As May 14th approaches, the election that can potentially transform our city, I’m taking this opportunity to urge my fellow Jersey City residents in Ward E to consider Daniel Levin as their Councilman. Although I no longer reside downtown, I still am well-rooted personally through close friends, and as a concerned downtown property owner.
I met Dan through various community-based volunteer activities after moving back to Jersey City in the late 1990’s. Through the years, I’ve gotten to know him quite well and been often astounded by his unwavering commitment and dedication to this city.
Dan is a devoted family man and those who know him recognize that his concern for his family’s well-being transcends the confines of their home, into the social and urban fabric to which they contribute. His children attend their district public school, PS33/Cordero, transferring some years back out of a successful charter school that relocated farther away in a different ward.
He is a persevering voice in making his neighborhood better. We were neighbors downtown and I witnessed Dan’s decision-making as former board members of the Harsimus Cove Association for which he served multiple terms. We did not (and still do not) always agree on everything but his judgment has always been grounded, thoughtful and perceptive. True to form, his commitment isn’t constrained by his immediate neighborhood’s boundaries. He spends countless hours actively supporting many community-based groups throughout the city – he realizes that grassroots causes enrich our city for everyone’s benefit. It should be noted that he played a key role in establishing various non-profit advocacy organizations such as Civic JC, Bike JC as well as the JC Landmarks Conservancy on whose board I currently serve.
Dan’s activist experience has made him quite familiar with the city council as a governing mechanism. He is the ‘go-to’ activist regarding local issues for many of us too bogged down by everyday life. He has been vocal through the years but remains respectful of our city’s legislative body. He was instrumental and shares credit for solid reform measures, specifically the Pay-to-Play reform championed by Ward E Councilman Steve Fulop with whom he closely worked to get the legislation passed.
I sincerely believe that having Dan serve in an official capacity on the council is a move in the right direction for Jersey City. He knows his ward intimately, understands the issues well and is more than capable of championing its residents. Equally important, however, is his vision and experience dealing with issues benefitting the city as a whole. This balance is absolutely necessary because at the day’s end, we are all a part of the city that many of us truly would like to move progressively forward. We want things to change for the better for all our sakes and the time is right. We find ourselves doing what we need to do and I hope that in this election, we would seize the chance to set aside petty differences to make this positive change surely happen.
Lycel P. Villanueva, RA, PP, LEED AP