On Flag Day, over 200 Jersey City residents answered the call to service by flooding City Hall for the JC Summit. If there was one thing that became immediately clear, it’s that Jersey City residents are ready to be a force for positive change. From improving public safety, to opening up government information, to empowering our youth, it’s the City’s residents that can be, and are, the catalysts for civic innovation. And getting real results is just a matter of capitalizing on that passion with the right tools and techniques. At the Summit, attendees were introduced to the time-tested tools and techniques of The Citizens Campaign, in what Mayor Fulop dubbed a “mini civic boot camp.” The Citizens Campaign has empowered city residents across New Jersey to get real results on issues they care about. In Trenton, citizens are implementing a Leadership Civics program for high school seniors. In Perth Amboy, residents have created two new commissions to mobilize more city leaders – a Green Team and an Arts Council. In New Brunswick, residents passed the state’s first ever ordinance protecting workers from wage theft. And in Paterson, one resident saved the city $2 million through implementation of a more competitive and transparent way of doing business.
These accomplishments weren’t driven by politics as usual – but rather by an empowered and engaged community who have embraced the core principles of The Citizen Campaign: working on common-purpose issues, identifying evidence-based solutions, using a no-blame political strategy, and focusing on producing cost-effective results. For those residents who were not able to make it to the JC Summit on June 14, we have exciting news! There is still an opportunity to join this growing force of citizen problem-solvers in Jersey City. Join us on Monday, July 21 at St. Paul’s Center of Caring where we will be following up on the issues residents brought up at the Summit and drilling down to identify doable solutions. Special thanks to the JC Summit co-sponsors who took the lead in bringing the community together – Sustainable JC, Open JC, Civic JC, Rising Tide Capital, The Boys & Girls Clubs of Hudson County, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Essex, Hudson & Union Counties, Women Rising, ArtPride NJ, Creative NJ, The National Wildlife Federation, and the Nerney Leadership Institute.