DeFusco says Hoboken needs to improve equality rights at LGBTQ event

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Hoboken 1st Ward Councilman Mike DeFusco said the Mile Square City needs to greatly improve their equality rights at an LGBTQ event he hosted last night, a claim Mayor Dawn Zimmer was quick to refute.

The NJ LGBT Democratic Caucus fundraiser featured Franklin Township Board of Education Ed Potosnak, who explained the scenario he encountered after praising the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize gay marriage.

During his remarks, DeFusco said there was a “shadow campaign” going on in 2015 council race where he was being attacked for his sexual preference, but that was overcome by talking about real issues within the city.

He later was critical of Mayor Dawn Zimmer for the city scoring a 51 out of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index, stating several initiatives that need to happen to improve that.

“I think we have a lot of things that we have to do to raise that score: we need a dedicated representative on the police force, we need additional rights and services for LGBT employees in City Hall,” the councilman exclaimed.

“We need to make sure we’re not just accepted in practice, [but] that the city is going to step up and gonna say ‘we have your back.’ And here’s the thing: it’s easy to say that, ‘oh yea, we’re progressive and we’re there’ when a situation happens, but it’s a lot more dedicated and complex to say ‘we’re gonna do that now, we’re gonna put our foot down.’”

Speaking one-on-one with Hudson County View, DeFusco weighed in on the President Donald Trump administration revoking transgender bathroom rules, once again stating that Hoboken is behind the times.

“Here in Hoboken City Hall, we have a long day to update our infrastructure, let alone kind of open up the facilities to folks in a more modern way,” DeFusco stated.

“Whether Mayor Zimmer is willing to have that conversation, whether she’s willing to work with me as I asked her to – to expand the city’s equality rights [so] that we can score higher on the Human Rights organization’s chart next year, is still TBD.”

Responding to the criticisms, Zimmer said in a statement that she has always been supportive of the LGBT community and she plans in following in Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop’s footsteps regarding gender neutral bathrooms in city buildings.

“Throughout my career and in my personal life, I have always been committed to LGBT equality and civil rights and I always will be,” she said.

“I saw that Mayor Fulop issued an executive order regarding gender neutral bathrooms, and I thought it was an excellent idea and will be doing the same in Hoboken.”

During Zimmer’s tenure as mayor, Hoboken granted marriage licenses to same sex couples and requires annual anti-discrimination training for all city employees.

A city spokesman further stated that the city’s low HRC score was the result of not providing updated information regarding non-discrimination policies, municipal services and leadership positions.

19 COMMENTS

  1. Zimmer should update bathrooms in city hall for all. If you aren’t a 20-30 something jock, volleyball player, Kayaker or Cyclist you are not a valid person in her mind.

    One of the members of the Disability Parking Committee can’t even get his wheelchair into City Hall Bathrooms or access the dais at the meetings without major assistance-but Zimmer made sure she spent 800,000 for a rain garden in front of The Building that violates federal laws

  2. It’s more important that she funds her personal hobbies with public monies.
    It wasn’t enough to hurry through a variance for her Rock Climbing Family, even sent family members to lobby the zoning board ( a clear signal DAWN WANTS THIS MASSIVE VARIANCE )
    Now, she wants a FREE Rock Climbing wall in the “pop-up” polluted park

    • Does your obvious hatred for Mayor Zimmer give you justification for making up lies against her ?

      • Whats the lie?
        Maybe her Ex chief of staff with ties to developers will get one of her other hobbies a free venue too?
        Maybe he can get them to bankroll a 3rd kayak club

    • Ummmm, I am not “Slapping Toast” and did not write the above juvenile comment which links to my blog.

      But, speaking of lesbians, weren’t lesbians invited to the “Gay Pride” event? I only see men there.

      How come no women?

      • The L in in LGBT stands for Lesbian LGBT was on the invite…
        Now about that failing score of 55th place by the HRC, does Zimmer think Mike “a Junior Councilman” as titled by a Pro-Zimmer Alt-right blog ( not news source) is responsible for that or should she blame Chris Christie, Dave Roberts or Anthony Russo or maybe Mayor Grogin … Oh wait blame Col. Stevens…

    • Misogynists for Defusco applauds your initiative, Slapping Toast! You’re not one to let an LGBT event stop you from denigrating lesbians on behalf of Mike Defusco. Bravo! Take a bow! M’s for D is extremely pleased!

  3. Rumor is that Hudson County political boss and North Bergen Mayor Sacco is behind an effort to run first term Ward Councilman DeFusco for Hoboken mayor in November.

    • Union City Mayor Brian Stack called Zimmer’s claims against Christie doubtful….

  4. So is Zimmer a Liar or is Stack?
    Oh wait, It’s Hudson County… So the answer must be BOTH

    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/dem-mayor-of-hobokens-neighboring-city-dawn-zimmers-story-is-far-fetched/

    Dem Mayor of Hoboken’s Neighboring City: Dawn Zimmer’s Story Is ‘Far-Fetched’
    State senator and Union City Mayor Brian Stack appeared on CNN on Tuesday where he came out in support of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and said that he has been one of the “best” governors the state has ever had. He added that he thought the mayor of his city’s abutting city, Hoboken’s Dawn Zimmer, was making “far-fetched” allegations against Christie’s administration.

    Stack said that Christie did “great” in his address on Tuesday marking his second inauguration as the Garden State governor.

    http://thelead.blogs.cnn.com/2014/01/21/new-jersey-democratic-mayor-defends-christie/

  5. I don’t have a a photo library as evidence… but..

    Was Mike at the Marriage Equality Rally on Pier A that the mayor spoke at?

    Was Mike at the multiple LGBT Pride Flag Raisings that the mayor spoke at over the years?

    Did Mike make a public statement as the mayor did when there was a hate crime in Hoboken?

    I can assure you that if the LGBT community approached the mayor with these issues that Dawn would have responded effectively to everyone’s satisfaction, but DeFusco is hammering a progressive mayor over the head for things that have not happened yet (because no one has made it an issue).

    DeFusco has no LGBT record to run on other than being a gay democrat.

  6. I wish the camera had take more crowd shots… the group in the opening shot is lacking in estrogen and melanin, not sure if this represented the crowd? Maybe is was just the leadership of the sponsoring group? (in which a lack of estrogen and melanin would really be a problem).

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