July 13, 2024
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Englewood’s Lisa Wisotsky Runs for Council

Dr. Lisa Wisotsky is running for Englewood’s Second Ward Council in the upcoming Democratic primary election to be held on June 7. The physician, mother of five and grandmother of two is a Democratic county committee member who is well known for her community activism. Her impressive credentials more than qualify her for the position, but it is perhaps her generosity and undying commitment to the city and its residents that truly make her the ideal candidate.

Wisotsky graduated Yale with a B.S. in biology and continued to Albert Einstein School of Medicine. For over 20 years she worked as a consulting physician for the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Center in Englewood and was on staff at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center (now Englewood Health). In 2004 she returned to school part-time to complete her master’s degree in public health from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Health. She and her husband Burton, a retina specialist, have raised their children in Englewood since settling there in 1995. Their two grandchildren are also being raised in Englewood.

Anyone who knows Wisotsky can attest to the running list of committees and projects she has been involved with. As a past president and member of the Englewood Board of Health for over a decade, she was instrumental in making the city’s parks smoke-free and raising the age of tobacco sales in Englewood to 21, the first municipality in New Jersey to do so.

Wisotsky also played a pivotal role in restoring the Mackay Ice Rink after Hurricane Sandy. She created Friends of the John T. Wright Arena, a nonprofit organization that helped transform the ice rink into a place where the community could come together. Under Wisotsky’s leadership, the organization secured grants that provided Englewood children free after-school ice skating programs.

As a Jewish community leader, Wisotsky was on the frontline in 2017, pushing back when the Mahwah council attempted to ban Orthodox Jews from the township’s public parks. This happened in conjunction with talks to remove the legally erected eruv from public utility poles. Wisotsky, along with other Bergen County community leaders and elected officials, spoke out in support of the Jewish community, condemning antisemitic rhetoric and making it clear that there is no place in Bergen County for hate or bigotry. The New Jersey Attorney General’s office brought a lawsuit against Mahwah, later settling. “The results of the settlement were a major rebuke to the Mahwah council with potential financial penalties, the need for major record keeping and limitations on future actions,” Wisotsky said.

She is especially proud of her contributions to the Rotary Club of Englewood. As the immediate past president, she is well known for her signature project, Englewood’s Teens for Peace Program, which brings together students from all five Englewood public and private middle schools, including The Moriah School, to participate in projects that explore issues of community, diversity, inclusion and equity. Most recently the students took part in cleaning the ambulance for EVAC (Englewood Volunteer Ambulance Corps) and on May 17 dedicated Englewood’s second Peace Pole at the Englewood library; the first was established in June 2021 at Veteran’s Memorial Park.

Giving back to the community is very important to Wisotsky, who currently serves on the Englewood Planning Board. Her core platform focuses on effective government: responsible taxation, accountable city services, expanding recreational opportunities and bringing residents together. If elected, she plans to keep Englewood moving in the right direction by upgrading its infrastructure, improving street and traffic safety and improving parks, playgrounds and stormwater management.

Wisotsky’s accomplishments have been acknowledged with awards and recognitions. She received two New Jersey State Legislature resolutions and was honored by an Englewood City Council resolution. She received a Community Award from the Rotary Club of Englewood and was honored at the 2018 dinner. In 2016 she was honored by the Simon Wiesenthal Center as a Hero for Tolerance, and she was recently awarded the Walter D. Head Fellowship Award for her leadership in 2020-2021 as president of the Rotary Club of Englewood.

Former Second Ward Councilwoman Charlotte Bennett Schoen said Wisotsky is a tremendous asset to the city. “Lisa’s skills have been broadly demonstrated city-wide as we continued to work together on multiple projects. She knows budgets, is excellent on problem solving and is outstanding on program development. Her work ethic is marked with creativity and singular hard work.”

As district chair for Peace in the Rotary, Schoen said she had been advocating for a district-wide project for many years and it was Wisotsky who finally made it happen. “Lisa understood the profound importance of bringing Englewood students together, advancing student peace initiatives and applying the physical representation of this effort with an Englewood Peace Pole.”

Wisotsky doesn’t just talk the talk; she walks the walk. “I don’t just sit around and listen,” she said, and those who work alongside her couldn’t agree more. Her campaign has been endorsed by local dignitaries including Senator Gordon Johnson and Mayor Michael Wildes, who believe she is the right choice for the Second Ward council seat.

“As a former Second Ward councilman and now mayor, I know the hard work that goes into providing the level of service that Englewood residents deserve,” said Wildes. “Lisa Wisotsky is an active and visible presence in so many areas of the Englewood community. When we look at our city’s core concerns such as traffic safety, recreation, social justice and public health, Lisa is already engaged and informed. She has built the relationships and has the experience to step in on day one and be the accessible and effective leader we need for the next generation.”

“All Englewood citizens will benefit from her responsiveness and time management skills,” said Schoen. “She gets the job done and can inclusively develop plans where they are needed.”

“The Council makes decisions that affect all of us,” Wisotsky said and added that every vote matters and has the potential to change the future of the city.

Englewood polls will be open on Tuesday June 7 from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

By Andrea Nissel

 

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