New Omega Psi Phi Vanity License Plate Strikes Councilman’s Fancy


Township Councilman Carl R.A. Wright, standing, second from left, sports his Omega Psi Phi tie at the Jan. 1, 2014 council reorganization.

The state Assembly on Jan. 13 gave final approval for a new vanity license plate for the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, which suits Township Councilman Carl R.A. Wright (D-Ward 4) just fine.

“I love the idea,” Wright said.

Wright makes no secret of his affection for his college fraternal organization. At the Jan. 1, 2014 council reorganization, Wright sported a tie in the organization’s colors.

“It is an honor to be a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity,” he said in an email.

Omega Psi Phi was founded in 1911 at Howard University, Washington, D.C. by three undergraduates and their faculty adviser. The group derived its name from the initials of the Greek phrase, “Friendship is essential to the soul,” according to the organization’s Web site.

There are now more than 700 chapters throughout the United States, Bermuda, Bahamas, Virgin Islands, Korea, Japan, Liberia, Germany, and Kuwait, according to the Web site.

The bill was sponsored by state Assemblymen Benjie Wimberly (D-35) and Charles Mainor (D-31). The design of the license plate would be chosen by the chief administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission in consultation with the national president of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, according to a release about the bill.

“A customized license plate would grant hundreds of members of Omega Psi Phi an opportunity to honor an organization with a rich history of service and leadership,” Mainor said in the release about the bill. “A specialty license plate can represent an individual’s pride in cultural and political views. It is fitting for an organization that has contributed to the success of many in New Jersey be allowed to exhibit their pride in this way.”

In an email, Wright said the organization provides a number of services and programs.

“Just as in any organization, (fraternity, Masons, Elks, bird watching group, etc.) like members will aid, promote and help in any way that they can a fellow member. (college study groups, mentors, etc),” he wrote. “All organizations raise funds for college-bound students, help the homeless, provide assistance for food banks, promote teens’ success and mentor them in life and school, more importantly helping those who fall for whatever reason in life.”

The bill becomes effective when the organization pays all required fees, according to the release. The fees include up to $25,000 to offset the costs incurred by the MVC in producing, issuing and publicizing the plates.

The plates will cost members $50 initially, with a $10 renewal fee.


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