brookdale South on the Garden State Parkway, Bloomfield Mayor Michael Venezia and openly gay Councilman Rich Rockwell have released statements against the proposal:

“This announcement by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority to allow Chick-fil-A to open a restaurant at a Bloomfield rest stop is incredibly disappointing. Bloomfield is a diverse community accepting of all races, religions and sexual orientations, which is the antithesis of what this chain stands for,” said Mayor Michael Venezia. “Chick-fil-A has a long, documented history of opposing same sex marriage and supporting anti-LGBTQ legislators and organizations. I implore the New Jersey Turnpike Authority to reconsider this decision and to instead choose a restaurant that is more in line with our values.”

“Throughout its existence, Chick-fil-A has used its vast financial success to influence and support policies that are discriminatory to the LGBTQ community,” said Councilman Rich Rockwell. “Chick-fil-A imposes its religion on employees, customers and operators and as a publicly funded entity, the New Jersey Turnpike Authority should not allow this type of business on the Parkway. This restaurant chain would be an affront to all of the citizens of Bloomfield that make up the tremendous diversity that makes our town such a great place to live.”

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  1. I, for one, believe the upgrade would be great. The McDonald’s that was there was run down and gave inferior quality goods and service.

    Given the difficulty that companies are having with retaining employees, Chick-fil-A seems to treat their employees well. Here’s a quote from Vox: “What’s interesting about the paradox of Chick-fil-A is that, in many ways, it’s probably one of the most socially advanced companies in terms of treatment of employees and its role in the community,” Ordahl said, “and yet its founder has a position that is quite dissonant with most people in the U.S.”

    As Rachel Sugar previously wrote for The Goods, part of Chick-fil-A’s popularity is due to a pretty simple fact: people eat there because they like the food, even if they don’t like what the Cathys stand for.

    As a Christian African American female I realize that in this USA not everyone is going to openly embrace me or my values, however, I still believe that there is room for differences of opinion and, so long as we are respectful of one another, we can continue work together to improve our society.

    By the way….please stop throwing the Salvation Army under the bus. They are one of the best run charities with a track record that is outstanding. Do your research and read what their statement is regarding their support of those among us who are LBGQT:

  2. “Bloomfield is a diverse community accepting of all races, religions and sexual orientations…” said Mayor Michael Venezia. Interesting language, “accepting of all…” and then setting out to suppress what one is Not accepting of, which is precisely what Dan Cathy, former CEO, of Chick-Fil-A was for ten years angrily accused of doing, and apparently not doing well, considering the inroads gay marriage has made in public acceptance in the last decade. So, yes, by all means, sign those petitions, put up those lawn signs, but above all take the moral high ground and fiercely oppose a fast food chicken joint on a depressing turnpike and proudly let the voters know just where you stand. What’s really at stake, Mayor Venezia? Maybe you should ask yourself, can Chick-Fil-A and Starbucks actually coexist?

  3. Oh and by the way, by any honest measure, Chick-Fil-A does not impose its religion on its employees. It expresses its opinions, obviously. I guess there’s something wrong with that.

  4. Regardless of one’s position on this private, family-owned corporation, the salient consideration is that this is public land. The public realm. This is why people are directing their voices towards government and not to the consumer marketplace. The politicians act as middle persons to facilitate the best outcome for their base while adding to their self-interests.

    The fact that most citizens have an arms-distance, transactional relationship with their government does not mean this is the American standard. I would argue this activism is more right than wrong, civics-wise.

  5. This reminds me of boycotting Sal’s Pizza in “Do the Right Thing.” If you have ever gone to a Chick-fil-A you know that the employees and the clientele are as diverse as it comes. ( I am not a fan of the food so I have only been to a few) All this tripping over yourself to be self-righteous is quite comical. I wish I could be so perfect. Yacobellis is probably an ok guy but didn’t he turn a blind eye to Cuomo’s misogynistic behavior to advance his own agenda??? Chick-fil-A has employed and fed a lot of people. What have the boycotting politicians done lately? Whining and patting yourself on the back doesn’t count.

  6. Not to make too fine a point of language, but Frank, in these comments (above) you appear to have made a point, deliberately, of not using the phrase, “…the politicians act as middlemen…” and instead employed the very unfortunate, “…the politicians act as middle persons….” For such a good and thoughtful writer as yourself, this is unforgivable. Your heart being in the right place is no excuse for chopping up language in deference to some lame new demand to make language inoffensive, rather than honest and expressive. Besides, groveling in front of the pc crowd just makes you seem so middle-brow.

  7. I was also a fan of W Safire’s column, On Language. It was the best part of the NYT.

    It is fair to say I have always been mid-brow, though I admit I went through a long cufflink phase. I figured if you bought into the tie thing to hide the shirt closures, and a proper fitting jacket required an extended cuff, it was just gauche not to wear cufflinks. Unlike tattoos, you can rotate cufflinks to communicate one’s feelings..and make one more unique in a crowd. And piercings focus attention to one’s face, so you can infer why I went with cufflinks.

    You misinterpreted my motivation in using ‘middle person’. While it is a man’s world (which I enjoy), we increasingly are portrayed with negative stereotypes. I am co-opting other’s gender neutral agenda to disassociate negative terms and/or uses that unfairly discriminate towards men.

    The obvious solution is here is to substitute the term ‘broker”. It is actually more expressive of my other point.

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