A son of Plainfield, Richard Wyatt Jr was born and raised right here in the Queen City of Plainfield, New Jersey. His father, Richard “Riddy” Wyatt, Sr., and his seven siblings were all born and raised in Plainfield. They grew up in Joanne Hollis Gardens (formerly West End Gardens). His mother, Cynthia Staton and family moved from Baltimore, MD and relocated to Plainfield, they too lived in Joanne Hollis Gardens. Plainfield’s values helped form Richard, much of his extended family, and so many of his friends – all of whom are proud to call Plainfield home.
Richard Wyatt became a fourth generation Plainfield High School graduate in 2004. After graduation, he attended Morgan State University before graduating from Delaware State University with a degree in Business Administration and Management. He graduated with honors and was inducted into the National Honor Society of Beta Gamma Sigma. Richard then returned home to make a difference in his community, as a leader and advocate for the youth. He is motivated by the elders and community stakeholders that invested in him during his formative years.
Richard Wyatt felt, during his college years, that those strong community values that formed him started to erode and that it would take total community involvement to regain Plainfield’s prominence. He co-founded Gentlemen Making Changes (GMC), a charitable, non-profit organization that serves the youth and the community. GMC has successfully carried out programs and events like Calling 100 Men, Return of the Gentlemen, Youth Octoberfest, and partnerships with community organizations who aid those in need. Since 2016, GMC has hosted an annual Diabetes Awareness Fundraising event each November. Richard also launched Scholars with a Goal (S.W.A.G.) Academy, a rapidly-growing mentorship group that meets bi-weekly and exposes young scholars to a host of life skills and practical exposures that encourage a broader view of career opportunities. He has served as the Social Action Chairman of the Omicron Chi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, of which he is an active member. Under his leadership, the chapter developed new programs and elevated existing ones. Due to these efforts, they were awarded the 2015 President Barack Obama Service Award.
Mr. Wyatt successfully ran and was elected to the Plainfield Board of Education in 2015, where he is serving his second term. During his tenure he has served two years as the Board’s president. As a Board member, he’s been a tireless advocate for the 9,000 children in the district. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Plainfield Salvation Army and as Vice President of the Frontier International Plainfield Area Club. Richard is also an active member of Prince Hall Mason Stone Square Lodge #38. Through all of this involvement, Richard Wyatt has spent countless hours volunteering and working to make a difference within his city, and has been recognized with many awards from community based organizations.
Most importantly, Richard is a family man. He is a devoted husband to Hanae Wyatt, whom he met in Plainfield. Richard believes being an active parent to his sons Richard III, Ryan and his daughter Rayna bring him his greatest joy. He is proud to raise his children in this community and works to instill civic pride and values that reinforce social responsibility. Through all of his involvement, including his job as Assistant Tax Assessor for the City of Plainfield, he is face-to-face with residents on a daily basis, and understands the issues facing our city and the people who live here.
Richard Wyatt believes the people in Plainfield deserve better from their leadership, who seem more concerned with maintaining power than actually serving the 50,000 residents who call Plainfield home. Transformational change is needed in Plainfield. A united government that works along with its residents provide a framework for success. Plainfield needs to bridge generational gaps, and create the village that we can all be proud of. A community center for the youth is necessary. Housing development that benefits current residents is possible. We can effectively tackle violence in our community and improve city services. We can have a City Hall that governs with fairness and inclusion. With the political will to get it done, we can do great things in our city. The time is now!
Richard A. Wyatt Jr. is running for Mayor of Plainfield in the June 8, Democratic primary to bring forward thinking and transformative change to City Hall, and he asks for your support. The road between now and June is a long one, and this campaign needs the resources to get the message to as many people as possible. Please consider donating to our efforts using the DONATE button on the home page.