Tom Zuppa | Jersey City | Ward C
A New Day for Ward C
Platform & issues
Quality of Life & Accountability
Ward C is being left behind on issues of quality of life, including street cleanliness and garbage pick-up; a lack of green and open space for recreation; public amenities; street safety for pedestrians; public transit infrastructure; snow removal of public streets, crosswalks, and intersections during the Winter. I call it getting back to the basics.
I will fight to ensure Ward C gets these basic services and to be held accountable to you by holding Ward and neighborhood meetings regularly. I will bring city department officials to our Ward to show them first-hand issues that need to be addressed. We will no longer be ignored.
I will also hold the out-of-town landlords and developers who are not living up to their end of the deal accountable too. The City has to find new ways of punishing and fining property owners who let their empty lots become filled with garbage and weeds, negatively affecting the quality of life of their neighbors.
Putting Ward C’s Residents First
Ward C is NOT Downtown, and we should not be left behind because of it. The Downtown Pedestrian Plaza is slated to undergo a nearly $7 Million overhaul, marking the third time since 2015 that taxpayer dollars and City resources will go to that single stretch of property Downtown.
I support projects that will benefit other parts of our City. But I will be a Councilperson who will fight for Ward C’s residents and businesses. Ward C is a community full of destination spots from Pershing Field, the Reservoir, Journal Square, Bergen Square, India Square, and McGinley Square. We need to support our businesses, promote walkability, and focus on repairing and maintaining our green space.
Among COVID’s lessons, we know that Ward C’s residents need immediate access to quality medical and emergency care, and we should not have to travel Downtown to get it. Christ Hospital must remain open following its sale to a new medical provider and not fall victim to a backroom deal to turn it into condos.
Public Transportation & Infrastructure
Traffic is already a nightmare and parking is even worse. Now, billions of dollars are being spent and thousands of residential units are planned for JSQ. As Councilperson, I will be at the forefront and work with officials from NJ Transit and PATH to plan now for the anticipated strains on our public transit system, build infrastructure, and discuss expanding PATH platforms, and opening a PATH stop for our Marion section residents.
We need to push forward with a comprehensive transportation and infrastructure plan that doesn’t leave Ward C behind. That includes protected bike lanes, more options for public transportation, and investments in infrastructure here.
Transformation & Development of JSQ
Journal Square is the heart of Jersey City. We need a vision for its future and returning it as the soul of the City’s arts, culture, and business communities.
The restoration of Loew’s Theatre is a great start and we should promote community events to highlight JSQ’s diversity and unite our Ward. But JSQ’s revival has been delayed for too long and left behind by empty promises. In 2018, we were promised a new museum and community space at the Pathside Building on Sip Avenue. That project has stalled with our leaders silent. I will prioritize all projects that will revitalize JSQ and advocate for the Pathside Building to open as a world-class market, museum, and public space for our community’s artists and musicians.
My grandmother lived on the same street in the Greenville section for 96 years. I would have never stood for her being pushed out of her home because she could not afford to live there, and you can expect me to give the same fight to keep you in your home. We need to look out for our seniors year-round and not just during election time by making sure they can afford to stay in their homes.
In 2019, I helped defeat AirBnB’s lobbying machine by going door-to-door to make sure our residents knew that without reasonable regulation, our housing stock would be bought up and rental prices would skyrocket.
Ward C is a tremendous community and people who want to live here – whether as renters or homeowners – deserve to have the ability to afford to do so.
Ending Chronic Homelessness
We have left our neighbors who are without homes in JSQ and throughout Ward C out in the cold for too far too long. Until we make it a priority as a City and County to devote resources to ending chronic homeless, we will just see more of the same.
I am committed to working with community and non-profit organizations to identify individuals who are ready for services, and to help find them housing. Moving forward, we need to keep our neighborhood affordable so that all who choose to live here, can do so with a roof over their heads.
Having served our community as a Hudson County Assistant Prosecutor, I prosecuted violent crimes, narcotics and weapons distribution, and public corruption, and saw first-hand the impact of homicides and gun violence on our City’s families. We need to work together to end the socio-economic disparities, create opportunities for all, and end gun violence.
We also need transparency in our policing and robust community policing with officers reflecting the communities that they serve. The time for reform with community leaders and police officials working together is now. We need to rethink the types of service calls that police officers are sent to, and focus on budgetary decisions that refund the public by improving City services, increasing recreation opportunities, and making our public schools world-class.
Educating our children is one of the most basic and important functions of government. We need to invest in Jersey City’s children and fund our public schools. Jersey City’s children should have world-class education, resources, and facilities. Too often, our children’s education becomes mired in politics. I will be open and transparent with the Board of Education and our residents, and partner with them to ensure that our students have the funding they need. I support funds guaranteed to our public schools, such as from PILOTs and the City’s payroll tax, going directly to our schools.
Public Recreation & Parks
We need to focus on building and maintaining public green space in Ward C. Pershing Field is one of Jersey City’s classic parks and we need to focus on upgrading and maintaining its facilities. Ward C’s residents should not be forced to travel to other parts of our City to find public recreation and family activities.
We must have an open and transparent public input process on the proposed courthouse park at the site of the County Administration Building located at 595 Newark Avenue, so that all residents of Ward C have a voice in the type of park and amenities that will be a major resource for our community.
Supporting Local Businesses
Ward C is home to several commercial business districts that need our support. We know all too well that when a business closes in our neighborhood, we are left with an empty storefront for years. Again, city investment is going to other places and leaving our Ward C businesses behind. I will work with our local business owners and the City to find a long-term economic plan that ensures we getting what is due and helps our businesses come out of COVID-19 stronger and better than ever.
Our business owners should not see an increase in taxes if a new development across the street is applying for and being granted tax abatements or incentives.
Jobs Program & Training
College and higher education is not for everyone. The City should work with business leaders and our high schools to support a jobs program and training school centered in Ward C. This investment in our ward and the resources it will bring is important to push us forward after years of being left behind.
We also need to make sure our residents have employment opportunities. I will work with the City to ensure Ward C residents who need the work are hired as seasonal workers to help keep our streets clean, and to clear public intersections, sidewalks, and delinquent properties after snow storms.
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