DUMONT, N.J. — Dumont's newest councilman has more on his mind than cleaning out his car and catching up on an overdue haircut.
“A lot of people understand where I’m coming from," said 23-year-old Louis DiPaolo. "I really felt the need to bring some energy and tenacity to the council.”
DiPaolo, who played recreational hockey, soccer and baseball in the borough, was graduated from its public schools and went on to study political science at Ramapo College.
He was in the pre-law club, where he learned about criminal justice reform.
He and other students formed the first campus chapter of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. He became its president as a sophomore.
“That opened my eyes to a life of activism and engagement and helped me hone my leadership skills," DiPaolo said. "We were held to a higher standard because of the nature of our group."
DiPaolo said he won't hesitate to seek the advice of mentors about Dumont's pressing issues -- including better communication with residents and with the mayor and council, no matter the political affiliation.
“There’s no Democratic or Republican way to have garbage picked up and pave roads," he said. "I want to make sure we address the big issues that are on the horizon."
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