I was deeply disappointed to read that Jerramiah Healy launched his campaign for a third full term by seeking to divide the city. He implied that newcomers do not care about the city. He implied they are interlopers. He implied that other residents should fear them. What a strange thing to say about a city of immigrants so close to Ellis Island.
I've been here ten years and intend to stay. I am not less entitled to a voice in civic affairs than someone who has been here longer. Painting those of us who have chosen to move to Jersey City as lesser citizens who are somehow at odds with other residents reminds me of Sarah Palin’s refrain that “real Americans need to take back the country.” The neighborhoods are not rivals fighting for scarce resources. We are parts of a diverse, but unified city.
Steve Fulop has demonstrated to his supporters, old and new, that our city’s success will be measured by a better life for all its residents from Greenville to the Heights and from Downtown to the Hackensack. He has offered detailed programs to improve the lives of us all, from those newly released from prison to our youngest children.
Many formerly industrial cities in the country are economic wastelands that would be thrilled to have an influx of new residents, new ideas, new energy and new capital. They would welcome the expanded tax base and the resurgence of abandoned areas. Jersey City is one of the very few that can attract this investment. Why does Mayor Healy resent and fear change? Could it be that new residents are a threat to old crony-style of government? The mayor of a dynamic city should not advocate fear of change. An incumbent mayor should be able to run for reelection on the basis of his accomplishments. When instead he seeks to divide his city and stoke tensions between neighborhoods in order to eek out a third term, it is clearly time for him to go.