Readers weigh in on voting, ed board races, arts funding question | Letters

Emilee Geist

Each vote matters The Concerned Clergy of Jersey City is encouraging all eligible New Jersey residents to vote in this 2020 election season. Your voice and your choice matter! If you want change in the community in which you live, then please vote. Remember: One vote matters! To check your […]

Each vote matters

The Concerned Clergy of Jersey City is encouraging all eligible New Jersey residents to vote in this 2020 election season. Your voice and your choice matter! If you want change in the community in which you live, then please vote.

Remember: One vote matters!

To check your registration status and to register for the 2020 election please go online, go to vote.gov.

Let your voice be heard. Register now. The deadline to register to vote is Tuesday, Oct. 13.

Remember, Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Rev. Dr. T.L. Staggers, President; Rev. Rufus Strother, Vice President; Danai Williams, Financial Secretary

Website refuses to ‘submit’

I’m sitting here seething. I have tried for the past hour to sign into vote2020.hcnj.us to trace my ballot deposited in the secure Lockbox on JFK last Monday.

I get as far as filling out the form and then nothing, the “Submit” bar just sits there and refuses to submit! I even used the wildly confusing password that was suggested and still — nothing!

Needless to say, as a Jersey City voter since 1986, I’m more than frustrated!

Has anyone else had this problem?

Judith Baller-Fabian, Jersey City

Vote for Education Matters team

I am writing this letter to fully endorse the Education Matters team for the Jersey City Board of Education.

I have had the professional experience of learning/working alongside Lorenzo Richardson as a school board member in another town. Mr. Richardson from Day One has wanted to represent the community and citizens of Jersey City. He has educated himself about board policies and procedures, best practices in school operation, and ensured that the education and welfare of children are paramount. Mr. Richardson is a statewide advocate for public education who continually commits time as part of his civic duty. He is dedicated to the continual growth and excellence of the Jersey City School District.

Ms. Gina Verdibello and I have had the pleasure of participating on the Early Childhood Advisory Council, where she was instrumental in improving education for the district’s youngest learners. We have also served as troop leaders in the same Girl Scout Council Heart of New Jersey, where she has afforded her girls a plethora of learning and fun experiences. Most notable, since her appointment to the school board, she has been a staunch activist for adequate school facilities. She is a comprehensive candidate who brings sincerity and integrity to the table.

Mr. Lekendrick Shaw is born, bred and educated in Jersey City. His has made a vested interest as a business owner to the economy of Jersey City. Mr. Shaw has been a vocal advocate for the children, families and educators through his tenure on the board. His efforts on the board have proven his dedication and serious work ethic.

The Education Matters team has all the tools needed to run an effective school board. There will be no new learning curve with these three candidates. They have the training and the experience to keep the district moving forward. This is a group of individuals who take the time to listen to all stakeholders. They want to work with the community because they are truly a part of the community.

You have your ballots in hand, I urge you to vote for Richardson 1i, Verdibello 2i, and Shaw 3i because they know how much education matters!

Chere Glover, South Plainfield

Vote for Together team in Bayonne

I think it’s important as an activist and former candidate for local office to offer some insight on our choices for Bayonne school board.

Looking back to 2015 and seeing how far this board and district have come is a testament to the hard work of school board trustees Christopher Munoz and Maria Valado.

For one candidate just showing up is a tough task while Christopher and Maria not only show up, they have stood up for our teachers, parents and most importantly the children.

I strongly believe in educators on the board. The Together We Can ticket is made up entirely of educators. Maria Valado is a teacher specializing in K-8, and Christopher Munoz is a Hoboken High School teacher. I’m confident along with the addition of Doc Watson, Together We Can will continue to put Bayonne first.

In a climate with such division, I think our votes are now more important than ever. Personal feelings aside, our votes should be reflective of the best qualified and who is looking out for you and your family. I believe in this election the choice is clear but we mustn’t leave anything to chance or assume the best choices will win.

It is why I am asking you to consider the Together We Can team for the Bayonne school board. Those of you who supported me for city council know that I only want to see a Bayonne that works for everyone and I believe these three candidates will help get us there. On Nov. 3, please vote 7-8-9: Valado, Watson and Munoz.

Peter Franco, Bayonne

Support sustainable arts

In addition to the national election on Nov. 3, Jersey City residents will weigh in on an important issue in a local ballot referendum: Municipal Question No. 1 on establishing an Arts and Culture Trust Fund. With a simple majority in voter support, Jersey City could become the first municipality in the state to dedicate a tax levy to local artistic and cultural projects. The wide range of activities included would be the performing, visual, and fine arts, music, dance, graphic design, film, digital media and video, architecture and urban design, humanities, literature, arts and culture education, historic preservation, museum curation, crafts, and folk arts.

As the most diverse city in the nation, Jersey City is a model city for honoring and celebrating cultural diversity. Additionally, it is home to one of the most vibrant and progressive arts communities in the country. Establishing dedicated funding sources for this programming will bolster the community’s multicultural identity. Arts and culture have also been a very useful tool for economic development in the community. The successful implementation of this trust fund could open the door for new museums and theaters, further expanding the local economy.

One of the most delicate issues in the arts and culture community is funding. The Arts and Culture Trust Fund initiative would provide not only resources but also dedicated apolitical funding allocations to be used for the arts and cultural particular purposes. Tying funding to property value is the most stable approach to funding. Other cities across the nation tie these types of trust funds to a percentage of fees paid by the consumer, such has hotel and cigarette taxes. These revenues fluctuate and become less predictable over time and in cases of economic downturn. The proposed arts trust is modeled after the city’s open space trust fund, which supports local parks and other recreational programing around the city and has generated more than $3 million towards improving and upgrading the city’s parks. The dedicated rate is a maximum of $0.02 per $100 of the assessed property value and will directly benefit local artists and arts organizations.

Participation in the upcoming election is critical to the future of our country and community. As a voter, you have the ability to support our local creative community and celebrate our rich cultural diversity for decades to come. Vote “Yes” for Municipal Question No. 1 on establishing an Arts and Culture Trust Fund.

John Metro, Jersey City

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