Honorary Renaming Of Cedar Grove Lane Wins Township Approval, Now On To County

Alex Kharazi, leader of the township Interfaith Coalition, speaks to the Township Council on Dec. 13.

A proposal to honorarily rename Cedar Grove Lane “Interfaith Lane” received the town’s approval, and has an advocate on the county level.

That’s important because any move to place an honorary name on the county owned road would require approval from the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

The Township Council at its Dec. 13 meeting unanimously agreed to ask the county for permission to rename the road, following a request to do so by the head of the township’s Interfaith Coalition, Alex Kharazi.

Freeholder Brian Levine, a former township mayor, said he supported the idea.

“We are an open, multi-cultural town that comes together as one community, but have always embraced our diversity,” he said. “I look forward to the official honorary naming of Interfaith Lane. I am personally very proud of Franklin.”

Kharazi said he developed the idea for the renaming because of the many houses of worship located in the township in general and on Cedar Grove Lane in particular.

“There are so many houses of worship in the township, over 60 of them, and they contribute so much to the well-being of the county and the township, and considering the high concentration of houses of worship along Cedar Grove Lane, we think that will be a great way to recognize their contributions,” he said.

Kharazi said he will follow the resolution to the Freeholders when it appears on their agenda.

Kharazi also asked the council to take the “Stand Up For The Other” pledge, which basically states that a person will not sit idly by when another person is being bullied or harassed.

Mayor Phil Kramer used the pledge in place of the usual invocation at the Dec. 13 meeting. Kramer said he was disturbed by the story of a woman who was pushed down a flight of stairs in a New York City subway station.

“I ended up calling Alex Kharazi and asked what could we do, and he suggested this pledge,” Kramer said.

Kharazi asked that the individual council members also take the pledge. Councilwoman Shanel Robinson (D-At Large) said that she’d have to think about it because, she said, she believed that the pledge’s tenets were included in her oath of office.

This is the pledge:

“While interacting with people of my own faith, or ethnic, or gender community, or with others, if I hear hateful comments from anyone about members of any other community, I pledge to stand up for the other and speak up to challenge bigotry in any form.”


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